WILMINGTON, MA — A 40-bed recovery house detox center may soon be built in Wilmington.
A North Reading lawyer, who suffered from addiction earlier in his life, hopes to construct the facility at 362 Middlesex Avenue, which is the vacant land across from Pizza Mia/Uptown Deli, next to the North Wilmington MBTA Commuter Rail station.
The plans are “in the very early stages,” according to the town’s Director of Public Health Shelley Newhouse, who provided an update to the Wilmington Board of Health at their recent meeting.
The proposed tenant, which also has a similar facility in Wakefield for the past eight years, has begun meeting with town officials to solicit feedback.
“Any reservations I had went away after the presentation,” said Newhouse. “The company received a stellar recommendation from the Wakefield Board of Health and Wakefield Chief of Police.”
The detox center would serve as the first step in the recovery process for addicts, according to Newhouse. Addicts would stay for just 1-2 weeks, then move on to a longer term rehab facility. While at the center, addicts would not be permitted to leave the building, have visitors, or use a cell phone.
Regulated by the state’s Department of Public Health, the center would have the appropriate level of licensed medical professionals, including a medical director and nurses. The site would have 24/7 security.
According to Newhouse, Wilmington residents would receive priority when a bed opens up. There will also be employment preferences for Wilmington residents. The 2-level proposed structure, described as “beautiful,” would be built by Channel Buildings Company of Wilmington. The center hopes to become a strong community partner and develop a strong relationship with Wilmington Public Schools.
The proposed tenant intends on holding neighborhood meetings with abutters. He has also expressed a desire to meet with town boards, including the Board of Health and Board of Selectmen, as early as October, to discuss his plans. In addition, the tenant will likely need to go through the town’s special permitting process as the land is currently zoned for general business.
Newhouse noted that the Dollar General, a dollar store chain, has also expressed interest in the land.
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