County detox center evolving - Albuquerque Journal

County detox center evolving

Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal

The county’s longtime detox center is undergoing a multimillion-dollar evolution.

A major renovation at the Bernalillo County CARE campus – formerly known as the Metropolitan Assessment and Treatment Services center, or MATS – is underway, and a newly appropriated $4 million will create an outpatient behavioral health clinic and “living room” space for peer-to-peer counseling sessions.

The move marks further progress to expand beyond the facility’s longtime exclusive focus on treating substance abuse. The center, until now, has provided a spectrum of services for clients wrestling with addiction: a 23-hour observation service for those sobering up, a social model detoxification program and on-site living quarters for those who want support after getting clean. In the past few months, a partnership with University of New Mexico Hospital has raised the level of medical care available to detox clients, and officials say the collaboration will continue to yield other changes. Notably, the campus will begin providing suboxone treatment for opioid users, a medication-assisted treatment service not previously offered on-site.

“Turquoise Lodge Hospital was our medical provider prior to UNMH, and it was not something they were interested in pursuing. Now that we have UNMH as a partner, they’re excited to offer this,” said Margarita Chavez-Sanchez, the county’s behavioral health services director. She said the service is expected to begin “in the coming months.”

The campus’s planned outpatient behavioral health clinic – which UNM will also staff – will ultimately provide suboxone clients a place for continued treatment maintenance, although it will also serve patients with a range of mental health issues.

Chavez-Sanchez said that there is ongoing need for more outpatient services both among detoxification clients but also among the larger community, and that the county is looking to fill that need with the CARE campus.

“We really are doing our best to convert to a larger behavioral health service provider, so we can serve clients who have never touched a substance, but have a primary mental health need,” Chavez-Sanchez said. “It’s really going to become a ‘no wrong door’ location where people can come and get help, whether it’s substance or mental health needs first.”

The project is among several behavioral health expenditures the County Commission approved last week. The county will use $4 million from its behavioral health tax revenue to cover the new outpatient clinic and living room space. It should take about 18 months.

There are another $6 million in renovations elsewhere on the campus already happening, and Chavez-Sanchez said deferred revenue from grants will cover the rest.

“I think this is a great move for the county,” County Commission Chairwoman Maggie Hart Stebbins said before the approval last week. “I know that there’s been conversations for a long time about providing a larger range of services out of MATS, particularly medically based services.”

Since 2015, the county has collected a special, voter-approved tax meant for behavioral health services. The tax has generated $91.6 million. The county has spent $20 million of the money but has earmarked the bulk of what it amassed for one-time expenditures, such as $30 million for a new crisis triage center on UNM property, $12 million for supportive housing and this CARE campus update.

The county has also developed a series of programs that it plans to fund on a recurring basis that will eventually cost an estimated $19 million per year.

Home » Business » Health & Safety » County detox center evolving


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Favorable weather aids crews in firefight
ABQnews Seeker
Carl Schwope said the past 24 ... Carl Schwope said the past 24 hours had been “a tale of two fires.” The incident commander on Saturday said fire crews on the ...
2
NM ranks first again for fatal pedestrian crashes
ABQnews Seeker
for the sixth year in a ... for the sixth year in a row. The Governors Highway Safety Association ranked New Mexico as having the highest rate per capita of pedestrian ...
3
Buffalo shooting victim laid to rest; city marks 1 ...
ABQnews Seeker
Roberta Drury, a 32-year-old woman who ... Roberta Drury, a 32-year-old woman who was the youngest of the 10 Black people killed at a Buffalo supermarket, was remembered at her funeral ...
4
US, SKorea open to expanded military drills to deter ...
ABQnews Seeker
U.S. President Joe Biden and South ... U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said after meeting Saturday that they will consider expanded joint military exercises to ...
5
Former Ohio prisons chief top contender to run US ...
ABQnews Seeker
The former director of the Ohio ... The former director of the Ohio state prison system has emerged as a leading contender to run the crisis-plagued federal Bureau of Prisons, three ...
6
New Mexico-based 'quantum dot' maker growing by leaps and ...
ABQnews Seeker
Microscopic, New Mexico-made 'quantum dots' could ... Microscopic, New Mexico-made 'quantum dots' could soon be powering up commercial buildings, boosting greenhouse production and, eventually, even feeding astronauts on the moon. Los ...
7
Being a good CPA means being there in crisis
ABQnews Seeker
I grew up on the East ... I grew up on the East Coast. When I moved to Tucson for graduate school, and later to Albuquerque, I was shocked by the ...
8
How Bimbo lost its trademark case
ABQnews Seeker
Forty-some years ago, Leland Sycamore developed ... Forty-some years ago, Leland Sycamore developed a recipe for making at commercial scale something that resembled homemade bread. To avoid the mass-produced look, the ...
9
Green chile brand hosting nationwide recipe contest
ABQnews Seeker
505Southwestern is celebrating 25 years in ... 505Southwestern is celebrating 25 years in business by hosting a nationwide recipe contest and making donations to its scholarship fund, according to a news ...