The Merrimack Valley is getting an inpatient drug detox center for the first time in almost two years.
Northeast Behavioral Health was selected by the state to operate the inpatient drug and alcohol detoxification facility on the grounds of Tewksbury State Hospital.
It is expected to open within three to six months.
Advocates for the facility celebrated the news Wednesday, calling it an important step in helping area addicts and alcoholics who relied on the center before it closed in December 2010 over financial issues.
The decision meant about 160 patients per month, most addicted to heroin, had to switch to outpatient care or enroll in inpatient facilities in Boston, Danvers or Worcester.
Democratic state Rep. Jim Miceli tells The Sun of Lowell the detox center will save lives.
This program aired on August 23, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.