ST. LOUIS — A church addiction recovery program and a medical-based treatment center are combining what they each do well to help people suffering from opioid and other addictions.
Assisted Recovery Centers of America(ARCA) and Jubilee Community Church in north St. Louis share a philosophy. Soon, they will share a facility.
Christopher Smith is a church member and an ARCA client.
“There were certain avenues they had for me,” said Smith. “I was homeless at the time. They gave me shelter and genuine support.”
Pastor Andy Krumsieg made the announcement at Sunday services.
“ARCA is here and opened up a clinic in this building, this past week," said Krumsieg. "It’s open. We’re going to have a grand opening celebration Friday at 11 a.m.”
Percy Menzies is the founder of ARCA.
“For a patient,” said Menzies, “why do they go on using? Why do they use drugs on and on, again and again? It’s because the withdrawal symptoms are so intense.”
Menzies said ARCA offers a medical-based approach to recovery that helps alleviate those intense withdrawal symptoms. Then, the patient can focus on other issues.
“We have a program where you walk in and we offer you medical treatment on an immediate basis," said Menzies. "Once you’re stabilized, once the storm has been calmed, the patient is inevitably able to talk about rehab, housing and other issues.”
Krumsieg helped open the church on North Grand Avenue in 2005.
“We are in the heart of drug addiction and mental illness on Grand Avenue,” said Krumsieg. “So, to be able to have the assistance of ARCA that gives us a practical hand at doing what we’ve been trying to do for years is amazing.”
What Jubilee has been trying to do for years is offer addiction recovery, job skills and life training.
“The Vivitrol shot I got through ARCA is really a blessing,” Smith said.
Smith said adding drug treatment through medicine to the mix was the difference-maker, for him.
“That, and the church as well,” he said. “Because if you get clean but you’re still on the street, you’re still out there.”
Menzies said many drug treatment programs have a certain length. But with ARCA, he said Missouri officials have been willing to treat drug addiction as a chronic condition, and patients can stay in treatment as long as they are at risk.
You can find more information on ARCA's website by clicking here.