Arapahoe House to close metro Denver detox centers

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DENVER -- Law enforcement agencies in metro Denver will have to look for alternative places to take people who have had too much to drink.

Arapahoe House said its three detoxication centers will close in the coming months. The organization provides a safe place for drunk drivers to sober up after they're arrested.

Its three facilities handle 10,000 drunk or high patients each year.

But Arapahoe House said its mission is to help individuals break the cycle of addiction and improve their lives. It is overwhelmed by the public safety service it provides and that it is unable to work on its mission.

Arapahoe House said it will devote its time and money to addiction treatment and therapy programs.

"What we haven't been talking about is the epidemic of opioid abuse in Colorado and the growing marijuana addiction. There is a tremendous need for treatment," Arapahoe House CEO Mike Butler said.

He also said more people die of accidental drug overdoses than car crashes and the need for addiction treatment facilities is growing.

Arapahoe House said it is working with law enforcement agencies to find alternatives, but its centers will close sometime between January and June.

Arapahoe House has locations in Denver, Wheat Ridge and Commerce City.