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The Refuge in Bear combines drug treatment with job training


The Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) opened its first integrated treatment home in Delaware on Friday, Feb. 15. The ribbon-cutting in Bear featured Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long and DSAMH Director Elizabeth Romero.

The Refuge, a 30-bed home for men recovering from substance use disorder, combines withdrawal management and social services case management with vocational and educational training.

“For those struggling with an addiction or mental illness, integrated treatment homes are a critical piece to the recovery process,” said Hall-Long, who also serves as chair of the Behavioral Health Consortium. “We know that services like these will save lives and benefit our community.”

The home, operated by Peace by Piece, accepts people referred by treatment providers.The 20-bed Leona Mae’s House in Bear is also open to women in recovery.

The two homes offer a combined 50 integrated treatment beds – and plans are underway to open a similar home for women and children in March.

“We want people to know that these integrated treatment homes are here,” Romero said. “Our vision is to see such homes throughout the state so people can live, grow and recover.”

Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker said the new integrated treatment homes were fostered in part by a 14-month review of Delaware’s substance use disorder treatment system by researchers from Johns Hopkins University. In July 2018, the Hopkins team issued four strategic recommendations to strengthen Delaware’s system:

  • Increase the capacity of the treatment system;
  • Engage high-risk populations in treatment;
  • Create incentives for quality care; and
  • Use data to guide reform and monitor progress.

“The opening of these integrated treatment homes is about meeting people where they are in their recovery,” said Walker, a board-certified family physician. “We want people to have the full access to the continuum of care, and these homes, which include clinical treatment, represent a piece that was missing.”

To learn more, visitwww.HelpIsHereDE.comto find treatment services and resources in Delaware or nearby states.


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  1. Martha Desmond July 19, 2019

    This is a total disgrace to the community. These “drug addicts” are free to roam up and down McCoy road and harass the hardworking people trying to raise their families. The State was dishonest, and never disclosed this information at all. In addition, the location was purchased as a “residence” and not operating a business out of this residence — WITHOUT PERMISSION!

  2. Antonia September 12, 2019

    I pray this program to be great for all that need the help. If this was put into my neighbor hood I wouldnt have mind. I wish that it could come to the State and city I live in to help the people here thats in need. I see it as helping men and women who have fell at at point in there lives. I pray it helps to build them up, giving them the hope, support, guidance and love to become who they were once and destined to be. May God bless all the Doctors, and staff memebers to guide and help them in every way to provide, educate,and show love and respect to all the patients/residents.

  3. Rose Tierney December 31, 2019

    I am happy to hear this organization exists. My sion is homeless and has abused drugs and alcohol for years. No one chooses his is right. Mom of resident i hope it helps your son. I know what parents go through and any organization that is seriously trying to help I applaud. Martha if you have children i pray it does not happen to you.


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