A new home for substance abuse treatment

The new dormitory is under construction on Palmyra Road.

For those struggling with substance abuse and mental health problems, the road to recovery is a difficult one ... especially when treatment options are scarce.

The Hannibal Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse has been offering short stays in a residential treatment program for those struggling with severe addiction and mental health problems for years.

"If they were in an unhealthy living environment, it takes them out of there so they can focus on what decisions they've been making and what they need to do to make changes out of it. It also helps them sometimes realize that where they were living was unhealthy or unsafe," Executive Director Jennifer Wilson explained.

When the lease on their current dormitory was due to expire, the group decided to re-evaluate costs associated with the facility. They found it would save them money in the long term to construct a brand new building, which is their first capital project since 1989.

"Having a newer facility as opposed to something that ... we've been here 20 years, So there's a little wear and tear on that even though we try to maintain that as best as possible. Having a brand new facility, I think just lifts the spirits," Director of Human Resources Michael Adams said.

The new residential facility will house the same number of residents as their current one, about 27. Unfortunately, that number is not meeting the demand of people who need help. The waiting list to be admitted to the facility is a month long. The next nearest inpatient resource for Missouri residents is in the Troy area.

"I'm sure that we could fill another facility of this size with no problem because the need is there. The funding to provide those treatment services is not," Wilson said.

She explained that each case in which someone is seeking residential care is evaluated. Beds at the residential facility are given to those with the highest need, such as those without support systems or who are living in a negative environment.

"Sometimes when you're in that environment you don't realize how detrimental it is to your sobriety," Wilson said.

The council was limited to their nine bedroom set-up by regulations from the Department of Mental Health and Missouri Medicaid.

Additional housing would require a separate building to be constructed.

The new dormitory should be open by early November.