Administrators at Northwell Health and the real estate firm Engel Burman accelerated the launch of their Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research Center in Calverton because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they announced on May 18, as the facility opened its doors.
According to the announcement, the pandemic "has greatly increased the need for addiction treatment and support for those currently struggling with anxiety and isolation, which are known triggers for relapse."
The 96-acre campus has about 134,000 square feet of space across six buildings, including 80 patient rooms, a detoxification center, primary care center, multiple research laboratories, a 200-seat auditorium, and spaces for wellness programs and creative arts.
In 2018, about 21.2 million Americans needed some level of treatment for addiction and more than 67,000 people died of overdoses, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The facility ultimately opened a few weeks ahead of its original midsummer timeline. It is implementing robust measures to guard against Covid-19.
"With more Americans looking for ways to cope with the mental and emotional stress of the pandemic, there is an increased urgency to provide more access to better treatment," said Andrew Drazan, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Wellbridge.
This article has been updated to correct the accelerated opening of the Wellbridge Center.