SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (AP) — An Indianapolis hospital that focuses on substance abuse has announced plans to open a drug- and alcohol-treatment center for women at a secluded central Indiana site that its chief executive says will become one of only a handful of similar treatment centers in the Midwest.
Fairbanks Hospital Inc. President Mark Monson said the center in Shelbyville, about 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis, will fill a significant treatment gap for women in Indiana and surrounding states.
"There really isn't a facility in the state of Indiana like this," he told The Shelbyville News (http://bit.ly/UvHwCB ). "Frankly, you'd have to go to Pennsylvania — maybe the closest would be in Cleveland, Minneapolis/St. Paul or Nashville — for the closest facility like it."
Traveling such distances makes it difficult for patients' relatives to participate in treatment, something Monson said is a critical component of the programs offered by Fairbanks, a nonprofit treatment center founded in 1945.
The Indianapolis hospital offers family-oriented programs for men, women and adolescents battling substance abuse and addiction following the traditional Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program.
The Shelby County Commissioners agreed last month to rezone a 38-acre site to accommodate the new treatment center. Monson hopes the center can open its doors in May following about $160,000 in upgrades to the site's existing single-family residence and surrounding acreage.
He said the heavily wooded 38-acre lot provides a natural setting with ample room for gardening, a view of the river and enough room for equine therapy, if desired.
"It's a very private, secluded setting," Monson said.
Up to 14 women will live at the center for 30 to 90 days, attended to by psychiatric and medical personnel, counselors and support staff. Monson said the center will offer help for women battling substance addiction and physical and emotional trauma.
County Commission President Kevin Nigh said residents near the planned center have expressed little opposition to the project and he supports it.
The center will be a "fantastic" addition to the area, said Lori Springer, the executive director of Shelby County Drug Free Coalition.
Kari Prifogle, executive director of the county's Family Services and Prevention Programs, said having it nearby will benefit the community.
"It's nice to see something coming to the county rather than people having to go outside of Shelby County to seek help," she said.
Information from: The Shelbyville News, http://www.shelbynews.com/