I am in recovery. I have a lot of people I work with to help someone get into treatment when they reach out for help. Addiction is killing many and anyone in this field understands this. Often, when trying to find a facility for someone, time is a sensitive matter – sometimes, a matter of life and death.
Recently, my wife and I were trying to help a girl find treatment. We are both adamant on researching before we contact a facility. Blindly sending someone to a place we know nothing about can end up being detrimental to a person’s care.
Due to being contacted on short notice and need by a girl local to us, we had been in touch with Malvern Institute in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, a 24-Hour addiction treatment facility. We had originally set up a time of 6:00 pm. to arrive and check-in. However, we had found ourselves running late due to the girl’s mental and physical preparation of being in a 30-day treatment facility. This is also a common issue with people in active addiction.
Throughout this time delay, we remained in constant contact with personnel at the Malvern Institute in case being late disqualified her from treatment. The response we were given was that it was fine. They accepted walk-ins and were a 24-hour facility. They were also made aware of our one and half hour drive ahead of us. The personnel insisted that there was a bed available and would remain available upon our arrival at 9:00 pm. We were told to bring her in regardless of the time and in arranging a new time for in-take.
Upon our arrival, we were told in-person that the girl we had brought in would not be accepted due to it now being too late. Even though the Clinical Supervisor was in the building, there was no one now available to do an in-take and there was nothing that Malvern Institute could do at this point to help her.
We had to turn around and go back home. While we were glad this girl was with us and not alone, we were not given the help for this girl that we were repeatedly told she would receive. The Clinical Supervisor failed to do what was required. This is just one of the many problems with the broken addiction treatment system in Pennsylvania. Those needing help are turned away. Promises of helping someone turn tragic when it is later revoked by denying admission. 24-hour facilities are turning people away, regardless of stating they will be accepted upon arrival.
In a time when hope is a necessity, facilities like Malvern Institute are repeatedly turning away those coming to them. This is unacceptable and leaves many feeling tossed aside with no resolve but to stay active in their addictions. Where hope can be offered, it should also be available.
For those struggling, keep reaching out. We share this story so that many know to thoroughly check a facility before arriving. Even with our diligence, we remained without the help this girl was guaranteed upon arriving. We will never contact Malvern Institute again.
We will continue our efforts in helping anyone that reaches out to us. In spite of her being turned away, we were able to find a place to take her in. We did not leave her alone in her time of need. However, she has since chosen to leave against medical advice. Her whereabouts are unknown. As this happens to many, we hope anyone being turned away knows there are people like us willing to help. There are people like us who will not leave you stranded. We did the best we could, even in a short amount of time, and we hope she will reach out when she is ready.
by Melvin Keil