July 13, 2024
Annapolis, US 89 F

Arundel Lodge merges with First Step Recovery Center

Leigh Ragan, Co-founder of First Step Recovery and April Butler, Counselor
Leigh Ragan, Co-founder of First Step Recovery and April Butler, Counselor

According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), about 45% of Americans seeking substance use disorder treatment have been diagnosed as having a co-occurring mental and substance use disorder. Conversely, people diagnosed with a mental health disorder are more likely to experience a problem with substance use. As a result, Arundel Lodge, which provides mental health treatment, has worked closely over the years with First Step Recovery Center which provides substance use treatment.

Recently, Arundel Lodge and First Step Recovery Center took their partnership to the next level and formalized plans for a merger, a move which aligns with the federal government’s plans for mental and behavioral health integration. Final details are being worked out.

“I am excited about the merger. I have wanted integration of care for my clients for several years. When Mike [Drummond] approached me with the idea of merging, it did not take me long to say yes. This merger will be good for our clients and positive for our community. The individuals we serve will be able to access care in one place. They will no longer have to figure out how they will have to catch a bus or ask for a ride to get to treatment for their mental health and substance use.” says Leigh Ragan, co-founder of First Step Recovery Center, Inc.

First Step Recovery Center, Inc. was started in 1999 by Leigh Ragan and Mary Helen Gibson as an outpatient substance use program. Leigh and Mary Helen opened the program with the idea that they would never have to turn anyone away from seeking treatment or help, and they never have. First Step Recovery Center offers a wide range of services including Intensive Outpatient Substance Use groups, Outpatient Substance Use groups, DWI Education classes, Drug Diversion groups, family services, individual services and case management. They have worked with a number of agencies in Anne Arundel County including Department of Probation and Parole, Department of Social Services, Anne Arundel County Crisis Response, Anne Arundel County Department of Health, District Court Drug Court, Circuit Court Drug Court, Family Law, local physicians, inpatient treatment programs, recovery supported housing, and transitional housing.

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