The Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County will be holding a tour and discussion of the Open Access Center that was opened back in February from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8.

The Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County will be holding a tour and discussion of the Open Access Center that was opened back in February from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8. 


The Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County will be holding a tour and discussion of the new Open Access Center in the Village of Lansing from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8.

Emily Parker, Director of Development at the Alcohol & Drug Council, said this event was created for the purpose of answering any questions community members may have about the new facility. 

“We recognize that there are a lot of questions, understandably, when a new business moves into a community,” Parker said. “We thought it would be a nice idea to invite folks and the neighbors of the Open Access Center.”

Parker said there will be a PowerPoint presentation shown at the beginning of the event that will outline the healthcare services that will be offered at the center. Following the presentation will be a question and answer where those in attendance will have the opportunity to share their questions, comments and/or concerns regarding the facility, and the members of the Alcohol & Drug Council will either answer or address those questions, comments or concerns.

“Our mission, our services are around treating substance abuse disorders,” Parker said. “It’s a topic that can make people uncomfortable, that people can’t always understand. When we say, ‘Open Access Center,’ what does that mean? Understandably, the neighbors have questions about how busy an office is this going to be. What our hours are going to be. What are services look like. What they can anticipate.”

“We’ve had people reach out saying they’re very supportive and they wonder how they can help. We have people who have concerns and questions. So this just gives us an opportunity to come together and talk about some of those things to paint a picture.”

After the discussion, tours of only the Open Access Center will be available to those in attendance since it is the only part of the building that is currently operating. Parker said there will be conversations and information given about the medically supervised withdrawal detox and stabilization portions of the building.

Parker said it is important for the Alcohol & Drug Council to hold an open dialogue with the community about the center because the issue of substance abuse is of top priority.

“I think the biggest reason is that addiction and substance abuse is an issue that’s seen all over our community,” she said. “Every walk of life. … The Alcohol and Drug Council is trying to step up and fill a gap. There have been emergency services at the hospital and there’s long-term rehab services through organizations like Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services. But there hasn’t been a place where eventually people can go 24 hours a day for help with addiction. They can have medically supervised withdrawal detox services and stabilization.”

“Most people we talk to are very excited that there will be a place for people to go around the clock,” Parker added. “But it’s a very new model, it’s a very new kind of service to the community. So there are a lot of questions about how that looks and what happens and what can be anticipated. So I think the best conversations, the best communication happens when people sit down face-to-face and have a chance to gather information, get the overview, and then ask whatever questions they may have. We’ll always be happy to follow up with people if they have more questions or for anybody who’s not available on the eighth to meet. We can schedule a tour and conversation another time. It really matters to us in every way to be good neighbors in the community we operate in, and sitting down with the Lansing community is part of being a good neighbor.”


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(1) comment

Elisabeth Hegarty

I don't mind the idea of a facility such as this. It is probably greatly needed. However, my first question is security, both for the facility itself and for the businesses and homes in the neighborhood. It seems to me the real need for this type of this facility is not here in Lansing village, it's downtown in the inner city of Ithaca, where the greatest number of substance abusers are located, where people who need around the clock care could get it right away. Bus service to the Target area ends late evening. What happens to the people who visit before bus service ends and then are discharged after bus service ends for the day? What happens if someone is discharged in the middle of the night? How do they get back to their housing source if there is no public transportation? What if they don't have housing? Are they left to hang around Lansing Village all night? Will this facility have a shelter of sorts where patients can stay until the following morning? Are we going to have people panhandling all over North Triphammer Road as a result of their access to this facility? What about the local businesses - McDonald's, which has a staff of mostly very young people? Will they be threatened by some of these people? What about the Mall? What about the large vet hospital that has 24/7 hours - are they going to have to lock their doors so their staff and doctors can work safely? I don't believe I am a overly cautious person - just being realistic - this is the population with which we will be dealing and not every patient will be the paragon of stability - it will have some seriously mentally ill people visiting . Suggestion - offer FREE transportation home and keep regular business hours. If around the clock care is needed, set up an annex downtown for late-night treatment.