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Valley Journals

New Kearns drug treatment facility aims to help break chains of addiction

Mar 13, 2018 04:50PM ● By Jennifer Gardiner

Living room of new Valley Behavioral Health treatment facility in Kearns.(Jennifer Gardiner/City Journals)

This past year, there has been a lot happening to try to help the homeless. One of those things is to provide treatment and support for those bound by the ropes of drug addiction. The new campus of Valley Behavioral Health in Kearns is doing all they can to help. 

The 110-bed campus runs side-by-side in conjunction with the EPIC program (Evidence-based Programs and Interventions Campus) and has one main goal: to help people break the chains of addiction so they can re-enter the community. Their target audience is men and women with substance abuse issues who might also be struggling with mental illness and behavioral issues. The program is designed to help them have a successful re-entry into the community and to help reduce criminal recidivism. 

Rebecca Brown, senior business director for Valley Behavioral Health, said the campus was converted from a 16-bed facility for youth to a 78-bed facility for adult substance abusers. 

“The reason we have done that is our youth facility closed in early spring based on funding changes and we were really looking into what we would do next,” Brown said. “In November the Medicaid 11-15 waiver passed allowing us to expand access to programming and increase the capacity of beds.”

Brown said there is a need in the community for the facility with the rise in the opioid epidemic and the long wait lists for those wanting treatment. 

“We have Operation Rio Grande happening at the state level and this is part of the second phase of that,” Brown said. “This campus will have four living facilities, counseling and day treatment on site, a full-service, 365 days a year program. We have a full staff including nursing and all levels of treatment.”

The campus is a remodel of their buildings located at 3809 West 6200 South which will operate in a modified therapeutic community model of treatment. It is considered a premier facility, and has a fully functioning decor including living rooms, kitchen space and separate bedrooms. Seventy-eight beds will be open in March 2018 but they have the ability to open up to 110 beds if the need arises, which Brown anticipates will happen. 

Once someone enters the facility for treatment they are roomed with several others, which is said to help with accountability. In time, they can move into rooms with less occupants as a form of reward for their progress. 

Brittany Peck, 38, said she has struggled with drug addiction for years and just hit her three year anniversary of being sober. She was in an abusive relationship and battled with trauma, depression and anxiety and eventually lost her kids. She used meth and heroin until she overdosed on Jan. 18, 2015 and was referred to Valley Behavioral Health. Peck said at the time it was chaotic but as it progressed she started therapy and discovered the root reasons she went down the path she did. 

“I learned how to get along with others, I learned how to love myself, how to cope with things in everyday society which I didn’t know how to,” Peck said. “They helped me with medication, they helped me with aftercare.”

Peck said she still goes to therapy as she knows the real struggle is learning how to cope with living in the real world and integrating with society. She knows she can come to Valley Behavioral Health for help anytime as she continues her transition into a sober life. 

Brown said they have many different ways in which individuals can get into the program, whether it is a referral through the Medicaid waiver program, the Operation Rio Grande, court ordered treatment or by going to valleycares.com or calling 888-949-4864 to get a referral to the program.