As part of the Carroll County Health Department, Shoemaker Center has been offering residential substance abuse treatment to adults ages 18 and over for more than 30 years. Located in the Baltimore suburb of Sykesville, Maryland and situated on the campus of the historic (and partially abandoned) Springfield Hospital Center, its comprehensive services include detox and dual diagnosis support.
Accommodations and Food
Shoemaker’s 40-bed treatment center is on the ground floor of the mental health building at Springfield Hospital. Men and women are housed in different units, with 20 beds for each, separated out into large dorms. There are four rooms for women, 10 beds in two of the dorm rooms and two detox rooms, each holding five clients. Detox rooms have adjacent bathrooms, while the remaining women share locker room-style restroom and shower facilities. The men’s side has four rooms housing eight to 10 men and an additional detox ward, which holds the same. The men also share communal bathrooms. Each unit has a TV room, a shared dining hall and laundry facilities. Residents are assigned chores and are responsible for washing their own clothing, including linens. There are no cellphones, personal electronics or smoking allowed at Shoemaker. Nicotine patches to assist with smoking cessation are offered.
Meals are provided by the hospital and food is served buffet-style. The basic food groups are provided and special dietary requests are limited to salt free and diabetic diets.
Treatment and Staff
A five to seven day medical detox, supervised by a physician and a nurse practitioner, is provided at Shoemaker, using Suboxone for opiate withdrawal and Librium and comfort drugs for alcohol.
Beyond that, Shoemaker Center offers a 28-day program, based on the concept that addiction is a chronic disease and that it can be treated with patience, consistency and compassion. Therapies used in treatment include CBT and DBT. Residents have a busy schedule during their stay, starting with breakfast at 7:30 am. While some of the groups are gender specific, there are also co-ed groups. Topics include relapse prevention, meditation, the 12 steps, self-esteem, peer-driven process groups, communication tools and coping skills. Individual therapy and psychiatric appointments for co-occurring disorders are booked on a weekly basis. On-site 12-step meetings are held nightly with the exception of Saturday and Sunday, when clients are permitted to watch movies and or play games.
The treatment team consists of LADCs, physicians, psychiatrists and nurses, the staff-to-client ratio is one-to-six.
Clients participate in one hour of recreation per day, including basketball and volleyball. There is a pool table in the men’s unit and a Ping Pong table in the women’s and designated hours for fraternizing.
Clients are allowed one two-hour visit while they are in residence. Visitors must be an immediate relative, attend a two-hour family education session and be over 13 years of age. While a family program is not a designated part of treatment, individual therapy sessions for family members are provided upon request.
Shoemaker Center offers a basic, well-staffed, 28 day program for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Being able to transition out of detox and directly into the residential program at the same location is a bonus. Also, being on a partially-abandoned historic campus might appeal to history buffs or ghost hunters. The Shoemaker Center accepts Medicaid and most insurance too, making this an affordable treatment option.
6655 Sykesville Rd
Sykesville, MD 21784
Shoemaker Center Cost: Call for cost. Reach Shoemaker Center by phone at (410) 876-1989. Find Shoemaker Center on Facebook
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Photo courtesy of AbandonedCountry