The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2018

New beginning for former Starr campus

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

The former Starr Commonwealth campus on Lincoln Highway east of Van Wert is getting a new beginning with the establishment of a facility by U.S. Addiction Services to provide treatment for substance abuse.

Carrie Hammersley, lead case worker, and Dan Stemen, lead counselor, pose outside New Beginnings Recovery’s main building on the former Starr Commonwealth campus east of Van Wert. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

New Beginnings Recovery is a full-treatment center that provides medical detoxification, as well as residential, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient treatment.

The Van Wert center will join U.S. Addiction Services’ five treatment centers in Michigan and one in Indiana, with more than 1,000 beds, when it opens sometime later this year.

With use of opioids and other drugs, such as methamphetamines and cocaine, now at epidemic usage levels, and the addition of fentanyl and carfentanil to other drugs causing increasingly high numbers of overdoses, communities need to become more aware of the problem, and to actively look for solutions.

New Beginnings Recovery will provide one treatment option for those wanting to stop taking drugs, although it’s only for those with private insurance.

Substantial renovations have been made to the former Starr campus, which has been unused for several years, with former classrooms in the main building now functioning as group counseling rooms. One of the five cottages on the Starr campus, which used to house troubled youths under Starr, will be a detox center that will include a sauna and hot tubs to help addicts purify their bodies of the drugs they have taken. The other four cottages will house addicts in various stages of recovery.

The detox process is the first thing addicts go through at New Beginnings, because getting alcohol and drugs out of a person’s body and then building their bodies back up and also dealing with the cravings and physical side effects that come with substance abuse treatment is the first step to getting clean.

Talin Schotters, New Beginnings’ business development person and herself a recovering addict who got clean 18 years ago, said patients will be housed in the five cottages built by Starr, with 20 patients to a cottage, along with a nurse and withdrawal specialist. Male and female patients will be housed in separate cottages.

The 30-90-day treatment plan includes nutritional and physical therapy, medical treatment by licensed physicians and addictionologists, and counseling, as well as significant after-care involvement as well.

The program is open-ended, with most people staying approximately 45 days, although not all of that time will likely be covered by insurance, Schotters said, adding that insurance coverage for substance abuse treatment varies from company to company.

New Beginnings Recovery does not take Medicare or Medicaid, only private insurance. However, like U.S. Addiction Services’ other centers, the local facility works with clients to extend their treatment as much as possible and maximize their coverage.

Schotters said parents wanting to get their children free of drugs need to learn what is needed to get that accomplished.

“Parents are so uneducated,” she said, with many thinking their kids should be in a program for six months, whether that is what is actually needed or not.

New Beginnings strives to get clients in as soon as possible after they decide they want to get clean, so it promotes same-day admission for those who decide to get treatment. After the intake process, the facility’s staff then builds an individualized treatment plan for each client.

“Each client is different, so we truly believe that each client that comes through our program needs an individualized track built around that client in order to have the most successful program possible,” Schotters said.

After treatment, each client is urged to continue with aftercare programs such as Celebrate Recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous, to remain clean.

Dan Stemen, lead counselor for New Beginnings, said the facility should be open sometime this summer, as work continues on rehabbing the former Starr facility, which includes work in the cottages, changing the swimming pool to a salt water pool, and getting equipment installed and functioning.

For more information on the facility, call Stemen at 419.910.9229 or email him at For more information on U.S. Addiction Services, access the company’s website at

POSTED: 06/11/18 at 8:29 am. FILED UNDER: News