Gov. Beshear celebrates ARC’s new Bellefonte Recovery Center

Today, at a special ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Addiction Recovery Care (ARC) Bellefonte Hospital & Recovery Center in Ashland, Governor Andy Beshear joined elected officials, community leaders, and industry partners to highlight a recently released study showing Kentucky leading the way in establishing treatment options for individuals battling substance use disorder (SUD).

“With the help of organizations like ARC, we are working to build a safer, healthier commonwealth for all our people,” said Gov. Beshear. “The report by East Tennessee State University showing that Kentucky is leading the nation in residential drug and alcohol beds is great news and more proof that our hard work is paying off.”

Gov. Beshear was joined on stage by Kentucky Cabinet for Health & Family Services (CHFS) Secretary Eric Friedlander, State Representative Danny Bentley, East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Center for Rural Research director Michael Meit, Fahe CEO Jim King, The Walker Company president Art Walker, and ARC officials.

In 2022, ARC Healthcare announced its plans to revitalize the former Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Greenup County, which closed in 2020 after nearly 70 years of service to the community. The opening of the new state-of-the-art 40-bed comprehensive behavioral health center and inpatient psychiatric hospital makes ARC Kentucky’s most comprehensive addiction treatment provider.

In future phases, ARC Healthcare plans to open an approximately 300-bed SUD treatment facility on the main hospital campus, further expanding addiction treatment resources for citizens across the Northeast Kentucky region.

“Today is an exciting day, as we celebrate not only the opening of an important new facility to provide hope and healing but also the progress that we have achieved together in fighting the addiction epidemic,” said ARC founder and CEO Tim Robinson. “Our entire ARC team is extremely proud to be part of the strong momentum that Kentucky is building as a national model for how innovation, collaboration and determination can save lives and transform communities.”

The ETSU Center for Rural Research study — “Kentucky’s Capacity for Substance Use Disorder Treatment Exceeds Nation” — found that the commonwealth ranked #1 in the United States in residential treatment beds per capita, with 70.34 beds per 100,000 population. This figure was more than double the rate of the bordering Appalachian states of Ohio (31.23), West Virginia (30.08), Tennessee (29.61), and Virginia (10.27).

Just three years ago, drug overdose mortality in Kentucky ranked the fourth-highest in the nation. “However, unlike similar states in the region,” noted the report, “Kentucky has become a leader in creating strong Recovery Ecosystems, including enhanced capacity for substance use disorder treatment.” The study showed that this capacity has in turn yielded dramatic results — as 14 of the top 20 counties nationwide reporting the greatest reduction in overdose mortality were located in Eastern Kentucky.

“We have tracked declining overdose mortality rates in Eastern Kentucky for several years now,” said Meit, a co-author of the study. “What we have observed is an all-hands-on-deck approach, where policy makers, community stakeholders and provider organizations have come together to expand access to treatment, and build recovery supports. Our latest study provides further evidence of the good work happening in Kentucky.”

While last year’s Kentucky Overdose Fatality Report tragically recorded more than 2,100 deaths, there have been some glimmers of hope as a result of the commonwealth’s focused addiction treatment efforts. Last year saw the first decrease in drug overdose deaths since 2018, and recent research by Addiction Treatment Magazine ranked Kentucky ranking #4 nationwide for highest rated rehab facilities.

“It is gratifying to see the commonwealth leading the way in providing much needed resources to help individuals break the cycle of addiction,” said Sec. Friedlander. “Because of dedicated treatment providers like ARC working alongside our administration, we are changing the national discussion: from Kentucky as an epicenter of the drug crisis to Kentucky as a beacon of effective recovery care.”

A link to the full ETSU Center for Rural Health Research study is available here.
For more information about the wide array of evidence-based addiction treatment services ARC provides, please visit