ROCKVILLE — When David Dise, director of the Montgomery County Department of General Services, walked through the Avery Road Treatment Center, his foot went through rotted-out floorboards.
“That’s a good indication that I thought it needed to be replaced,” Dise said of the aging addiction rehabilitation facility.
Now, after years of neglect, Montgomery County’s addiction rehabilitation center is finally getting the attention it needs, as local, state and federal officials broke ground on the new center Tuesday.
The new addiction rehabilitation center, which will replace the old Avery Road facility, is expected to open in early 2020 and will cost about $15 million to build. The new facility will be located in the same spot as the old one, 14703 Avery Road, and will be 37,682 square feet in size.
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said the project was badly needed, especially with the growing opioid epidemic afflicting the County and state.
“I am extremely pleased to be here today to mark the construction of this important facility,” said Leggett. “This community is not immune to the devastation caused by the nationwide opioid epidemic, and the services offered here at the Avery Road Treatment Center are a key component of our work in making treatment available to Montgomery County residents.”
When completed, in about 18 months according to County officials, the new facility will serve as a center for non-hospital detoxification and intermediate-care residential substance-use disorder treatment. The facility will have 64 beds and serve as a “one-stop shop” for addiction rehabilitation, providing a variety of recovery methods and treatment programs for patients.
For Leggett, the realization that the County had overlooked the Addiction Center in disrepair came from a public forum about the budget, in which a constituent thanked Leggett for funding a new animal services and adoption center, but noted how odd it was that Leggett had failed to find funding to update the County’s neglected drug-addiction rehabilitation center for people.
“That stunned me to think about that statement, because it was true. We completed it [animal services and adoption center] before we completed Avery Road,” he said.
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) was on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony, crediting Leggett’s leadership as County Executive for bringing the project to fruition.
For Hogan, the opioid crisis has been a priority, something he reminded the assembled audience of Tuesday. He said he was the first governor in the nation to declare a state of emergency over the opioid addiction crisis.
“For four years, we have been shining a spotlight and sounding the alarm on the heroin and opioid crisis, which is ruining lives and tearing apart families and devouring communities from one end of our country to another,” Hogan said.
According to the Maryland Department of Health, there have been 1185 opioid-related deaths and 1038 fentanyl-related deaths through the second quarter of 2018.
The facility is being funded through a P3 public-private partnership with the State of Maryland, Montgomery County and Potomac Healthcare Foundation Ltd., non-profit healthcare organization.