A champ goes down swinging – 

Dec. 22, 2020 – An important player in the drug and alcohol addiction treatment network for more than 60 years is closing at the end of the month, a victim of a combination of the pandemic and dwindling insurance reimbursements. Beacon House is a nonprofit in-patient alcohol and drug treatment facility in Pacific Grove that was founded in 1959

Dec. 22, 2020 – A spokesperson for Gateway confirmed the closing Tuesday and said it was a one-two punch of COVID-19 and health insurance companies not adequately covering in-patient treatment. Many people who would otherwise seek treatment are fearful of entering any type of medical setting because of the virus. She said the census at Beacon House had fallen to two or three patients at any one time.

“This is a major loss for our community,” said Lisa Naylor, a nurse and director of Behavioral Health Services at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.

Community Hospital’s Recovery Center provides an intensive outpatient program specializing in alcohol and chemical dependency addictions. The pandemic is one driver contributing to increased drinking or drug use, including stress, anxiety and depression, health professionals say.

Dr. Lee Goldman, whose specialties include addiction medicine at the Recovery Center, said he is a proponent of local treatment. Sobriety may begin in treatment but continues once people are home, he said.

“Local treatment helps people establish or continue their recovery plans and the support they need to remain clean and sober,” Goldman said. “People who have to leave the community, return without local support especially now with the pandemic which leaves them ripe for relapse.”

Ann Bispo, a mental health clinical nurse in Behavioral Health Services at Community Hospital, has seen increased numbers of patients struggling with substance use problems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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