The Stephen R. Booher
Building features a quiet
garden setting to read.
The Broward Addiction Recovery Center (BARC) will observe its 40th anniversary on Friday, September 20, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium, 3700 N.W. 11 Place, Lauderhill. Activities, free and open to the public, include music, art, speakers and fun for all ages. County Commissioners will proclaim September 20 as “Broward Addiction Recovery Appreciation Day” at their September 10 meeting.
“Turning the big 4-0 is a real testament to County leadership who, throughout the years, has provided undeniable support to residents of the County who are afflicted with alcoholism and substance abuse,” said
Paul Faulk, director. “It’s fitting we highlight BARC services in September, which is recognized as National Recovery Awareness Month.”
Broward County recognized a community need for a detoxification and intake program even as Florida legislators were working to pass the Comprehensive Alcoholism Prevention and Treatment Act (Myers Act) in July 1973. The first drug program in Broward County, launched in 1973, served the minority community. From those humble beginnings, the program has expanded into five service areas, including detoxification services for alcohol and opiate dependent clients, a 30-day intensive residential treatment, perinatal addiction program for women who are either pregnant or have children under age 7, non-residential day treatment and outpatient services.
BARC Historical Highlights
- The County’s first drug program, “The October Center,” was launched in 1973 by Ruther Carter, the program’s first director. It later became “The Community Poverty Alcoholism Program,” which received national attention for its success in treating addiction.
- The Broward Alcoholism Receiving Center, the first “BARC,” opened on May 15, 1973, as a pilot program for intake, evaluation and medical detoxification.
BARC was transferred from the local Community Action Agency to Broward County Board of County Commissioners as part of its Commission on Alcoholism, which became accredited by the Joint Commission on September 25, 1975.
- In 1977, Broward County’s Commission on Alcoholism became the Alcoholism Services Division. It expanded to include outpatient care and drug abuse services, and was renamed the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services Division. The agency moved into a County-owned building in downtown Fort Lauderdale, a former church, to centralize services and administration in a single center. The facility was again renamed, and became the Broward Alcoholism Rehabilitation Center (BARC).
- The move enabled a further expansion of services, and in early 1978, an Intensive Residential Therapy Program opened with 20 beds.
- In 1987, Carter started the perinatal addiction program and a non-residential day treatment program. The division changed its name a final time, to become the Broward Addiction Recovery Center.
- A Drug Court Treatment Program was initiated in 1991.
- In October 1994, the Booher Residential Treatment Facility opened, honoring long-time treatment advocate Judge Stephen R. Booher. Today, the Booher facility houses BARC’s intensive residential treatment and perinatal addiction programs.
- After 23 years of dedicated service, BARC Director Ruther Carter retired in 1996.
- In October 2005, Hurricane Wilma destroyed the Edgar P. Mills Center, the facility that housed BARC’s outpatient programs.
- The Edgar P. Mills Multi-Purpose Center reopened in December 2011 as a state-of-the-art facility in Fort Lauderdale and reunited many aspects of BARC under one roof. Broward County’s Family Success Administration Division and the Florida Department of Health also conveniently share space there.
The demand for BARC services continues to grow and today, approximately, 4,500 clients each year seek services or information and assistance from BARC’s team of approximately 110 licensed and certified medical and counseling professionals.
“The BARC legacy continues as we move into the 21st century with new tools,” said Faulk. Improvements include a new electronic health record system and adoption of best practice models. A new facility, BARC Central, is in the planning and design stages. This facility will become the flagship for administration, admissions, detoxification services and non-residential day treatment.
“BARC has maintained its ‘Gold Seal’ Joint Commission Accreditation, and will continue to be a strong community partner, serving the residents of Broward County battling the disease of alcoholism and substance abuse. Ruther Carter would be proud,” Faulk said, “and so should we all.”
If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse, call 954-357-4880 or visit