TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Thousands of lives were lost in Ohio last year to the opiate epidemic. But there is hope withe more beds opening in Lucas County to help addicts get clean.
"It means hope for people who want to enter treatment and they need this level of care. It's just part of a very long continuum of care, but it's a jumping-off place. It's much needed in our community," said Ashley Kopaniasz, Director of Integrated Alcohol and Drug Treatment Services with Unison.
A new Unison Health detox center on Cherry Street in north Toledo has 16 beds. Patients will live here for a week to ten days to get off drugs and start the journey to staying clean.
Unison says what is unique about this facility is its full clinical staff.
"Not only are we going to be aiding people in their journey in recovery and coming off substances, we're going to be, right from the beginning, instituting the concept that this is just a part of your journey. The treatment starts here and it's going to be long term and how to engage in the next level," Kopaniasz said.
The Lucas County Sheriff's office DART unit started about two-and-a-half years ago, not arresting addicts but bringing them to detox centers.
Sheriff John Tharp says at that time, there were only 16 beds in the county. With this new facility, he says there's about 85.
"People who are overdosing and dying, they need not to go to jail," Sheriff Tharp explained. "They need to go to detox. They need to get help. They need to get clean."
Unison expects to care for between 400 and 500 patients at the new facility a year.
The center expects to start taking patients next week. Insurance is accepted, but those who can't pay, can get help from the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Lucas County.
If you or someone you know needs help with addition, visit their website or call Unison's intake number 419-936-7525.