xxxx16-biz-drugs (copy)

A motivational message on the wall of a drug treatment program. An new inpatient rehab center is opening in Merrillville.

Damian Rico, Times file photo

MERRILLVILLE — A 40-bed private, inpatient drug treatment center is set to open later this summer in the Region.

Recovery Works will offer detoxification, residential care, intensive outpatient therapy, medication-assisted treatment and sober housing to adults struggling with substance abuse.

"There's only a few residential programs like ours in the state," said Joe Pritchard, CEO of New Jersey-based Pinnacle Treatment Centers, the parent company for Recovery Works. "You have a large population and significant opiate issues in that part of the state. Our services will be a part of the effort to treat that. There's still a need for a lot of these services."

The nation has been experiencing a growing epidemic of opioid overdoses, which claim the life of an estimated 78 Americans a day. However, there remains a dearth of substance abuse specialists in many states, including Indiana. Only about 10 percent of the nation's 22 million drug and alcohol addicts actually receive treatment, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Pritchard noted that the introduction of managed health care plans years ago led to a shift from inpatient to outpatient treatment. But with the mushrooming opioid problem, along with a federal mandate that insurers cover substance abuse the same as physical ailments and the expansion of coverage under Obamacare, residential centers are back on the rise.

Recovery Works plans to ultimately have a staff of about 35 people, including physicians, nurses, master level clinicians and administrative and support staff.

The facility will only accept private insurance to start but is working with the state to become a Medicaid provider.

The center is scheduled to open in July and August, and intends to eventually expand its bed count by a third. This will be Recovery Works' second Indiana location, joining Cambridge City.


Giles is the health reporter for The Times, covering the business of health care as well as consumer and public health. He previously wrote about health for the Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.