From the article: “Northeast treatment chain builds community relationships; expects openings this year” by Gary Enos, Editor, Addiction Professional Magazine, http://www.addictionpro.com/print/article/northeast-treatment-chain-builds-community-relationships-expects-openings-year
As Recovery Centers of America’s (RCA’s) concept of neighborhood-based addiction treatment and recovery support continues to take shape, the architects of what is designed to become a major Northeast treatment chain also are running up against some traditional community unrest about their plans.
“At the last zoning meeting I attended, we explained that if you don’t think the [addiction] issue exists here, within a 15-mile radius of this location there are 562 AA meetings every week,” said Chief clinical officer Deni Carise, PhD.
Prominent Philadelphia-area real estate developer J. Brian O’Neill spearheaded the initial $200 million investment that in 2014 created RCA, seeking to realize his vision of creating addiction treatment sites that rival the quality and hospitality of facilities that treat other illnesses such as cancer. As someone who has specialized in converting brownfields into attractive commercial and residential communities, O’Neill is hardly deterred by the “Not in My Back Yard” sentiment that can be pervasive in communities that are eyed for addiction treatment enterprises, says Carise.
Carise says she is excited about the prospect for developing neighborhood facilities where 12-Step meetings and family support services can be delivered alongside primary treatment. Planners in the for-profit organization are looking into establishing a “coffee house” concept at the sites, where members of the recovering community could congregate and where patients may be able to earn credits by completing work hours.
My comment: Wow. Progressive thinking. Embracing the Recovery Community. Acknowledging present realities. Sounds a lot like Delray Beach. Except, we endeavor to cast off and reject the notion that the Recovery Community is both an economic engine as well as a spiritual movement. As a native South Floridian, I think the difference down here is that people are still amazed when I tell them I am a second-generation Floridian and in my 40’s as most people I know are transient themselves, having moved here from other places. Yet they bring with them the “Not In My Back Yard” mentality, as if their slice of Florida is theirs and theirs alone.