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THINK BIG: With increasing community needs, Aurora Mental Health Center says the time to build is now

By Max Levy | The Sentinel

For years, Aurora Mental Health Center has been fighting a battle of supply and demand. While services offered through the center’s detox facility on Potomac Street for people battling drug and alcohol addiction are in demand, CEO Kelly Phillips-Henry said the center has struggled to find space for needed growth.

The need for substance abuse treatment services has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, with the CEO referring to a “national crisis of substance use and abuse.”

In October, the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that the pandemic was driving rates of drug and alcohol use across the country. The administration referenced a survey given in late 2020 which indicated that an estimated 25.9 million Americans who drank alcohol in the past year and 10.9 million people who had taken other drugs during that time were using those substances more than they did before the pandemic.

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