At least 10 years ago several human service agencies began a discussion of how we would like mental health, substance abuse and crisis services to be provided. We wanted people to be warmly welcomed, have a no wrong door policy, divert from jail and emergency departments, and realize improvement in their life situation.
That early discussion has taken many turns and has included jail alternatives, cold weather shelter, detoxification and crisis stabilization. The discussion has been influenced by the development of mental health regions and access center legislation, and a commitment to providing care to all citizens from elected officials and human service agencies.
It is exciting that the early vision is coming together in the form of the Johnson County Access Center…..which is still searching for an official name. Stay tuned for that announcement.
Prelude’s role in the new center will be provision of detoxification and sobering services. Our detoxification service will allow family, emergency departments, law enforcement and patients themselves direct access to a safe, medically monitored service that ensures appropriate medical care is provided for detoxification from alcohol, opiates and other drugs. The average length of stay will be 3-5 days depending on the medical needs of the individual and will include an evaluation of substance abuse treatment needs and connection with natural support systems. Services will be overseen by a physician and will include nursing staff on site 24 hours a day.
The sobering unit will function as a safe environment for someone intoxicated who does not want to pursue additional treatment beyond a safe withdrawal. We anticipate these individuals will be with us 4-6 hours and will likely not be entirely detoxified when they leave the facility. This service is a harm reduction strategy shown in other locations to provide safety for intoxicated individuals and a chance for engaging in additional services whenever possible.
The detoxification service will be provided under Prelude’s substance abuse treatment license and will be billable to third party payers whenever possible.
It is very rewarding to see the efforts of so many partners come together in this center. We are eagerly awaiting its opening next fall.