Treatment center coming to Wilmington faces lawsuit from neighboring businesses

Treatment center coming to Wilmington faces lawsuit from neighboring businesses
Healing Place treatment center neighboring businesses concerned for project. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Businesses near a proposed 200-bed treatment center for drug addicts have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to shut the operation down before it even opens.

Wilmington City Council approved a special use permit for the Healing Place Treatment Center to begin construction on Medical Center Drive under the condition that a licensed security professional would remain on site around the clock. Weeks after the project was approved, Delaney Radiology and Lower Cape Fear Hospice filed a lawsuit with more than 140 points of concern over the treatment center potentially coming into the area.

The Children’s Learning Center says they’re nervous the treatment center would put them out of business. The daycare presented to city council before the project was approved and said they conducted a survey and found 45 percent of parents said they would pull their kids from the Children’s Learning Center if the project was given the green light.

In the lawsuit, Lower Cape Fear Hospice expressed they’re worried the treatment center’s clients may try to take medication from their patients.

New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jonathan Barfield says facilities that do hold powerful medications should have a protocol to keep the drugs secure.

“They should have their medicines locked up in a vault that no one can get access to, so if they’re following proper protocol that should not be a concern," said Chairman Barfield.

Chairman Barfield says the county is in desperate need of the treatment center.

“We are poor in resources when it comes to mental health solutions as well as substance use facilities that provide services to our residents,” said Chairman Barfield. "Something that could delay people getting the help they need by months or even years and for every death that happens because they couldn’t get treatment, I say shame on them.”

The lawsuit asks a judge to stay city council’s decision and stop the process from moving forward until a court decides the issue.

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