Detox/Rehab Center to Open in 2012
Lehigh County to start construction in January on $4.4 million facility in Salisbury Township.
Lehigh County residents with drug and alcohol problems will no longer have to leave the county for rehab starting in late 2012 if a proposal to build a detox and rehab center in Salisbury Township goes according to plan.
The county hopes to break ground on the 31-bed, 15,510 square- foot facility next to the county work release prison on Riverside Drive in January and have it completed by the fall. The $4,428,000 price tag will be paid by state funds the county accrued from the Health Choices Reinvestment fund. No county property tax revenue will be used to pay for it, County Commissioner Percy Dougherty said at Wednesday’s commissioners meeting.
Tom Muller, county director of administration, said county officials and health care professionals have been talking about the need for such a facility here for years. The hard part was finding a site that wouldn’t bring objections from the neighbors.
“It doesn’t seem to have ever been a disagreement over ‘is there a need?’ Muller said. “The issue has been ‘Is it going to be in my backyard?’”
At the Riverside Drive site, the next-door neighbors are work release prisoners and fish in the Lehigh River.
Salisbury Township Commissioners approved the plans in February. At the time, the county Drug and Alcohol Administrator Darbe George said that of the facility’s 31 beds, 21 would be used for rehab and 10 for detox. Residents would spend three to five days at the detox center and 14 to 28 days in the rehab section, she said.
A representative of the White Deer Run Treatment Centers, which will run the facility for the county, assured Salisbury commissioners that the center wouldn’t use methadone or opiates in the treatment.