Road to Recovery

Rural recovery center reaches underserved areas in ND

Good Day Dakota

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1 in 8 people struggle with substance abuse disorders. KX News caught up with a treatment facility that is serving the rural population of North Dakota.

Summit Prairie Recovery Center, previously named Prairie Learning Center, used to serve male youth of our state, but when there was a change in federal policy for residential foster homes due to the Family First Act, Summit Prairie Recovery Center was born when they switched gears to serve the adult population of the recovery community.

At the height of the pandemic and with the help of a PPP loan, Summit Prairie Recovery Center was able to restructure and remodel to open up for residence by June last year.

Brenda Owen, executive director of Summit Prairie Recovery Center says, “Addiction is kind of a struggle because there’s a lot of relapses. But we’re getting so many calls about people’s successes.”

Owen has worked as the executive director of Summit Prairie recovery center for about 15 months, now. Since starting this new role she’s contracted with Summit Counseling Services. The combination of treatments has served as a gateway to better meet the needs of the underserved parts of western North Dakota.

Owen says, “We have family members that have come and now they’re referring their other siblings or extended families.”

Whether it’s other treatments referring clients, or past residents coming back to help serve, the calls keep coming in.

Stephanie Jochim is one of the 36 staff members at SPRC. She says she takes up to 50 calls a day from people looking to get help.

Jochim, administrative director says, “I guess I didn’t realize how much a place like this was needed until working here and I do a lot of the intake phone calls, most of them, so I hear the stories, the phone rings all day every day of people needing help.”

Right now SPRC is the only treatment facility in western North Dakota, but not everyone who needs help can get it due to lack of funding or insurance.

Owen adds, “There’s not enough beds in the state. Right now this facility at Summit Prairie Recovery Center is too large.”

Meaning: there’s a bed restriction in the state.

“There’s a restriction of federal law that identifies if you have more than 16 beds you can’t take Medicaid or Medicare expansion,” said Owen.

Right now, they have 36 beds that house both men and women in recovery. Regardless of medical coverage, Owen says, recovery does happen.

Owen adds, “We want to help. Our goal is to help those who need help, no matter the reimbursements.”

Owen says that within the next three months they’ll be opening a second treatment facility in Watford City starting with 16 beds, that way they can take Medicaid and Sanford expansion.

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