ST. LOUIS – Assisted Recovery Centers of America (ARCA) has a new mobile addiction treatment clinic. The nearly 40-foot-long Freightliner was manufactured in Ohio and delivered to ARCA on Tuesday.
Funding for the unit came from the Missouri Department of Mental Health, and it is the first of its kind in the state.
“Just having a clinic and expecting that people are going to walk in, that’s not cutting it in 2023,” said Aaron Laxton, executive director of ARCA.
The mobile unit has enough space to address opioid overdose and provide real-time access to overdose medications and substance use treatment.
In 2022, St. Louis City and County reported more than 600 lives were lost to fentanyl-poisoned substance abuse.
“I’ve lost three family members to fentanyl,” Laxton said.
He said the mobile unit will be able to travel wherever it is needed. The unit has enough space for other agencies to help provide an umbrella of support. The mobile clinic is also wheelchair friendly.
“This truck is fully ADA compliant,” Laxton said. “An individual that has mobility issues will be able to come in here and be seen just like any other individual.”
Bryan Moore is the senior pastor of Jubilee Community Church on North Grand Boulevard. He said addiction has become normalized in his church’s north St. Louis neighborhood. Moore believes the mobile unit is a much-needed resource.
“Honestly, I think we need 10 more,” Moore said.
He’s leading an effort to create a wellness center to help residents facing substance abuse problems.
“The unfortunate reality is it’s insidious, and it’s making its way through every facet of our community,” Laxton said.
He said anyone requesting a visit from the mobile clinic can reach out to ARCA.