Springdale-based nonprofit Arisa Health has finalized a deal to purchase the Wilbur D. Mills Treatment Center in Searcy. Arisa Health announced the acquisition Wednesday (Oct. 7). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 46,486-square-foot treatment center, which includes a residential facility, outpatient clinic and a small apartment complex, was constructed in 1992 as a federally funded project for providing service to individuals with substance use disorders, according to a news release. As a result of the ownership change, the facility is now called Arisa Health Recovery at Mills.
Approximately 25 employees will staff the Searcy facility, in partnership with Arisa Health’s Delta Recovery Center in Forrest City. They are made up of prescribers, mental health professionals, drug and alcohol counselors, counselors-in-training, dorm assistants and certified peer support specialists.
Arisa Health officials say Arkansas has experienced a significant loss in the area of residential recovery services due to the closure of several facilities, resulting in the loss of approximately 176 treatment beds. The absence of care options is a critical need. In 2017, more than 70,200 people in the U.S. died from drug overdose, according to the news release. This is an age-adjusted rate of 21.7 deaths per 100,000 persons. The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths increased significantly in Arkansas from 2013 (11.1 per 100,000) to 2017 (15.5 per 100,000).
According to the Arkansas Department of Health 2010-2016 Report, two of the state’s top five counties for reported drug overdose death rates are in Arisa Health’s service area.
Arisa Health formed last year with the merger of four Arkansas-based behavioral health providers.