A new addiction and mental health treatment facility near downtown Kokomo now is operational.
First City Recovery, located at 317 W. Jefferson St., has begun offering treatment to individuals struggling with drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and mental health issues. Michael Romero was among the first to take advantage of the help.
For Romero, the facility represented a drastic but necessary change from his fast-paced life in southern Florida. Romero was referred to First City Recovery by a friend after relapsing and has been in treatment at the facility for five weeks.
“It’s a different environment,” Romero said. “Different people, something fresh, get away from what I know. Where I’m from, it’s a very fast-paced, quick town, and this is a much slower pace. People are very welcoming, and I like it here.”
At First City Recovery, Romero partakes in therapy, classes aimed at battling addiction, and multiple meetings each day. Case managers and staff provide extracurricular activities on nights and weekends, and daily reflections help Romero battle his addiction, he said.
The facility opened in March, and consists of eight beds for recovering addicts but has the potential to be expanded if needed, according to CEO Dan Metz. One side of the Jefferson Street facility offers housing for clients, as well as entertainment like TVs and video games, a fully-stocked kitchen, exercise equipment, and more while clients work toward sobriety.
The detox segment of recovery can last seven to 10 days, Metz said, based on the needs of each client.
First City Recovery also operates an in-patient care facility on Monroe Street, which can house up to 18 men and women. Clients are offered recovery classes while staying in safe and monitored housing. Staff work three shifts at Monroe Street, monitoring clients. A curfew is enforced each night, and clients are required to take nightly drug tests.
The patients’ lengths of stay are determined through assessments with case managers who evaluate what level of care is needed for the client. Outpatient care, like classes and therapy, can last between 120 and 180 days.
Most private insurance will be accepted at First City Recovery, according to Metz, and a sliding pay system also will be offered to clients.
Around 20 new jobs, including case managers, therapists, and behavioral health technicians currently are being filled.
Metz, a Kokomo native, said he wanted to bring back good to his hometown after leaving for Florida to get sober.
“The problem is here, whether you like it or not, whether you want to deny it or accept it, the problem is here,” Metz said. “So if we’re going to have this problem, let’s have a local solution for it versus shipping our problems off. And once they recover and get better, all the good attributes they have are left to another state, county, city, wherever.”
Joining Metz were CFO Rudy Rice and Director of Operations Jason McAdam, who are also in recovery from addiction. In fact, the entirety of First City Recovery ownership is in recovery. McAdam said that once more clients begin coming into the facility, he expects positions, such as technicians or counselors, to begin filling up with former clients, a benefit, McAdam said, in making current clients more comfortable and receptive to the treatment offered.
Romero said he preferred it that way, saying “you’re more inclined to open up” with people who are also in recovery.
“Being open to speak to people who have gone through recovery, getting stuff out and honest about it … it’s freeing,” Romero said.
For more information on First City Recovery and the programs offered, visit https://firstcityrecoverycenter.com/.