LANSING, N.Y. — The Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County has secured funds to open a 40-bed detox program alongside their open access treatment center on North Triphammer Road in Lansing. The New York State Department of Health has awarded $6,961,000 to the project, and additional funds have been promised by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, the agency announced Thursday.

The Alcohol & Drug Council opened its open access center at 2353 N. Triphammer Rd. in February and has been providing walk-in services from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on weekends. Their goal all along, though, has been to provide 24/7 services and to launch a medically supervised withdrawal and stabilization program. With the influx of funding, Emily Parker, director of development, said she expects 40 beds and 24/7 treatment to be available by late-2020.

“With full funding awarded, we plan to develop all 40 beds at once, which is the most efficient and cost effective approach,” Parker said. “Once the detox program opens, Open Access will be open 24/7 – a very accessible, stigma-free front door to addiction treatment.”

Related: Alcohol & Drug Council is opening a treatment and referral facility in Lansing, plans 40 beds in future

The program will be the first in the county to provide 24/7 access to addiction treatment and detox facilities, and according to medical director John-Paul Mead, will support people in all stages of substance use, abuse, withdrawal and recovery.

“The day is very close when we can provide a full spectrum of services to patients suffering from addiction in Tompkins and surrounding counties, and provide a viable alternative to emergency room visits, hospital stays, and even jail time for many patients,” Mead said.

Martha Robertson, chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, likewise said the facility will provide an alternative to incarceration. “We have heard from our local judges that without this kind of facility, they often have to send people to jail to keep them safe,” she said in a statement.

But while the detox facility may offer an alternative to hospital and jail stays, Parker emphasized that people do not need a referral from a doctor or a judge to access treatment at the Alcohol & Drug Council.

“No referrals are necessary!” she said by e-mail. “Anybody who wants help will be able to access our services 24/7 –  information, treatment or referrals. Our services will be very individualized and person-centered, to offer each person the level of care they want and need.”

The center will work with partner agencies and peer advocates to connect people to medical, mental health, advocacy, legal, housing, employment and social services, in addition to on-site treatment for substance use disorders.

In a statement announcing awards to a total of 25 projects through the Statewide Health Care Facility Transformation Program, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his administration is “doubling down on our commitment to ensuring New Yorkers have access to the high-quality and affordable care they need.”

“These investments will continue to build a modern, sustainable and fully integrated health care infrastructure centered on improving the well-being of all New Yorkers,” Cuomo said.

Those who have been working to bring addiction treatment resources to Tompkins County for years welcomed the support from Albany.

“Our community has long needed this level of care, and we have been working very hard to bring these vital healthcare services to our area,” said Angela Sullivan, executive director of the Alcohol & Drug Council. “We’re deeply grateful to our state and county government leaders and the many human service partners who have helped us to reach this point.”

Featured image: The Alcohol & Drug Council’s open access facility. (Provided photo)

Devon Magliozzi

Devon Magliozzi is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at dmagliozzi@ithacavoice.com or 607-391-0328.