AUGUSTA, Ga (WJBF)- Last year, more than 100,000 people died of a drug overdose in the United States. An Augusta health center is trying to stop that number from rising.

Serenity Behavioral Health is building a new facility to help more people battling addiction and issues with mental health. It’s something that’s really needed in this area because right now Serenity is the only place that offers this type of help.

“We’ll be one of the first of its kind as far as this type of facility goes. So, we are your safety network provider. We will not turn you away due to your inability to pay. We do connect with state contracts to provide comprehensive mental health, substance use disorder, and intellectual and developmental disability disorder services,” said Stephen Martell, the Chief Clinical Officer at Serenity Behavioral Health.

Right now, Serenity offers detox of alcohol and drugs, as well as inpatient mental health services. Its Crisis Stabilization Unit currently only has 16 beds.

A new $12 million center is in the works that will help them double that number. It’ll also offer more patient services.

“Which will bring 24 CSU beds, crisis stabilization beds. And then 16- 23 hour observation beds, along with what we call, kinda of like a living room model. So, it’s kind of like an outpatient area where people can come connect with some resources, learn a little bit more,” explained Martell.

The new building will be constructed on the current campus on Mike Padgett Highway. It’s expected to open in 2025.

Photojournalist: Will Baker.