State-Funded Detox Center Preparing to Open in Harrington - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

State-Funded Detox Center Preparing to Open in Harrington

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

HARRINGTON, Del. (WBOC) - As Delaware continues to increase efforts to fight the state's drug addiction epidemic, a new detox center is preparing to open in Harrington.

When the center opens in southern Kent County, likely next month, it will be the only state-funded facility of its kind in lower Delaware.

There were discussions about putting the place for people to get help with their addictions near the beaches, but the state and its partnering organization landed on Harrington, instead, for a number of reasons.

The detox center near downtown Harrington is for people like Richard Arway, a recovering alcoholic and drug addict.

"It's facilities like this that have given me my faith back and given me the opportunity to pursue my goals in life," he said.

The state already has a withdrawal management clinic in New Castle County.

Adding the facility in Kent County is part of $4.5 million put in this year's state budget to address substance abuse problems. It is some of the only new spending in this year's budget.

"We got $4.5 million to really not only address capacity but also address additional levels of care," Secretary Rita Landgraf, head of the state's Department of Health and Social Services.

Both facilities will have 16 beds for clinically-managed, medically-monitored detox. They'll both have 12 23-hour slots for less intense treatment, and each will be able to give 30 to 100 people 30-day out-patient services.

The goal is to get people into rehabilitation and then help them stick with it.

State lawmakers representing the area tell WBOC they've been hearing "not in my backyard" concerns. There are lots of homes near the new center.

Connie Perry lives in one of them, and she's worried.

"It brings a lot of problems to the community. I'm not saying it will, but there's always the possibility that it could," Perry said.

Harrington Mayor Tony Moyer said everybody wants people to get help, but nobody wants it next door. Moyer said he himself had concerns at the beginning.

"I took the time to investigate into what it was," Moyer said. "My fears have been set to rest."

He expects that in time, neighbors will come around, too.

In addition to the new detox center, the $4.5 million in state money is funding a number of other related initiatives.

It also funds additional residential treatment beds statewide. It doubles the number of Delaware's sober living residential beds, and it doubles residential treatment beds for 18- to 25-year-olds. Finally it has one-time funds for residential treatment program start-up costs.

There are lots of statistics that show how bad the addiction epidemic is in Delaware. Wednesday state leaders focused on the fact that there were 185 suspected overdose deaths in the state last year. There were 125 deaths from car crashes.

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