The Utah Volunteers of America announced the expansion of their detox center providing refuge to anyone seeking support through withdrawal of drugs and alcohol. Brandon Marchant, who has been clean for 13 years and one week, called the detox center a life saver. He can also thank his beloved pit bull “Conan” for helping him to decide to get clean.
The 38-year-old Marchant is almost embarrassed to admit that he decided to check into the VOA detox center because of his dog. But he knew if he weren’t clean he couldn’t keep his dog. Marchant (pictured) got clean, and he’s memorialized his pit bull with a tattoo of her on his left calf. While he got clean to save his dog, in the end, his dog may also have saved him in the process.
“I hated it and loved it at the same time,” Marchant says of the time he spent detoxing from a lengthy methamphetamine addiction. “But the people I met here changed the course of my life.”
Now, the detox center is expanding its center space to provide more service space to keep from having to turn clients away from the center’s short-term services. In fiscal year 2012, the center served 1,737 unique clients but also had to turn away more than 1,300 requests for service because of its limited capacity. The new expansion project will add 2,000 square feet to the facility and new beds for clients and offices for staff.
Jeff Taylor, a client who has been 18 months in recovery from alcoholism, also credits the center for getting him clean and referring him to services that helped save his life. Taylor was without a job and close to homelessness when he got intoxicated and was picked up the police. Instead of taking him to jail, they took him to the detox center.
He doesn’t remember much except waking up in the center. “I thought, ‘Wow this is a really nice jail,’” Taylor says. Though he could have left that day, he stayed for eight days and was referred to services and support to get him clean.
“They sent me to the Fourth Street Clinic, and without them I probably wouldn’t be here today,” Taylor says.
While community leaders lauded the center’s expansion, they also issued a challenge for donations. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has offered a $200,000 matching grant to help aid the center’s program services if that amount can be matched by donations.
For those looking to donate any amount, checks can be mailed to Volunteers of America Detox, 435 W. Bearcat Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84115 or donations can be made online at VOAUT.org