BINGHAMTON, NY (WSKG) — Helio Health’s Binghamton Evaluation Center announced plans to expand its services to more long-term, residential care on Thursday.
The expansion will add 50 new beds and improved facilities for residents and staff at the center, housed at the former Binghamton Developmental Center.
New York State will fund the $13 million expansion. Officials said plans for the expansion pre-date the pandemic, but its need has heightened.
According to the American Medical Association, more than 40 states have reported increases in opioid-related fatalities. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said this uptick in substance use and overdoses requires long-term solutions.
“Particularly now as people are just dealing with this, the crushing weight of this pandemic, I think we’re going to see more and more cases of this,” Hochul said. “So we need to be ready, and this project is going to be an important tool that we have to address this crisis.”
People are experiencing trauma. That’s an indicator of future substance use.
“They’re experiencing loss of family members, they’re experiencing loss of health, they’re experiencing loss of life, loss of business. They’re experiencing losses. Those are all traumas for people,” said Jeremy Klemanski, CEO of Helio Health.
The facility currently has 50 beds for detox and stabilization. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) said adding residential rehabilitation services will round out the “continuum of care” needed to treat substance use disorders.
“When you came in with supervised withdrawal and stabilization, that was fantastic,” Lupardo said. “This was the last piece.”
Construction on the facility has yet to begin. Klemanski said its timeline has been complicated by the pandemic, but he is hopeful it will finish in 2022.