New addiction recovery center offers 24/7 access to treatment

Cherri Gregg
July 11, 2018 - 8:22 pm
Access Point is a round-the-clock facility that allows families to bring their loved ones in for treatment the minute they say they're ready. A ribbon-cutting ceremony opened the facility.

Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The City of Philadelphia partnered to open a new 24/7 recovery center that will provide individuals battling addiction immediate access to treatment. 

Located at Fourth and Spring Garden streets, Access Point is a round-the-clock facility that allows families to bring their loved ones in for treatment the minute they say they're ready.

"This is their first step on the journey to recovery," said Regan Kelly, CEO of NorthEast Treatment (NET) Centers. The nonprofit has a staff of nurses, behavior health providers and peer support staff, who assess drug users, stabilize them, give a first dose of medication-assisted treatment, and enroll and transport individuals to a recovery center within 23 hours or less. There are also doctors who make rounds.

"The city has hundreds and hundreds of treatment slots that are available that don't get utilized," Kelly said. 

The city is currently at 74 percent capacity of more than 12,000 medication-assisted treatment slots, which means they can help 3,000 additional drug users.  

In the past, roadblocks in the system like the need for IDs or bad timing meant individuals would have to wait to get treatment. The city has since waived the ID requirement, and the 24-hour facility allows individuals to receive access even in the middle of the night.

Access Point has a unit equipped to service 15 people each day, no IDs needed.

"When individuals are ready, that window of opportunity can be very narrow," said David T. Jones, commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services. "This means mothers, fathers or caregivers can get in the car and bring their loved one in as soon as they say they want treatment — no excuses."

Sheila Ford, NET's community outreach coordinator, and her team helped bring in at least 40 individuals from the Kensington tunnel encampment, taking individuals from homeless addiction to recovery. She said immediate access to services is key.

"The problem no longer emanates in the air," she said. "We have a solution: capture people when they are ready and at their most vulnerable."