Colorado’s largest addiction treatment provider shutting down after 42 years

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DENVER -- Colorado’s largest addiction treatment provider will be closing their doors for good at the beginning of the new year.

Arapahoe House has seven clinics scattered throughout the Denver area.

Lack of funding is the main reason why Arapahoe House is permanently closing. The president and CEO said the cost to care for the patients now outweighs the available funding from the government. It helps serve more than 5,000 patients each year.

“I’d take a couple hundred milligrams of opioid painkillers each week,” former drug addict Brandon Kozloff said.

Kozloff had tried just about every drug out there as he searched for the ultimate high. He then became addicted to opioid-based pain killers, an addiction that caused his personal life to crumble.

“I was not employable. I went through periods of time where I didn’t have a place to stay and I didn’t know where my next meal would come from,” Kozloff said.

Kozloff was able to get treatment. He now works at Arapahoe House where he helps others who walked in his same shoes as they battle addiction.

But on Friday he received devastating news.

He learned the place that gave him purpose for the first time in his life would be shutting down.

Over the past two years, Arapahoe House has cut programs to try to stay afloat, but now the CEO said it’s impossible to continue.

“The reality of it is that for the past seven years we’ve been operating at a deficit. The cost to deliver the services is simply more than the money we’ve received. We’ve been able to bridge that gap with reserves but you can only live on savings for so long,” President and CEO Mike Butler said.

Two-hundred employees will lose their jobs, including Kozloff who has worked to stay sober for nearly six years.

“It feels kind of horrifying. I’m really worried for our community. I’m really worried for our clients and their families so it’s a tough day here for sure,” Kozloff said.

Arapahoe House will close on Jan. 2. It is working to place patients in other local treatment facilities. Its call center (303-657-3700) will remain open though Jan. 2.

Robert Werthwein, the director of the Office of Behavioral Health at the Colorado Department of Human Services, said the organization is also working to help find patients alternative treatment facilities.

Patients and families can visit a website to find a provider and services near them.

Clients also can call the Denver treatment hotline at 888-607-4462 to find a provider in the region.

Colorado Crisis Services also provides 24/7 access to licensed behavioral health professionals through the crisis line (1-844-493-8255) and 12 walk-in crisis centers, including six in the Denver region.

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