Delaware Public Media

State funded centers for substance abuse treatment and workforce training open in Bear

Feb 19, 2019

Delaware’s Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health is opening two new treatment facilities in Bear.


The state put $1.2 million along with some money from federal grants towards a 30-bed recovery center for men called the Refuge, and a 20-bed Leona Mae’s House center for women both at the former site of Bellweather Behavioral Health.

The two are the state’s first level-four facilities in compliance with the National Alliance for Recovery Residencies. This means both clinical and job training services are available on site, as well as medication-assisted treatment, in a long-term sober living environment.

Delaware’s DSAMH Director Elizabeth Romero says it fills a gap in care for people getting out of more short-term substance abuse treatment programs.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for those that feel in our state that there is a real gap for those that are leaving inpatient treatment facilities and being able to go to a place that allows them more time,” said Romero.

The nonprofit social services agency Peace by Piece is managing job training and placement. The addiction treatment center Aquila handles mental health and substance abuse disorder treatment.

“Once an individual comes to Peace by Piece for workforce development, we can get a clinical assessment done through Aquila of Delaware and identify those direct and lateral needs that may be barriers if left undiagnosed,” said Peace by Piece Executive Director Saad Solimon.

“We can’t look at individuals that are in recovery as a one-stop shop that fits one idea,” said Aquila Chief Operating Officer Kelli DiSabatino. “We want to be able to have a lot of opportunity to provide for them, because we might not be able to meet their needs, and the only way to do that is for everyone to come together and have a menu of services.”

Romero says the state is looking to fund at least four level-four facilities over the next two years, including a treatment center for women and their children and another integrated treatment home in Harrington operated by Connections.