Lawmaker Seeks Bailout For Colorado’s Biggest Substance Abuse Center

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Photo: Arapahoe House Thornton Center
The Arapahoe House's Thornton Center.

The state's largest substance abuse treatment provider, Arapahoe House, is scheduled to close January 2. Its board and CEO say most of the organization's patients can't afford treatment and state and federal funding aren't enough to sustain operations.

But a state legislator who's been active in efforts to stem the state's substance abuse problem says she's hoping for a last-minute fix. Rep. Brittany Pettersen, a Democrat from Jefferson County, she's checking into the possibility the state could free up emergency funds often used for natural disasters such as fires and floods to provide stopgap money for Arapahoe House.

Arapahoe House is a nonprofit that serves about 5,000 people annually in the Denver metro area. CEO Mike Butler told Colorado Matters efforts are underway to find alternative treatment for about 40 inpatients and several hundred outpatients if Arapahoe House closes.

Pettersen and Butler spoke to Colorado Matters about what's ahead for those patients and the community.

For those who are looking for treatment or information about substance abuse disorders, Arapahoe House's call center remains open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday until January 2. The call center number is 303-657-3700.