Drug Rehab Facility vs. the Nay-Sayers

Protesting the new drug rehab facility in Fort Myers, Florida

In Fort Myers, Florida, plans are in motion to turn a million-dollar mansion into a drug rehab facility. This is welcomed as good news by health specialists as well as the families and friends of addicts alike. There’s only one problem with the plan: the neighborhood doesn’t want it.

Fort Myers Drug Rehab Facility Sparks Debate in Local Community

The people of Fort Myers are all mixed in their feelings about this proposed treatment center. Some are cautious, saying they want to know more about it. Others are dismissive of the whole idea. And still many residents say, “We like the idea of a drug rehab facility. We just don’t want it here.”

Why Wouldn’t Fort Myers Want a Drug Rehab?

Florida has had a complicated relationship with drug rehab centers. It’s known as the “Recovery Capital” of the US, but many people don’t like the idea of being associated with the grim disease of addiction. Why wouldn’t people want something like a treatment center near them?

  • Residents claim they were deceived about the nature of the new drug rehab facility. Zoning laws would have to be rewritten in order to build it, so it was advertised as a “holistic healing center” instead.
  • The facility would be near not only residences, but also schools (and therefore children).
  • With treatment centers come addicts, and with addicts come a whole host of problems such as relapse, then drug use, crime, etc.

The Fight Against the Fort Myers Drug Rehab Facility

Local residents are very committed to preventing this facility from being built. Already, they’ve organized a massive petition on the site “Protect Our Community.” The week of December 7th, they had mailed 3,500 flyers as part of their campaign. By the next week, they’d increased to 6,400 mailers and 2,500 emails. They are also putting pressure on local politicians to resist the drug rehab facility, if not at least take part in the debate. A series of discussions and town hall meetings are scheduled to take place, as well.

What is the significance of this debate? It’s about balancing the need for addiction treatment with the legitimate concerns of local residents. Everyone agrees that treatment is a good idea and that more should be provided. The only matter of disagreement is where it should be provided.

We’d love to hear you thoughts on this issue. What do you think? Share and/or leave a comment below!

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