Addiction treatment and research facility at EPCAL officially opens earlier than expected

More than eight years in the making, the Wellbridge Addiction Treatment and Research Center at the Enterprise Park at Calverton is now open.

The facility opened Monday at an earlier date than originally planned due to concern the coronavirus pandemic has had on “millions of Americans who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction and for whom stress is a primary cause for relapse,” according to Wellbridge.

“With more Americans looking for ways to cope with the mental and emotional stress of the pandemic, there is an increased urgency to provide more access to better treatment,” said Andrew Drazan, Wellbridge co-founder and CEO.

“In recognizing this, we decided to open Wellbridge now,” he added. “We are implementing a rigorous COVID-19 protection program, created and sanctioned by our partner, Northwell Health.”

A Wellbridge spokesperson said the facility was originally set to open in mid-summer.

Mr. Drazan said at the October 2018 groundbreaking for the facility that his own mother died of drug and alcohol abuse at the age of 35, when he was just 9.

“I am a first-hand witness of the destruction and devastation of addiction and substance abuse disorder,” he said.

Wellbridge is a joint effort between Mr. Drazan, Northwell Health, the largest health care system in New York, and real estate firm Engel Burman, which owns the 96-acre property at EPCAL.

It will provide both treatment for substance abuse disorders, and research as well, according to Wellbridge.

“The best way to address the substance use crisis is to bring treatment and research together while also fostering collaboration,” said Northwell President and CEO Michael Dowling. “Partnering with Wellbridge, we believe our investment and community engagement can curtail this epidemic.”

A new study from the Robert Graham Center and Well Being Trust predicts that the pandemic may lead to an additional 75,000 “deaths of despair” due to drug, alcohol and suicide, according to Wellbridge.

The Wellbridge campus includes 80 residential rooms, as well as custom-designed wellness and creative arts centers, the company said. In addition to supporting the treatment and recovery of patients, a 200-seat auditorium, creative arts center, and music center will also be utilized for programming that supports the community at large.

Wellbridge is currently accepting patients for treatment and can be toured by private appointment. For more information or to set up a visit, call 877-935-5274 or visit