State grant sought to help kickstart Glenwood Springs detox facility
A new regional alcohol and drug detoxification facility, now being rebranded as a “withdrawal management program,” could be a step closer to reality if Garfield County successfully taps into newly available state funding.
The county’s Department Human Services, at the direction of county commissioners Tuesday, will apply for a roughly $500,000 grant from the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health to cover building remodel and startup costs for the new program.
The facility would be located at Mind Springs Health’s recently acquired building at 2802 S. Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs. A portion of the building, which houses Mind Springs’ mental health and addiction counseling and treatment services, has been set aside for a future detox facility.
Garfield County last had a detox facility in 2010, operated by Mind Springs’ predecessor, and for a short time a makeshift facility within the Garfield County Jail.
Essentially, those facilities provided a place for those who were extremely drunk or high to sober up or come down, and little more.
Discussions have been ongoing for several years between county, municipal, law enforcement and hospital officials, as well as mental health providers, about establishing a new regional facility.
A lack of a good location and little community consensus around programming has stalled those efforts, Mind Springs Executive Director Sharon Raggio said during the Tuesday commissioners meeting.
With the focus now on a more fully integrated withdrawal management program, aimed at getting people who suffer from addiction the help they need, new funding sources have opened up, she said.
Locally, in addition to the county and the city of Glenwood Springs, Valley View and Grand River hospitals see the benefit of diverting people away from the hospital, Raggio said.
While patients may first end up in the emergency department, they could be evaluated and given initial treatment, but then be transported to the Mind Springs facility, she explained.
Mind Springs would take it from there to get people through the initial crisis, and more importantly to try to get them into treatment programs and on the road to recovery.
Commissioner John Martin, a former Glenwood Springs law enforcement officer who remembers well the previous detox facility, said he likes the follow-up aspect.
Still, it comes down to people being willing to help themselves, he said.
“You can get people lots of help, but you need to be willing to manage it yourself,” Martin said, adding he likes the term “withdrawal management.”
That could also help in creating broader community buy-in to the program, he said.
Mind Springs Chief Financial Officer Doug Pattison presented a draft pro forma for the facility that estimated its annual operating cost at about $1 million to $1.2 million. Another $150,000-$168,000 per year would be needed to support the agency’s new Mobile Recovery Team, which was launched earlier this year, he said.
To cover that, about $707,000 in Medicaid reimbursements could be anticipated in the first year of operation, Pattison said. Additional operational funding could also come from the state Office of Behavioral Health and possibly state marijuana tax funds, he said.
County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky also suggested use of state opioid crisis funds that are about to become available as another source of operational funding.
“This is a real opportunity that we don’t want to pass up if we want a detox center,” Jankovsky said of the state Behavioral Health grants, which have an Oct. 1 deadline for application.
County DHS Director Sharen Longhurst-Pritt said the county could seek up to $1 million through the program for multiple projects. The grant application for now will focus on the estimated $400,000 to remodel the building space, plus another $75,000-$125,000 to cover start-up costs.
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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