- File photo
- Detox's tents have been in use for nearly six years.
El Paso County is handing off its detox program to contractor Crossroads' Turning Points, Inc., a nonprofit based in Pueblo. Former Sheriff Terry Maketa set up the detox program in 2009 after local mental health care provider AspenPointe "abruptly" shut down its detox operation, the county says in a news release.
After no one made a move to replace the program, and local emergency rooms began filling up with drunks and drug users, Maketa took on the project and built a $1.76 million facility next to the county jail to house about 40 people who just needed to sober up. In May 2015, detox was transferred to county administration from the Sheriff's Office, and about six months after that, the county's Department of Human Services took charge.
The program is funded by local hospitals and state money, totaling about $1.45 million annually. The detox program had been run as a social/medical program, with funding help from the county, but earlier this year it was changed to a social model, meaning no medical services were provided. Crossroads plans to provide medical treatment and will continue to use the structure built in 2009 next to the county jail for now, but plans to move next year. The Sheriff's Office will consider options for use of the structure after it's vacated.
El Paso County Commissioner Stan VanderWerf termed the contract "a great step forward for the community."