LANSING, N.Y. (WENY) -- Many people gathered in Tompkins County to see the newly completed Open Access Detox & Stabilization Center Wednesday afternoon. County Officials had the chance to tour the new facilities following Wednesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"It's not just a treatment agency doing treatment, it's a community providing resources." Angela Sullivan, Executive Director of Tompkins County’s Alcohol & Drug Council, said.

Once open to the public, the Open Access Detox Center will begin to fill a critical gap in addiction treatment in the region. Sullivan feels this project is more than just a treatment facility, but a community resource for those battling addiction.

"It's our job then to find them services they need and help make that connection to an actual (person), instead of just handing them a business card," Sullivan said adding, "That's the piece, for me, that is the most transformative of what we have."

The roughly 19,000-square-foot facility will house up to 40 patients, and offer counseling, medication-assisted treatment, and other rehabilitative services. Trained staff will work with each person to choose the level of care that best meets their needs. 

"We really need an option for people to come, spend some time, and have a chance at recovery," said Dr. John-Paul Mead, M.D., Medical Director of Tompkins County's Alcohol & Drug Council said, adding, "'I'm overjoyed this is finally opening."

The Center aims to offer a safe, accessible, and stigma-free environment for people with substance use disorders to seek help whenever they are ready. Community leaders hope this center will encourage more people battling addiction to get the help they need closer to home.

"I think what that will do for people is they will see (they're) getting treated like any other person who has a healthcare need, and the people here care enough to build a place that reflects that," Harmony Ayers-Friedlander, Deputy Commissioner of Tompkins Co. Mental Health Services, said.

As the facilities prepare to open up to the public in the coming weeks, the Detox Center is still working to hire more RNs, in addition to other employees.

People can learn more about the Detox Center's services and the jobs they are looking to fill online.