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Patients forced to look for new drug and alcohol rehab center

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - A local drug and alcohol rehabilitation center has shut down, leaving a number of workers without a job and forcing patients to find new group homes for court-ordered treatment. 

Since April 2022, American Health and Summit Safe and Sober Living has provided housing and treatment for patients battling drug and alcohol addiction. But as of last week, they are no longer in operation.

Allyson Robles had worked for the company for only a month, but volunteered to work for free to help find new treatment options for her clients.

"I've had quite a few of the clients tell me, well, what's the point? Why don't I just go do this? And I just keep telling them the same thing that everybody else is telling them, it's not worth it, that their recovery is worth it. And what they were doing was something good," Robles said.

Sasha Waechtler also lost her job due to the decision.

"In the end, I got to do what's best for me and my family and those that I have with me down in the area that I live. But I also care a lot about not only the staff but the clients. I want to make sure that they're getting what they need and they're not just being up and abandoned type thing," Waechtler said.

Due to their probation, some of the clients that used this facility were court-ordered to live here, and with days to find a new rehab center and a new home, clients like James Thompson are fearful for what's next."

"I'm speaking about myself as a drug addict for over 20 years and I say to you and I stress this, had the best sobriety I've ever had,” Thompson said. “They took the one thing that I've had for me, and I realized that I need this myself personally to be able to stand on my own two feet. But when you're in the process of learning this, I'm still like an infant. And it's like they just kicked me back to crawling, you know? I mean, I'm scared."

The owners of the facility responded to us when asked about the clients getting kicked out of their residences. 

In a statement, they said, "No tenants were told they needed to leave their apartments. Tenants whose contracts are up, that do not want to renew, will be leaving. We are no longer offering group services and have referred clients that want or need those to other companies."

The out-patient clients can still renew their leases, however, with treatment ending at the facility, the in-patient clients will need to find another facility. 

Thompson says he's unsure what's next for him, saying it's difficult to find a place with his background.

"Compassion goes a long way. And when you set someone up with sobriety and this level of love and care, and then you just leave them destitute and hopeless, it's not right," Thompson said.

Article Topic Follows: Pocatello

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8.


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