From the third story of Transitions, Inc.’s 100-year-old office building in Bellevue, Kentucky, one can look out across the Ohio River to the historic hills of freedom on the other side. With the testimonial video as evidence, it isn’t too much of a stretch to say that Transitions, Inc. assists people in breaking the bonds of addiction, helping them find freedom in recovery, offering hope to those who might not find it elsewhere.
Transitions, Inc. was founded in 1969 by a group of citizens concerned about the lack of recovery services for Northern Kentucky’s poor, so much so that two of those people even donated their house to the cause. Transitions was originally named Droege House in their honor. Droege House is now just one of several Transitions facilities offering a range of substance abuse treatment to men and women in need, regardless of their ability to pay.
Accommodations and Food
There are two primary residential treatment facilities in the Transitions network.
Covington, Kentucky, is the site of the 90-day Women’s Residential Addiction Program (WRAP) that allows children under age 12 to accompany their mothers. Depending on the situation, pregnant women and new mothers might stay up to nine months in this repurposed historic home. Plastic children’s playhouses are stacked on the lawn in front of the three-story stucco and brick building beside a strip mall. There is a licensed childcare center here for the working women in residence, which also accepts a limited number of children from the community from 7 am to 11 pm Monday through Friday.
At WRAP, women are housed on three floors in shared rooms and there are two communal baths on each floor. Prepared food is brought to the facility each day Monday through Friday by the agency; on Saturday and Sunday women cook for themselves at the house, usually sitting down to eat together. There is no exercise facility at WRAP, but women do have access to a DVD player and exercises videos in the day room if they want to work out before group schedule begins.
Droege House, the former residence of the program’s founders, is in Dayton, Kentucky. Located at 925 Fifth Avenue, this two-story brick building is the home of the 90-day men’s residential facility. Up to 24 men live together here, two to four of them in each room and all of them sharing two bathrooms. There is a small exercise area and a pool table as well as a collection of movies in the lounge for entertainment. The men also get to go out on one group activity a week, planned by the house. Three meals a day and a couple of snacks are provided each day in a cafeteria setting.
Treatment, Staff and Schedule
Transitions, Inc. offers a seven-to-10 day non-medical detox where men and women may safely undergo withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs. The core belief here, like all facilities founded in the 12 steps, is that abstinence from substance is necessary for recovery to take place. Clients are exposed to 12-step literature, meetings and principles on-site before being introduced to the local sober community.
Treatment is based on the therapeutic community model. Clients help each other and the staff with the running of the house and with staying sober. Community service is a part of the schedule. Individual and group therapy is offered in all agency programs (residential, outpatient and extended care). Help is also provided in basic life skills, budgeting and employment readiness. All clients eligible to work are required to do so, depending on how that fits into their treatment schedule.
The staff provides chemical dependency treatment and related services. Counselors must have at least a Bachelor’s degree, preferably in a related area such as psychology or social work. Counselors are required to work toward becoming a CADC in Kentucky or toward the appropriate credential in Ohio.
During the first phase of treatment at Droege House, the men are in classes and group therapy from 9 am to noon with more groups in the evening for another hour or two. In later phases group meetings are reduced to two each day; two AA/NA groups each week and clients may leave the facility to work.
In WRAP’s early phase, women are in groups and therapy from 8 am to 4 pm with a break for lunch. After dinner at 5 pm there is free time until the evening’s 12-step meeting; these are initially held at the house. Upon “phase up” women go to community 12-step meetings and their days aren’t as tightly scheduled. Residents in second phase and beyond are either job seeking, or working outside the facility during the day.
Upon completing residential programs, clients may access outpatient services and/or counseling for up to a year. Transitions’ halfway houses in Covington, Newport and Ashland provide on-going chemical dependency treatment.
Transitions, Inc. offers the full continuum of care from detox to sober living and beyond. This is admirable enough, but Transitions is also committed to breaking the cycles of family abuse, violence, crime and poverty by offering assistance to the indigent, the uninsured, the incarcerated and the working poor of Kentucky. Obviously they are fulfilling a need; there is generally a two-to-four month wait list for residential services. For those who qualify, this could be the place to start digging a way out.
700 Fairfield Ave
Bellevue, KY 41073
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Photo courtesy of Swagg (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)