With Pennsylvania now leading the nation in drug overdoses among men 18 to 26, Montgomery County officials approached Eagleville Hospital about creating a program specifically for that population.
The result is Arcadia House, a 16-bed facility housed in temporary quarters on the hospital’s large campus in Eagleville.
The “prime solutions” curriculum for these patients incorporates a mix of modalities and borrows from 12-step approaches and cognitive behavioral therapy.
Denise Kitson, director of counseling services at the hospital specializing in treating substance abuse disorders, said she was drawn to the program’s emphasis on web exercises and videos.
“One of the reasons we chose this curriculum is because it has a lot of more high-tech internet and video type programming built into the day-to-day structure,” she said. “And we thought that that might be more engaging for a younger audience.”
Kitson said she hopes that the new house, with its emphasis on mindfulness and openness to experimentation, could eventually serve as a model.
The first step, she said, was making design choices that could foster a more healing environment.
“We really wanted to build something a little bit different, a little bit less institutional looking, a little bit homier,” she said.
But she’s also aware of the limitations she and other providers face given how many people need treatment. In a perfect world, she said, she’d create even more programming for different populations who need help.
“The 16 beds are going to be full in no time and stay full. And we could just keep opening more and more 16-bed units, right now with no problem,” Kitson said. “But that would require someone out there to fund that.”
Providers are hoping that patients can stay in the program for between 60 and 90 days.
A $600,000 grant from the county covered construction costs for Arcadia House but not operational expenses.