A healthcare provider has teamed with multiple organizations to develop a new residential substance abuse treatment center in Calverton, New York.
The treatment center is being developed by Engel Burman Group and will be operated by Northwell Health. The facility, dubbed the Wellbridge Residential Substance-Abuse Research and Treatment Campus, will feature state-of-the-art inpatient services as well as serve as an academic hub for addiction treatment research.
Permits were obtained in March from the New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services for the residential center to include 80 beds for patients — 20 beds will be designated for patients undergoing drug detoxification, 40 for people staying up to a month in treatment and 20 for those receiving aftercare services.
The $90 million project was recently approved by the Riverhead Town Board to begin construction in the Calverton hamlet. Wellbridge will consists of six buildings across its 40-acre campus, designed by Burton Behrendt Smith Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers.
In addition to administrative and consultation offices, the main facility will house drug detox services, research laboratories and a primary care area. An auditorium, non-denominational chapel and a dining room will also be incorporated.
A short-term care building will feature bedrooms and a residential lounge area for patients who have been at the facility at least a month.
Patients will go to a wellness center on the Wellbridge campus to have their progress monitored by clinical staff to determine how physical activity has benefited addiction recovery. A weight room, yoga studio and other exercise-related offerings will be located in this building.
To complement a holistic approach to substance abuse treatment, the campus will also contain an art barn, where patients can participate in art and music therapy sessions as well as attend live performances.
As part of its services, Wellbridge representatives are developing a 24/7 digital platform that patients can access addiction recovery resources and confer with counselors and recovery coaches.
Wellbridge will also include a maintenance building and a security booth.
According to Northwell Health’s director of addiction services, the center is a much needed commodity to address the scope of the state’s opioid crisis. He added that onsite medical staff will track their patients’ long-term addiction recovery process to develop more effective substance abuse treatment methods.
According to a new report by the New York State Department of Health, there were more than 1,800 opioid-related overdoses during 2017 in the state, with the exception of New York City. Suffolk County, where Calverton and Riverhead are located, saw an increase in opioid fatalities between 2016 and 2017, particularly those involving opioid pain relievers. The county recorded 378 opioid-related fatalities in 2017. Heroin was present in 131 of those cases, while opioid pain relievers were listed in 342 cases.
Although data is not yet available regarding outpatient emergency department services and hospitalizations for opioid overdoses in 2017, there were more than 1,800 opioid-related emergency room visits and nearly 340 related hospitalizations in 2016.
The substance abuse treatment center is expected to be completed in late 2019 or early 2020. Northwell Health and Engel Burman Group also plan to lease additional facilities in Suffolk, Nassau and other New York counties to develop outpatient programs.