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Life Treatment Centers shut its detox doors, no options in St. Joseph County

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The detox center at Life Treatment Centers shut its doors on May 21. The South Bend facility is now only offering its other transitional housing programs. 

"It wasn't something that we wanted to do, but it's something we had to do. If we had more supporters that would support our detox unit, we would have probably kept our doors open for detox," says Chrystal Villela, the Director of Support Services at Life Treatment Centers. 

She says, money matters. 

The facility transformed the small space into extra beds for residential program.

"Our detox was a social setting detox. We didn't provide any medications to help with withrawl," explains Villela. "With the more opioid users we were getting, they weren't getting the help they truly needed."

And part of it was funding related. 

Medical detoxes are expensive, and the Life Treatment Centers just doesn't have the cash to provide that service to its clients. 

On Wednesday, the annual Taste of Michiana event brought light to the Centers' need for funds.  The community fundraiser is used to help the facility provide service to its clients.

While it does help with finances, the center is still struggling.

"I don't believe it's ever going to be enough. As long as there is someone out there who has an addiction, you're always going to have to give out more to help these men and women who have addiction problems," says Villela. 

So what does that mean for addicts who want to get clean?

"We refer our opioid users to Michiana Behavior which is in Plymouth," says Villela. "And then anyone else may have to seek services at the hospitals."

The more than 30 minute drive to that facility, may be too much for those seeking assistance.

"It's not a great option. If they don't have something local, they're more than likely not going to get the help they need if they have to get out of town," says Jennifer Sabin.

Sabin is the founder of Daughters of Naomi Embraced, a local support group for women who are dealing with addiction.

She says, it's troubling there's no other services in St. Joseph County, that don't require insurance or hefty payments.

"It's unfortunate there's nothing in our county that can help those who need to detox," explains Sabin. "And many are dying because of it."

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