The Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority recently announced its plan to open a Level IV Rural Substance Abuse Transitional Agency in Page.
The area has been without a facility of this nature since cuts in federal funding and Medicaid forced the previous facility shut down.
NARBHA will be working with Encompass Health Services as well as representatives from the Navajo Nation to have the facility open this summer.
Mayor Bill Diak said that the facility will be under the supervision of county and state agencies and that the city itself has not had any requests to be directly involved in the opening or operation of the program, but he added it will be a welcome addition that he supports fully.
Diak said that he feels the previous facility was shut down arbitrarily without much attention being paid to how crucial the services provided were to the community.
“With the next closest facility being 135 miles away in Flagstaff, it is important that we have a way here, to help those who need it,” Diak said.
Diak explained that often times individuals will be dropped off or hitchhike into town, become intoxicated and then have no way to return home, leaving them “stuck” in the community with no ride, sleeping in the parks or surrounding culverts exposed to the elements.
“And the elements can be harsh here, people haven frozen to death,” Diak explained.
Diak also said that with the closing of the detox center, the burden of handling serial inebriates has fallen on the local emergency room, which is something he hopes to see change with the opening of the new facility.
According to a press release from NARBHA, a 24/7crisis services protocol has been developed for first responders and Page Banner Hospital to enable the inclusion of the resources of the program for on-site care as well as during emergency room encounters.
“Our hope is that we can take this to the next level and get some rehabilitation included in the program, with the ultimate goal being putting an end to the revolving door,” Diak said, “We know we won’t convert them all but if we can even get 1 or 2 to change that’s good.”
“The key is to educate our youth, so they do not become a repeat of the problem down the road, help them to avoid becoming serial inebriates,” Diak added.
The facility will be located at 32 N. 10th Ave. Suite 5 and will be staffed with by Master’s level or board certified therapists. They are currently seeking qualified Emergency Medical Technicians in the area.
Share on Facebook