“Detox saved my life. It’s that simple”

We are seeking your support in making a drug and alcohol detoxification center available to all Taos County residents, not just those with private insurance or income sufficient to pay for the services. We hope you will join us in making the essential service available to all residents of Taos County. 

There are many reasons why a new detox center is necessary.

“We need a detox center open, so other lives can be saved.” 

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Support Rio Grande Detox & Recovery Center


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Rio Grande Detox and Recovery Center

c/o Rio Grande ATP, Inc.

PO Box 3724

Taos, NM 87571

*Please make checks payable to: Rio Grande ATP, Inc.

Questions? Please call Rio Grande ATP, Inc. at (575) 737-5533

“Detox saved my life. It’s that simple,” says one former client of the now closed Taos Detox Center. “We need a detox center open, so other lives can be saved.” Taos County has more than the pandemic crisis threatening our friends and neighbors. Right now, the options for a person seeking recovery from drug or alcohol abuse are Holy Cross Hospital or Taos County Detention Facility. Separating a person from the setting that contributed to the abuse can, in many cases, allow them to return to being a contributing member of the community by creating a safe and trauma informed environment where clients can manage their intoxication and withdrawal symptoms to prepare them for long-term recovery. There are many paths to recovery. Social detox is a part of a continuum of care, including medical detox (triage), residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), 12-step groups and in many cases occupational therapy. In addition, a detox center will provide 15 new jobs for support staff members. We need to start somewhere, and social detox is the best place to begin to address our drug and alcohol abuse epidemic.

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There are many reasons why a new detox center is necessary.

Rio Grande Detox & Recovery Center FAQ 

Background facts: The drug and alcohol detoxification center (detox) near Holy Cross Hospital closed in December 2015. The detox center was built twenty years prior with capital outlay funds from the legislature specifically for the purpose of helping people who wanted to get off these substances. It was a seven-day program, which gave people of every socio-economic bracket an opportunity to find sobriety in a controlled setting.  


Ever since the detox center closed, recovery options in Taos County have been limited. The options include, jail, hospitalization, going out of the county for treatment, twelve-step groups or outpatient treatment. 


The statistics are startling. They can’t be downplayed away. Here are some of the facts we are dealing with in Taos County*: 

  • #2-Opioid related emergency department visits 
  • #2-Adult drinking and driving 
  • #7-Alcohol-related death 
  • #6-Alcohol-related chronic disease 
  • #13-Drug overdose death 

*Ranking per 33 New Mexico counties  


Detox works for some people, because it takes them out of their usual environment and into a controlled setting where, upon admittance, either voluntarily or court ordered, they cannot leave without filling out paperwork and having someone pick them out. In the case of a court ordered admission, that someone would be a police officer to take them back to jail. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)      

Question: Is medical detox sufficient to allow a person to return to “normal” life? 

Answer: Holy Cross Hospital in some cases can get a person past the medical crisis point. They cannot keep someone after he or she is medically fit to leave the hospital. That is why a social detox setting is necessary to provide the person with the aftercare to give them a shot at becoming a sober member of the community again. A crisis triage center is a model we will be working toward, in addition to the social detox setting.   


Question: Does a detox center affect crime in the neighborhood where it opens? 

Answer: There is no evidence to support this claim. Anecdotally, law enforcement officials have said there was no change in the crime rate before the detox center near the hospital closed in 2015 and after. Detox patients are not allowed visitors and they are not allowed to leave the facility until they are released. 


Question: Will a detox center draw an unwelcome type of person to Taos? 

Answer: If social services attract the “wrong type” of people to Taos, then we should close the hospital and clinics and any other services that help people. These services help people who live in Taos, our friends and family members. Help is not based on someone’s ability to pay for the service. The same goes for detox.   


Question: Can drugs be passed to detox patients from their friends on the “outside”? 

Answer:  After a person is admitted to detox, they are not allowed visitors. They are kept in a very controlled environment with good food to eat and a place to sleep. Detox is not a vacation. Patients are given counseling and aftercare guidance. It is a matter of life or death. 


Question:  Can a detox center be located anywhere, including on secluded roads? 

Answer:  When a person is detoxing from alcohol or drugs, medical emergencies are much more likely. This is why detox centers need quick and easy access to a hospital. The additional time it takes to get medical assistance to a patient in a remote area can be life threatening.  


Question: Do we already have a detox facility operating in Taos? 

Answer: The closest detox center is Hoy Recovery near Espanola. Hoy prioritizes Rio Arriba County residents, so the wait time for admittance can be lengthy. That time can be the difference between successful recovery and fatal relapse. 


Question: Is addiction recovery a matter of willpower? 

Answer: Alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases according to the American Medical Association, as well as other psychiatric journals. At a certain point, continued use is not a choice. We as a community need to stop stigmatizing this disease and start realizing that treatment is possible, and recovery should not be limited to those who can afford it.  


Question: Does social detox always work? No. Does detox always work the first time? No.  

Answer: Can social detox be an effective part of a continuum of care that can help those who want to recover? Yes.  

Question: Is it sufficient to medically detox a person? Do we really need social detox? 

Answer: Simply medically getting a patient past the crisis stage is not sufficient to give them an opportunity to get the substance out of their system. In most cases, medical detox followed by social detox gives a person wanting recovery the best chance of success. 


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