AUSTIN (KXAN) — After nearly three decades of helping individuals detoxify, Austin Recovery has decided to end their drug and alcohol medical detox program.
After doing research and looking at how the agency wanted to serve its clients with the resources they have, the board of directors decided to shutter the 14-bed program.
“What they concluded was by looking at the costs associated with detox they were far in excess of the reimbursement rates that we were able to get,” said Joel Ferguson, the Chief Operating Officer of Austin Recovery.
The end of service date is targeted for July 18.
“Many people that go to detox aren’t really ready for long term recovery,” said Ferguson. “Our work is best for people who go through treatment and embrace long term sobriety.”
According to the agency, on average, most patients spend five days in the detox program.
When asked about whether or not the loss of 14 spots at the facility will be an issue for other providers, Ferguson said, “Providers in the area should be able to absorb the loss of our detox program. We are not a hospital, so we can’t provide all their needs.”
The Regional Medical Director for the Right Step – Hill Country, Carlos F. Tirado M.D. says their residential treatment facility in Wimberley is trying to help fill the void that will be left by Austin Recovery.
“Austin Recovery was more or less the only provider of detox services to county-funded residents. There are very few substance abuse treatment providers in the region that accept county-funded patients,” explained Tirado. “Our facility is currently doing its part by offering detox services to county residents who are supported by a local non-profit that has been affected by this recent change.”
If someone goes through Austin Recovery’s detox program within the next month, they will still be able to complete the program, despite the mid-July closing date. Some of the nursing staff and doctors will still be on-site after July 18.
Since 1987, the detox program has helped those trying to tackle addiction problems.
“Thousands of people have come through our programs and today are celebrating long periods of abstinence and recovery and whose lives have been changed as a result of participating,” said Ferguson.
Going forward, the non-profit wants to focus on expanding its residential and outpatient services. The agency is currently in the process of moving their residential services from the location in northeast Austin to Buda. Next week, the agency will officially open the Center for Recovering Families off MoPac and Far West Boulevard. The new center will focus on providing treatment for all individuals involved, not just the person with the addiction.