A 13-bed detoxification unit will debut today at DACCO, a drug treatment facility on Columbus Drive.
It will be the first time the Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office has offered a detox service.
"It's the one complement in services we didn't have," said Mary Lynn Ulrey, the agency's director. "We were thrilled to be able to offer this."
An open house at DACCO will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today with a ceremony at noon. The treatment facility is at 4424 E. Columbus Drive.
DACCO funded the detox unit with about $700,000 in federal and state tax credits.
The local agency was founded in 1973 to help local governments set up drug abuse programs. Two years later, the agency started drug treatment services in Hillsborough, including locations in Brandon and Plant City.
Nearly four years ago DACCO built a new headquarters and campus on Columbus. The site has more than 70 beds for on-site treatment of women, medical and psychiatric clinics, out-patient counseling for men and women, and Head Start learning programs. There is a playground and two duplexes where women can receive treatment and live with their children.
The agency also has drug prevention and wellness programs, assessment and referrals for HIV treatment and a methadone clinic.
Patients in the new detox unit typically will stay from three to 10 days. Afterward counselors will help them enroll in treatment programs at DACCO or elsewhere.
Ulrey said patients initially referred for detox will need health insurance or be able to pay for the service. Medicaid is an option only for patients who are admitted to hospitals, Ulrey said.
"I wish we had indigent funding," she said, but Medicaid is expected to become an option for more people when federal health care reform is fully implemented in 2014.
For information, call DACCO at (813) 259-7652.