News Release from Ken Trueman Addiction Recovery Board Chairman Bill Hall
The board of directors for the Ken Trueman Recovery Center has voted to indefinitely suspend operations in the wake of issues with the organizations’ finances, facility and operations. Admission of new clients to the program was stopped two weeks ago. Several clients have already been transferred to other programs or had their files closed out; services to the remaining clients will be closed out this week.
Part-time employees at the center were laid off last week; all full-time employees will be laid off by the end of the week.
“This decision was not made lightly,” said Bill Hall, chair of the KTRC board of directors. Following a recent site visit by the state of Oregon, the board worked with the facility’s medical director and staff and staff of Lincoln County Health and Human Services to assess the extent of the challenges facing the program. “There are potential fixes to all the problems,” Hall said, “But they will not be simple, quick or inexpensive.”
The Lincoln County Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, which operates the KTRC, was established in 1984. Initially, the center only provided non-medical or social detox services. In the decades since, Trueman added residential and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment, gambling treatment and mental health respite services. “It’s going to leave a huge void in the community if we can’t find a path back,” said Hall. “The most direct impacts will show up in the emergency rooms of the Newport and Lincoln City hospitals and at the county jail, but there will be ripple effects that are felt more widely.”
A 2010 visit to Trueman by staff from the state Addictions and Mental Health Division identified a number of issues with the Trueman program and facility. Hall said the board believed that adequate progress was being made toward addressing those problems, but that was not the case.
“Untreated addictions have a huge economic and human cost,” said Hall. “We’ve been losing ground in being able to offer adequate services statewide for years. Unfortunately, this is one more piece that’s gone for now.”
Hall said individuals with addictions issues should contact the Lincoln County Addiction Recovery Program at 541-265-4179 or one of the local private providers.
Hall said the Trueman center had 14 in-house residential treatment beds that gave many patients a new start on life. Many succeeded, he said. The building was bought before the current board was in place. It’s old, leaks and does not measure up to minimum standards set by the state. With slashed funding for many human services, the Trueman Center staff was under tremendous stress to do more with less. The state found paperwork and other documentation lacking.
Hall said the county’s behavioral treatment efforts may accomodate those suffering from gambling addiction. But as for in-house residential alcohol and drug treatment, patients will have to seek those services in the valley where there are beds available; not many, but some.
Hall says his greatest fear is that those with no where to go may turn back to their addictive behaviors and begin showing up in expensive hospital emergency rooms and jails. Hall said “I hate to say it but the Trueman Center simply hit the wall in a number of ways and now we’ll have provide what we can to fewer people. It’s so tragic.”