LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The Lynnwood community is concerned about safety with the location of a new opioid facility that opened Monday on the corner of 24th Avenue and 196th Street.
City Council members say there has been a lack of transparency from Acadia Healthcare, which allegedly only planned on informing citizens about the facility when the plans were completed.
For the last month, Vivian Wong has made it clear that she doesn’t want an opioid treatment center in her Lynnwood neighborhood and even created the organization Safe Lynnwood.
In the organization’s public safety plan, they call for a number of things: adequate onsite staff, security cameras, increased police presence, and that the clinic establishes rules and guidelines for patients.
“Since Acadia didn’t work on their part, we the community will help them, we will negotiate with them and make sure our concerns are addressed,” said Wong.
Wong is not alone. Dozens of Snohomish County residents have come together week after week to protest the new facility that’s located about 400 feet from a local Boys & Girls Club.
“I want to be supportive, but there is a boys and girls club next to it, so for me to hear that this was happening I just couldn’t believe it,” said Michelle Meyer, a Lynwood Resident.
The fight quickly turned political when the King County Republican Party issued signs used to express concerns that the treatment center will bring crime and drug use too close to local kids.
“Our law enforcement is stretched thin. They’re already having a problem with the regular crime, let alone a facility like this next to children,” said King County Republican Party Chair Patrick Thomas.
Thomas doesn’t deny the need for treatment but is upset with the way things have been handled.
“We’re not against a drug treatment facility but we’re against this location and the whole process in the way it was done. There’s no transparency, it was all punched through at the last minute and just doesn’t sound right to us,” said Thomas.
But some members of the community are pushing back against the stigmas of addiction.
“I just hear this strong belief that these are bad people going to the center. They are not. They are absolutely like you and me. There are actually probably many people in this room that have experienced themselves using opioids,” said Lynnwood resident Caroline Judd-Herzfeldt.
In a statement to KIRO7, Acadia health acknowledged the stigma associated with the facility but says they look forward to working with the community and residents to alleviate their concerns.
There is no doubt about the need for a treatment facility. Recently a methadone clinic in Bothell shut down, leaving this new center to take on its 300-patient caseload.
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