The Refuge in Bear combines drug treatment with job training - Southern Business Review


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Thursday, February 21, 2019

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, visit to find treatment services and resources in Delaware or nearby states.