While concerns grow over COVID-19, Kentuckians are also battling an increase in overdoses. Answering the call here in the mountains, Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) is expanding services across Appalachia.
During a special session of the Martin County School Board Thursday, officials approved the sale of the old Inez Middle School to developer Greg May. His development group has worked with ARC previously in developing two other addiction treatment facilities including Riverplace Men’s Treatment Center in Pike County in the former Millard Middle School and Creekside Women’s Treatment Center in Knott County.
“My development group is committed to helping address the drug epidemic in our region because this crisis hits every family including my own,” May said about his excitement collaborating with ARC for this third project. “Our partnership brings together our team’s construction and property management expertise with their nationally-recognized treatment program. Eastern Kentucky has facility needs and we wanted to focus here first.”
The move will allow the addiction treatment organization to broaden its services in Inez, an area struggling to find its footing against addiction. ARC CEO Tim Robinson and many of its senior administrators are natives of Martin County.
"I spent my childhood and early adult life here and witnessed so many people grapple with the chains of addiction," said Robinson. "My late father, former Martin County PVA Tim Robinson, Sr., helped create the Martin County SAVE program. Now we aim to build off that existing foundation to save thousands, one life at a time."
Inez will become one of 5 communities for the ACT Now pilot collaborative. ACT Now is an initiative aimed at building stronger relationships between communities and law enforcement. The program will help identify resources for police and sheriff departments to better tackle issues like the drug epidemic.
"56 years ago President Lyndon B. Johnson stood on a porch in Martin County and declared the War on Poverty," Robinson reflected. “There is no greater time than now for us as Kentuckians to dig in our heels at a grassroots level. We must use faith and grit to restore lives and rebuild families torn apart by addiction."
With the addition of the former school in Inez, ARC plans to build upon its existing service offering in the county. ARC's unique blend of treatment and nationally renowned "Crisis to Career" model has yielded staggering success rates compared to other intervention programs.
Work will begin soon to revitalize the old school grounds and buildings. Further details on how ARC will use the facility will come as work progresses.