GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — A local addiction and recovery center has seen a significant jump in the need for treatment and support services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's a gap leaders hope to fill with a new recovery home.
The Jackie Nitschke Center, Drury Designs Inc. and the Lyndahl Family broke ground Friday on the Lyndahl Recovery Home for Women, located on the corner of North Quincy and East Walnut streets.
"We needed it before, but ever since the pandemic started, we definitely need it even more," said Samantha Belanger, admissions coordinator with the Jackie Nitschke Center. "The number of relapses and overdoses have gone up dramatically. State insurance started covering residential treatment this year, which has been a huge blessing. We've had a lot more people able to get services, because their insurance is actually helping cover it."
Drug overdoses in Wisconsin reached new records in 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reported fatalities in 2020 reached 1,530 overdoses, a more than 25% increase from the year before.
Michelle Pierquet-Hohner, director of community and donor engagement at the Jackie Nitschke Center, said they've seen an increase in calls and referrals from loved ones and individuals seeking support. The center's website visits have increased more than 100%. She said they've had a 25% increase in clients so far this year and implemented a second intensive outpatient program to meet the need.
There's also a consistent wait list for those seeking Recovery Home beds. Pierquet-Hohner said the expansion on these efforts will go a long way in helping individuals fully recover.
"There are definitely not enough beds within the community. That's what we looked at: What do our clients need? What does the community need? We decided this was a great resource to help them. It's the best thing that we can do to help them succeed with long-term recovery," Pierquet-Hohner said.
This will be the third recovery home on the Jackie Nitschke Center campus. The building will house eight women for up to 18 months as they work to restore their lives.
The Lyndahl Recovery Home for Women is expected to be completed in spring of 2022.
Individuals or families seeking help with substance abuse can all SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.