The ribbon was cut Wednesday on a new 25-bed drug addiction recovery and treatment center in Niagara County that will serve not only to help patients beat drug addiction but also provide education and other programs to help those people return to the public as productive individuals.
Horizon Health Services hosted a formal grand opening of what is known as Delta Village, a 25-bed facility in Sanborn that expands the organization's existing campus there. The new center will serve recovering addicts ages 18 through 28.
In addition to recovery services, clients may receive educational and vocational training.
"They can earn their GED if they don't have that," said Horizon Health Services President and CEO Anne Constantino. "Plus we have a huge gym and workout facility and wellness coach. This helps somebody just plant their feet and figure out what they're going to do in their life."
What Delta Village and other recovery programs seek to provide, Constantino explained, was more time.
"Short stays in a hospital or in a rehab, from a couple days to a few weeks, just don't do the trick," Constantino said. "The expectations that we have, that people can just suddenly change their entire life, it takes a lot of work."
Special guests includes three elected officials. State Senators Tim Kennedy and Robert Ortt, and Assemblyman John Ceretto. Also present was Arlene González-Sánchez, Commissioner of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.
The commissioner said it's unfortunate that Albany needs to invest in drug treatment centers but added that it's time the public had a better understanding of addiction as a disease.
"If an individual has a bypass surgery, and they go back and they have a second bypass and a third bypass, we don't scrutinize that individual," González-Sánchez said. "But if an individual who is addicted slips and falls one or two times, we do scrutinize. There's something wrong with that."
González-Sánchez was in Buffalo last month announcing $2.75 million in funding for other drug treatment and recovery projects, including 25 additional beds Horizon Health Services will operate in the future.