Monday, February 18, 2013
Detox Center Set to Reopen at Tewksbury Hospital
By Christopher Scott, email@example.com
Updated: 02/18/2013 07:13:59 AM EST
State Rep. Thomas Golden and other members of the region's Statehouse delegation, who have continually pushed the state Department of Public Health to reopen the facility, are excited it's finally reopening.
The state, according to Golden, increased the center's capacity from 24 to 32 inpatients while increasing the daily reimbursement rate to about $286 from $221 -- two factors that made operating the facility very appealing for Lahey Health Behavioral Services, the entity that will manage the center for three years and $9 million. Lahey was formerly known as Northeast Behavioral Health.
The company is a private, nonprofit, human-service agency that provides mental-health, addiction-treatment, and community-education and prevention services to residents of Greater Boston, the
Advocates for the facility are celebrating the news, calling it an important step in helping area addicts and alcoholics who relied on the center before it closed.
"Drug and alcohol addiction are scourges on society, and I really hand it to Tom in staying on this," said state Rep. Kevin Murphy, a Lowell Democrat, referring to Golden.
Golden shrugged off the accolades, but Lahey's president and CEO, Kevin Norton, said Golden is deserving of the credit. As state resources get tighter, advocacy for the funds that are available is key, Norton said.
"There's no question Rep. Golden had an impact," Norton said.
Rep. Jim Miceli, a Wilmington Democrat, told The Sun several months ago that the detox center will save lives.
"I get calls constantly from people trying to get someone into a detox center, to give that person another chance to go through a process where they can become sober and lead a normal and meaningful life," Miceli said.
The facility, at the time run by the
About 50 employees, including 16 full-timers, lost their jobs at the facility.
The new center will employ about 48 and will be overseen by former Lowell General Hospital Dr. Shorta Yuasa, who will serve as medical director.
The inpatient program lasts about a week and is followed by three more steps: placements in a residential treatment program, an outpatient treatment regimen and, lastly, in a sober house.
Besides the state Department of Public Health, the center also needs licenses from the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Agency. The only license that remains outstanding is the DEA's, but Lahey's vice president of addiction treatment services, Gary Gastman, said it should be coming soon.
Gastman, who is based in
Lahey had scheduled an open house at the facility for this Friday, followed by its official opening three days later. However, those dates have been pushed back, Gastman explained, because the $250,000 renovation project will take longer to complete due unforeseen flooring issues.