Odyssey House is Utah’s biggest addiction treatment provider. On Thursday officials unveiled a new inpatient facility to help people struggling with opioid addiction, roughly doubling treatment capacity.
A crowd of Odyssey House staff, local politicians and reporters gathered inside the long, single-story brick building in Millcreek. Holding a pair of cartoonishly large scissors, Odyssey House CEO Adam Cohen led the ribbon cutting.
The facility opening marks a major expansion for Odyssey House, which provides mental health and addiction treatment programs. The new building adds 83 treatment beds thanks, in part, to Salt Lake City’s effort to address homelessness under Operation Rio Grande.
Cohen says Utah’s limited Medicaid expansion, which was approved in November, will allow them to pay for it.
"The Medicaid expansion allowed for a substantial increase in our treatment capacity. That was the ability to add all this capacity all at once," Cohen says.
The building, which used to be a different residential treatment facility, cost $1.6 million. Programs target anyone with substance-use disorder, but the new funding is allowing Odyssey House to serve some of the lowest income people struggling with addiction.
Republican state Representative Jim Dunnigan led the effort to tap the Medicaid money.
"Now that we have the treatment dollars coming, the providers feel comfortable that they have a long-term funding source to put the money into remodeling or to building treatment facilities," Dunnigan says.
People will start moving in January 18.