Hunter New England Health could consider converting the old Banksia Mental Health Unit building into a drug and alcohol service.
In the meantime, patients who need treatment for substance addiction may need to check into a 12-bed unit in Newcastle, a spokesperson said.
Fresh from their successful campaign to win the upgrade, a local pressure group has called for the old building to house a new rehabilitation centre.
Asked if they would consider the proposal, Hunter New England Health (HNEH) said they would decide what to do with the old building once they are closer to completing the new mental health unit.
HNEH Executive Director Susan Heyman said the service "will assess the service needs on the Tamworth health service site and make a decision about the old building".
The Banksia upgrade, which will only start after what is anticipated to be a long community co-design process, does not yet have a deadline.
Local medical service providers, among other community groups including elements of the criminal justice system, have long advocated for additional drug and alcohol rehabilitation options in the region.
Asked if the New England North West region needs a residential drug withdrawal service, the HNEH spokesperson said people could access care in Newcastle.
"People with very high medical needs may be treated at our 12-bed withdrawal unit at Belmont Hospital, or access the NGO-run residential withdrawal services available in Armidale," Ms Heyman said.
"Community-based care is often more appropriate for clients than receiving treatment in a short stay inpatient setting."
Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service CEO Robert Berwick told the Leader on Tuesday there is a dire need for a residential drug withdrawal service in Tamworth. Locals are often sent to Sydney or even interstate to get into an overnight service due to local shortages, he said.
Di Wyatt, from Tamworth Mental Health Carers' Support Group, said they will campaign for a new drug and alcohol service.
The new Banksia facility will contain 33 beds, eight more than the current one. The community group says the new medical institution will be a kinder, gentler place for people to get mental health treatment.