Proposed Detox Center Has Neighbors in Disagreement - NECN
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Proposed Detox Center Has Neighbors in Disagreement

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Some residents of Wilmington, Massachusetts, are divided about a proposed detox center in their neighborhood.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 25, 2017)

    While some people might only see a vacant lot with overgrown weeds, Mary Giroux of Wilmington, Massachusetts, sees a weapon in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

    "If they tell you they want help, you've got to get them right in," said Giroux. "And that's where this problem needs to get better, and how that's going to get better is more beds, and 48 beds is 48 more chances to live another day."

    The beds she's talking about would be at a proposed detox center in Wilmington.

    But M.J. Byrnes isn't so thrilled. The site sits just behind her home, and she's worried about safety, property values and noise.

    "It's a 24-hour-a-day, it's ambulances coming in at all hours of the night, it's a medical emergency personnel coming in at all hours of the night," said a worried Byrnes.

    People on both sides of the issue weighed in at a town meeting Monday night, where those behind the proposal say it's critical to fight an epidemic they say is only getting worse, and say the impact on the neighborhood would be minimal.

    "It's not a come-and-go facility," said program founder David Ray. "It's actually going to have less traffic than a slow dental office."

    For Giroux, the facility comes too late. She lost her son, Joshua, to an opioid overdose four years ago, but she's still sounding the alarm.

    "Having the 'not in my backyard' mentality is not going to help this get any better, and I don't believe we can ignore this problem anymore," said Giroux.

    No decision is expected for months.

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