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Kentucky First Lady tours local treatment facility

Times-Tribune - 9/14/2018

Sept. 14--CORBIN -- Residents of a local treatment facility were treated with a visit from Kentucky's First Lady Glenna Bevin.

On Wednesday, Bevin toured one of Cumberland River Behavioral Health's residential programs, Independence House, a non-medical facility that offers treatment and rehabilitation for primarily pregnant and postpartum women suffering with substance abuse.

Cumberland River Behavioral Health is a nonprofit community mental health agency that offers several programs, with Independence House being one of the 14 community mental health centers across the state.

"We started out here about 30 years ago as a female treatment center for substance use disorders," said Danny Jones, executive director of Cumberland River Behavioral Health, Inc. "About 12 years ago we applied for a federal grant to make it a treatment center for pregnant and postpartum women. It's been the most satisfying program that we've had, ever I think, at Cumberland River."

Bevin was given the opportunity to tour the facility, meet with the current 13 residents of the facility, including four babies, and learn more about what the facility is doing to help women, babies and their families throughout the state.

The program is not only for pregnant women, as any woman suffering from substance abuse from across the state can be admitted into the program for a minimum of 40 days.

The 15-bed facility, located in Corbin, allows women to stay on-site and to attend groups that touch on several subjects, not only substance abuse.

Over 100 females go through the program annually where they attend groups that focus on domestic violence, guilt/shame, parenting, grief, anger management, stress reduction and relapse prevention.

"We treat the whole woman -- it's not just substance abuse," said Samantha Sowders, director of Independence House. "They didn't wake up one morning and decide 'I'm going to destroy my life today.' It's a process and that's what we're trying to get to the root of."

The program works in collaboration with many community resources to provide clients with multifaceted services and support. Some of those organizations include the Whitley County Health Department, AA Women's Services, Whitley County Adult Education, Grace Community Women's Health and Baptist Health Corbin.

Since 2008, Sowders said Independence House has seen close to 400 babies born drug-free.

"To see these babies born drug-free, mothers getting other children back they've had to give up prior to their treatment here, it's been a wonderful thing," said Jones.

The hope of the program is to not only treat these women for their substance use disorders but to also help them to become productive members of society once they have completed the program.

Sowders believes Independence House is allowing women struggling with substance abuse, including their babies and their families, a chance at a new life.


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