Catalyst building construction

A look inside the construction of the new buildings

The Richland County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board selected Catalyst Life Services to be the service provider for two new facilities this fall: a withdrawal management detox facility and a second New Beginnings residential alcohol and drug treatment facility.

The addition of a second New Beginnings treatment facility will allow gender-specific housing and separate buildings for men and women. The withdrawal management facility, or detox center, is the first of its kind for this community and for Catalyst.

“We believe a big barrier in this community addressing the opiate and drug epidemic is not having a detox center,” said Melissa Drozda, the Marketing & Development Director at Catalyst. “Individuals might have to travel as far as Columbus. That leaves a huge gap in the services in Richland and the surrounding counties.”

This lack of withdrawal management services in this area presents numerous problems. 

“If people even have the necessary transportation to go out of town to safely detox, many of the facilities are completely full,” said Elaine Surber, Associate Director of New Beginnings Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services at Catalyst. “The window of opportunity for someone suffering from addiction is so narrow. Having a facility available right here in Richland County when the people need it will save lives.”

The Rotary Club of Mansfield has made a $35,000 contribution to the fundraising efforts of this project.

“The club’s 100th anniversary will be February of 2020,” explained Melanie Riggleman, a board member of Catalyst and Rotary Club member. “We wanted to celebrate our centennial by making a large donation to a project for the betterment of the community.”

The Rotary Club invited members to nominate projects they are passionate about. In total, there were eight projects submitted. Presentations were made by the eight organizations, and Rotary Club members voted for the project they most wanted to support. Catalyst came out on top.

“The club members agreed this project is well worthwhile for the community,” said Riggleman. “Everybody knows somebody that’s been touched by this epidemic in some way. We all have to group together as a community and do what we can to try to stop it.”

Riggleman championed the proposal to the Rotary Club because she is passionate about the work Catalyst does.

“There are so many people affected by addiction; it’s not only the person with the disease,” she said. “It’s their families, their children...It breaks my heart to see what’s happening in our community. These people need help. The goal is to help people know that there is someplace safe to go, and that will be the withdrawal management center.”

What makes Catalyst unique is that they do not only offer addiction services for withdrawal management (detox), residential (inpatient), and outpatient services. In addition to a stabilization unit, they also offer mental health, crisis, and vocational services to help treat the individual and become successful at any point in their recovery journey.

Elaine Surber, Associate Director of New Beginnings Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services, explained the differences in some of these services, and new services that the withdrawal management detox center will offer.

“We currently help people safely withdraw in the crisis stabilization unit. However, if someone needs a more intensive level of care and supervision, we have to send them to a hospital.

With the new withdrawal management detox center, we will have a full staff of doctors, nurses, and therapists 24 hours a day to safely and effectively supervise someone who is going through the process of withdrawal right here onsite, which usually lasts 3-7 days.”

After this center opens, Catalyst’s goal is to reduce the number of people they send to a hospital setting because they will now be able to supervise the withdrawal process at any stage for any adult.

The center will have 16 beds. Catalyst expects to see people from self referrals and court referrals at first, and they hope to eventually have emergency departments and physicians refer individuals in need to the withdrawal management center as well.

Catalyst withdrawal management detox center room

A room in the withdrawal management detox center

“The goal is to reduce the use of emergency rooms, reduce the use of EMT and police force, and to keep people out of jail,” said Surber. “Incarceration is expensive, and it’s much more effective to provide people with treatment. People become more productive citizens when they recover. This is part of our holistic approach: by treating the individual, that in turn gives to the whole community.”

This is part of a circular process in the community. By opening a new residential facility and detox center, Catalyst hopes to help individuals who will, in turn, give back and help their community when they recover. This project will also help the community with the creation of 47 jobs in Richland County. 

“This epidemic has held back our community’s ability to grow,” said Drozda. “Having these buildings is an important step in that growth process. Addiction touches everyone, and when we heal individuals, we heal the whole community.”

The Catalyst team hopes to open the New Beginnings facility in September and the withdrawal management detox center in October. The buildings are almost completed, but they need furnishing and final touches before they are ready to be fully operational.

Catalyst kitchen

Kitchen construction

“Funding has been secured for the buildings’ construction. But buildings alone don’t make for a transformational experience and aren’t enough to open a facility”, said Drozda.

Cataylst construction

Construction of the new buildings

Before the facilities are ready to operate, Catalyst needs to raise an additional $200,000. This $200,000 will get the buildings up and running and will not go toward any salaries or administrative fees.

“Yes, we need money to complete this project and get these buildings operational. But, ultimately, the donations really go toward being able to provide services the community doesn’t have," said Drozda.

“The hope is that having a place for people to safely withdraw will prevent overdoses and deaths in our community,” said Surber. “People suffering from addiction will have somewhere safe to go. We can help them.”

To donate now, click this link: https://catalystlifeservices.org/donate/. If you have questions about the donation process or want to know more about the project, contact Drozda at drozda@catalystlifeservices.org or at 419-774-6710.  

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