(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) cut the ribbon on the District’s first Stabilization Center. Located at 35 K Street NE, the new 6,400 square-foot healthcare facility will provide immediate resources for individuals experiencing substance use disorder, along with individualized supports such as peer counseling and resources to sustain long-term recovery. Beginning October 31, the Stabilization Center will provide emergency crisis intervention care, typically lasting 24-72 hours, and services will be provided to those who are18 years and older, free of charge with no insurance or residency requirements necessary.
“We know that when individuals can get the right care at the right time, they are more likely to feel supported, get help, and pursue recovery,” said Mayor Bowser. “Our new stabilization center is a place where people can get specialty care, empathetic care, and connections to long-term resources that can change the trajectory of their lives. This center is good for the patients who come here, it is good for our health care system, and it is another tool in our toolbox for getting people the care and support they need.”
The Stabilization Center offers patients a safe and comfortable space to undergo stabilization, with recliners, beds, and secure lockers to safely store personal items. Upon arrival, patients will receive a comprehensive medical and psycho-social evaluation, as well as an individualized treatment plan. The center also offers patients with approved buprenorphine medication on the spot, which, when combined with counseling, is effective in treating opioid use disorders and can help individuals sustain long-term recovery.
Patients will also receive on-site multidisciplinary support from a team of nurse practitioners, registered nurses, peer specialists, recovery coaches, and patient care technicians to help guide their stabilization process. Peer specialists, all of whom are trained in cultural competency, and many of whom have lived experience with addiction, will work one-on-one with patients to navigate their recovery and refer them to appropriate long-term treatment options. Patients will be closely monitored by medical professionals and staff throughout the course of the stabilization process, including medical screenings and observations. Community Bridges, a local non-profit organization, will support DBH staff at the center.
Before patients are discharged, they will be connected to ongoing substance use disorder treatment at one of 29 DBH-certified provider locations that are available in all eight wards. The staff at the center will also link patients to resources such as housing supports, help with filling out paperwork, reinstating insurance, and other ways to sustain their health after their discharge.
- DC’s new stabilization center will offer many benefits, including:
- Providing relief for hospital emergency rooms and emergency psychiatric centers
- Offering a cost-effective and time-effective alternative to ER visits for intoxication
- Connecting individuals to long-term care and other resources and programs that support recovery
- Getting individuals the “right care, right now” and preventing escalation to other harmful or dangerous behaviors
- Increasing the chances that the intoxicated individual will be open to receiving care
“The opening of the new DC Stabilization Center offers an alternate approach that encourages treatment and options for sustained recovery from substance and opioid use disorders,” said DBH Director Dr. Barbara Bazron. “Working with our partners, we have made it easier to access treatment with multiple entry points that include a variety of health care settings to meet the individual needs of DC community members experiencing challenges, or moments of crises, with substance use.”
Along with supports provided through the Stabilization Center, DBH continues to make access to treatment for substance use disorders available to any District resident. Anyone can text “Ready” to 888-811 and get a list of treatment sites that are open at that moment or to get pick-up locations for Naloxone or fentanyl test strips. Naloxone, which reverses overdoses, can also be mailed or delivered at no charge by texting “Ready.”
DBH’s comprehensive treatment services and supports to sustain long-term recovery also include:
- Access to medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder in six community hospitals, eight community clinics, three DBH-certified facilities, and the DC Jail.
- 24-hour Access Helpline at (888)-793-4357
- Treatment enrollment in the public behavioral health system seven days a week
- Withdrawal management in a safe, therapeutic environment to manage cravings
- Residential treatment as needed
- 988 support for people experiencing a substance use disorder crisis
- Free transportation to and from treatment.
- Housing and job supports
- Peer counselors who have been there and provide problem solving and emotional supports
- Enhanced coordination of behavioral health care with physical care as people facing addiction often have complex medical needs and recovery requires integrated treatment
To learn more about DC’s Stabilization Center call (202) 839-3500 or visit dbh.dc.gov.