It’s a story I’ve heard too many times. A community discovers plans to open a drug rehab facility in their neighborhood, and concerned citizens do everything in their power to prevent the center from opening. They express concern about a drop in property values. They worry about increased crime and drug use on the streets. The battle cry is simple: yes to drug rehab … just not in our community.
Concerns about local rehab clinics are, for the most part, fueled by the incorrect assumption drug use is synonymous with crime. If property values drop, they drop because of this lie, not the presence of the rehab clinic.
As for the notion people will be shooting up on the streets, people come to rehab clinics to seek help for their problem, not to engage in drug use. It’s saddening and frustrating, but these beliefs are all too common in communities across the nation.
Your Neighborhood, Your Neighbors
Far from destroying a neighborhood, inpatient treatment facilities provide a much-needed service. The client of a rehab clinic isn’t a stranger. He’s your retired next-door neighbor. She’s your co-worker, your boss, your spouse.
Drug abuse affects people of all races, income levels, and social standing. The “criminals” are ordinary people dealing with a devastating disease.
People struggling with addiction often try to attain sobriety several times before considering rehab clinics. When people first realize they have a problem, they often try to quit alone, a strategy that almost never succeeds. They may seek help from private therapists, public support groups, or outpatient facilities.
While each of these options has its own strengths, nothing matches inpatient drug rehab programs. An inpatient clinic offers a safe place to detox with medical support and a chance to focus on therapy and recovery free from the pressures and stress of the outside world, which so often trigger drug use.
Unfortunately, when drug rehab clinics are not locally available, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, for people to access the help they need. For people struggling with addiction, even a trip across town can be a challenging proposition. They may have sold their car to finance their addiction and have limited access to transportation.
Offering inpatient facilities in local communities makes it possible for addicts to access the care and treatment they need. A drug rehab facility isn’t a blight on a community; its presence indicates the community cares for its own.
Photo: Adrian Clark