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Citing a lack of funding, state's largest addiction treatment provider announces closure

Posted at 1:36 PM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 15:46:08-05

DENVER — Amid a growing opioid crisis, the state’s largest provider of addiction treatment announces it can no longer afford to operate. Arapahoe House said Friday that it would close January 2, 2018. 

The Denver area non-profit has been operating since 1975 and serves 5,000 patients per year. However, Arapahoe House leaders say the cost to care for its patients is greater than the funding that is available from state and federal sources including Medicaid.

“This is devastating for our community and the state as a whole,” said Mike Butler, president and CEO of Arapahoe House. “We care for an extremely vulnerable population including pregnant women and women with children. Without Arapahoe House, there are precious few places for these individuals to go. Despite a widespread and growing opioid crisis in Colorado and nationwide, state and federal funding for addiction treatment remains inadequate.”

The addiction treatment provider has been eliminating programs over the years to try to stay afloat, but anticipated funding cuts would make it “impossible” for its core programs to continue, said a press release from the organization.

The closure comes as addiction rates continue to climb in Colorado. According to Arapahoe House, only 11 to 16 percent of Coloradans receive the substance use disorder treatment they need, and an accidental drug overdose occurs in Colorado every nine hours and 36 minutes.

Arapahoe House said it is no longer accepting new patient admissions. It said it is making every effort to place current patients with other providers. However, details of that transition have not been released.

Arapahoe House’s call center (303-657-3700) will remain open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, through Jan. 2, the release read.