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Big changes for chemical dependency services in Yankton

YANKTON (AP) -- Chemical dependency programs in Yankton are changing, with a reduction in youth services and an expansion of adult services. The South Dakota Department of Social Services is shutting down its youth chemical dependency program in ...

 YANKTON (AP) - Chemical dependency programs in Yankton are changing, with a reduction in youth services and an expansion of adult services.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services is shutting down its youth chemical dependency program in the city, citing a decline in referrals. The adolescent inpatient program at the Human Services Center will close June 8. The program's 15 employees are being laid off.

State Social Services Secretary Lynne Valenti said community-based programs have enough capacity to handle demand.

"As with all the services provided throughout the department, we strive to serve individuals in the least restrictive setting," Valenti said in a statement.

The youth program has 20 beds, and the average daily population has dropped from 14 in fiscal 2014 to four for the current fiscal year. The program currently isn't serving any youth.

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The Department of Social Services also has announced an expansion of adult treatment services. Lewis and Clark Behavioral Health in Yankton will partner with Avera Sacred Heart Hospital to provide inpatient chemical dependency and detox services.

The inpatient unit will be in the Benedictine Center on the hospital campus in Yankton. The program will serve people from across the state.

"We expect a start date in the early fall," Lewis and Clark Behavioral Health Director Tom Stanage told the Yankton Daily Press and Dakotan newspaper.

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