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First SLO County detox facility nearing completion

The facility will be located on the campus of CAPSLO's 40 Prado Homeless Services Center

About 10 percent of all adults in SLO County are suffering from substance abuse disorders, according to Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo (CAPSLO). To help fight the county’s drug problem, the first and only detox facility in the area is close to opening.

Located next to CAPSLO’s 40 Prado Homeless Services Campus on Prado Road in San Luis Obispo,will be an 8 to 10 bed medically assisted withdrawal treatment center.

40 Prado Deputy Director Grace McIntosh said this center has been severely needed for decades.

"Prior to this coming," McIntosh said, "if someone wanted to detoxify from let's say alcohol, they would have to go to the emergency department.”

McIntosh said now, future clients will have the option to go through a medically assisted detoxification process for six to eight days, and then have the option to rehabilitate on-site for up to 90 days.

“This is not just going to be for people who are at 40Prado, this is for any San Luis Obispo county resident who is Medical eligible,” McIntosh said.

The project, first estimated at a million dollars, was held up in a financial shortfall after the pandemic struck — since costs for construction and materials ballooned.

“We had the funds that we thought were needed, and then COVID hit and we were pushed back months and months and months," McIntosh said. "So we had to go back to the community and say ‘hey, we really need to make this happen.'"

State grants, private donations and a $250,000 grant from Bank of America bridged the funding gap for the one-and-a-half million dollar project, and now the center is expected to be complete in August.

McIntosh said for those who think this center doesn’t affect them, think again.

“It’s kind of like the issue of homelessness, people think ‘ well that will never happen to me. until it does," McIntosh said. "When you think that this isn’t an issue for you, just remember these are people's sons and daughters, every single person belonged to someone at some point. These are not nameless, faceless people. These are people who desperately need our support.”

Once complete, the SLO County Behavioral Health Department will take over running the facility.

Angel Russell is a former KCBX News reporter who started her career in journalism as a reporter and producer for KREX on Colorado's Western Slope; she later moved to the Central Coast to work for KSBY as weekend anchor and weekday reporter. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, and playing guitar and piano.
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