LANSING, N.Y.—Soon, Tompkins County will see a long awaited detox center open its doors to aid people struggling with substance abuse and addiction.
“It has been a long hard labor of love to make sure that we have this service locally because one of the main barriers for people seeking treatment is how far they have to go to get it,” said Angela Sullivan, Executive Director of the Alcohol and Drug Council of Tompkins County.
The facility will be operated 24/7 by the Alcohol and Drug Council and will serve the nine counties surrounding Cayuga Lake. It has been a goal in the organization’s strategic plans since 2016, and long been emphasized as a needed service within the region’s healthcare and human services continuum.
Members of the media were invited to the center as it readies to open its doors. Sullivan said that the Alcohol and Drug Council will be partnering with 44 organizations including the Advocacy Center of Tompkins County, and Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services. The center, Sullivan said, will be able to directly take in patients after visits to the emergency room, and work with local law enforcement to redirect individuals struggling with addiction to the center.
“If you need ICU level care you’re going to go to the hospital, and if you need rehab you can go to another one of our partners, CARS […] But we don’t have the detox piece until now,” said John-Paul Mead, the Alcohol and Drug Council’s Medical Director.
The detox center, located on North Triphammer Road in the Village of Lansing, will offer drug counseling as well as medical medical treatment to its residents. The facility has 40 beds split into double and single bunk bedrooms. People may be able to receive a prescription for suboxone, or simply a treatment for a skin condition while they are aided in managing the effects of addiction.
Tompkins County Whole Health Commissioner Frank Kruppa said, “That first step when you’re going through withdrawals is extremely difficult, so having a facility that can support you both through that substance use journey, but also addressing the medical needs that come along with that to help ease that path as much as we can to recovery is really important in the process.”
The brand new facility features a cafeteria, lounges and common rooms designed to be bright, airy, and comfortable. There are plans for a community garden as well, said Sullivan.
The detox center won’t have security guards, although there will be cameras. Patients must choose to be there, and the choice to not have security guards was informed by that, Sullivan said.
“We really want people to want to be here, and the more you take control away from people the less likely they are to come,” Sullivan said. “And so we are coming from a place of healing and trust and openness, and if policies or our procedures need to change, we’ll change.”
Sullivan said, “The solution to the substance use epidemic that we’re going through now is connections and relationships and knowing that people are not in it alone.”