LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Shady Lane Resident Speaks Out IN FAVOR Of The Proposed Detox

Dear Editor,

This letter is directed at the people who have concerns and are opposing the special permit for a a detox facility on Middlesex Avenue.

I applaud you all in wanting to protect your children and grandchildren from the ugly reality around addiction. That is one thing everybody is on the same page about. I encourage you all to read the police log as the Wilmington Apple posts it daily. Almost every week there is at least one drug or alcohol related incident. That’s alarming in the town my son is growing up in. On December 3rd a man was arrested for trafficking over 10 grams of fenantyl. There are so many alarming opioid epidemic statistics RISING at a scary rate that I just don’t have the time to read all of them to you today. Detox admissions in Massachusetts have more than tripled in the last 5 years. The number of overdose deaths in this state is more then 10x what it was 8 years ago. Close to 1800 just this year of confirmed opiate related deaths. If we continue the same approach towards addiction that we have these last 8 years then those numbers will surely continue to rise, and anybody can fall victim. Massachusetts has done a great job in effort to rid the stigma associated with addiction. I don’t want addiction to affect anybody the way it’s affected me before you change the way you view it. How is NOT LETTING a detox open going to protect your children? The statistics in Massachusetts alone, and your police log here in Wilmington make it very evident that unfortunately our community is already being affected by this epidemic.

With that being said I understand there are some other concerns. All of which are tied directly to assumptions about addiction, what it is, who it happens to, how we treat it, what works and what doesn’t — most of which are ludicrous if you understood addiction but I will address them anyway. One being property values. Although there is no reliable statistics to prove this could happen as a direct result of a medical detox facility opening, I want you to ask yourself: if the detox doesn’t open and go in this vacant lot, what will? What is going to be opposed next that could potentially affect property values. The other concerns regarding this detox come from a place of concern. I understand that, but if you do enough research and realize how much our community has been affected by this epidemic, I think your concerns would change, considering the ugly truths around addiction are already right here in your neighborhood.

YOU SHOULD ALREADY BE CONCERNED YOUR CHILDREN OR PETS COULD BE POKED BY AN IMPROPERLY DISPOSED NEEDLE, because it’s already happening. A detox would have sharps containers and people trained to deal with that kind of stuff. The applicant for this permit also specified he was willing to have 24/7 security. I can’t imagine somebody will be scattering needles in front of a security guard. Secondly, he also assured the board he is willing to find out what kind of waiver he can have patients sign so that police can be notified if a client AMAs and doesn’t follow proper procedure to be given a ride by staff somewhere out of the community or on a train.

For the people who’s backyards are sharing property lines with the proposed site, you bought property sharing property lines with a vacant lot.

What mostly baffles me is people saying that if the detox goes up, they will be moving because they are concerned for their children’s safety. I encourage you next time you buy a home to research your neighbors. Had you done that when you moved in you’d find many people whom have lived in my home with me have struggled with addiction, overdoses, section 35s, arrests, and drug related incidents. I am grateful life is better now. I hope if addicts are so concerning to your children’s safety that you won’t allow them to walk to Elia’s, that you also would not allow them to walk by my house when I or anybody else was actively using.

Truthfully the things that have been said resemble an uneducated and mostly inexperienced speculation on an entire group of people. You’re afraid for your children IF IT OPENS and I AM AFRAID FOR MINE RIGHT NOW. If you’ll say these things at a public hearing, what will you say to your kids behind closed doors? What misinformation are you spreading that your children may carry with them, and my son may hear someday on the bus about his parents whom suffer from addiction. The comments made to me inside and outside the meeting, will the blatant childish tantrums also happen when I walk the neighborhood with my 3 year old?

Thank you and have a nice day.

Sincerely,

Rachel DiDomenico

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