The Journey Recovery Center, 3600 U.S. 277 North, will be a 20,000-square-foot facility with a detox center and residential treatment program.
“Unfortunately in San Angelo, we’ve lost too many people to the disease of addiction,” said Eric Sanchez, CEO of the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Council for the Concho Valley, which will run the new facility. Referring to the facility as filling the gap, Sanchez said ADACCV will now be able to offer residents a complete treatment plan, including detox, residential treatment, and aftercare.
While there is a private treatment facility that has a detox center in town, it can be costly for those who do not have insurance, often forcing people to detox at home or find transportation to facilities in Odessa or Abilene, Sanchez said. Aside from the issue of finding transportation, those facilities often have wait lists for their community, further delaying treatment for those in the Concho Valley.
“Addiction, the physiological and psychological, is so tough, so strong, to expect them to quit cold turkey is very difficult,” Sanchez said, explaining that people need to go through the process in a controlled environment.
Additionally, Sanchez said, when clients leave town the staff at ADACCV “don’t know if they are staying with treatment or if we are losing them to the disease.” He said people often have a false sense of security after detox and don’t always seek further treatment.
“With our own detox program, we will be able to walk them down the hallway to a treatment bed,” he said.
The Journey Recovery Center will have 72 total beds: 12 beds for detox, which usually ranges from three days to one week; 30 male beds in the residential treatment wing; and 18 female beds with 12 beds reserved for children whose mothers are participating in the residential treatment program.
ADACCV has two other residential treatment facilities: William’s House – with 16 male beds – and Sara’s House – with 16 total beds, providing up to four for women’s children.
The additional beds at the Journey Recovery Center could shorten the waitlist in the area. Generally, there are five to 10 people for both houses waiting for treatment for two weeks to a month, Sanchez said.
ADACCV provides interim services while people are on the list, connecting them with a staff member and encouraging them to participate in the council’s outpatient treatment program.
There is, however, “always the risk and probability that they’ll return to the drug use and all the consequences that come with addiction” while on the waitlist, Sanchez said.
Those consequences can include criminal activity, neglect and/or abuse to children, and overdose, he said.
“With immediate openings, we eliminate those factors,” he said, adding that treatment “saves lives and it improves the quality of life, not just for the person suffering from substance abuse disorder, but the entire community.”
ADACCV started raising money for the $5 million facility in 2015. Donations have came from a variety of individuals, foundations, and the council’s three annual fundraisers.
There have been some hiccups along the way, with the original location plan not working out and the cost of material and labor increasing once the project finally started in December 2017. ADACCV is now working to raise money to cover those additional costs, as well as for a $1 million endowment fund, to secure the future of the program, Sanchez said.
The plan is to finish construction by the end of 2018 and be open to serve clients by this time next year, he said.