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At Wednesday's meeting of Perry County commissioners, several residents living on or near Girl Scout Road, joined by Girl Scout representatives and those of Recovery Connection Inc. gathered in the courthouse to share concerns about a proposed recovery home for substance abusers.
According to Randy Paris, a substance-abuse counselor at Branchville Correctional Facility and president of Recovery Connection Inc., the house on Girl Scout Road would allow men who have had drug and alcohol problems to live in a drug- and alcohol-free environment.
House rules would be strict and admission limited, he has said. No one with a history of violence, sexual violence or sexual assault would be admitted and all residents would be required to find jobs, submit to drug tests, abide by curfews and be subject to searches. The house will also be monitored 24 hours a day.
The residents of the area have voiced concerns about the home's presence lowering their property taxes and possible relapses that could endanger their families or even nearby campers.
However, almost everyone acknowledges there is a definite need in Perry County for such a facility. Whether it's been direct or indirect, most people have been affected by drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.
A look any week at the records section published in The Perry County News, shows that many offenses in the county are drug or alcohol related.
We also believe there is a need in the county for a treatment-recovery center or home in the county and urge citizens, Recovery Connection Inc. and city and county leaders to meet to discuss all the possibilities that would make such a facility a reality in our county. We all know it's needed.
Is Girl Scout Road the best place for it? We don't know but that's something that needs to be discussed thoroughly. Ultimately it will be up to local officials, hopefully working with supporters of the recovery center, to decide if the Girl Scout Road location is suitable.
We acknowledge that no matter where Recovery Connection would locate, there would be opponents for the same reasons but have other places been felt out to see if maybe they are a better fit?
We believe open communication between Perry County citizens, officials and Recovery Connection is the key to making a recovery home a reality. This is the only way we will be able to help our fellow Perry Countians who have drug and alcohol problems overcome these addictions and help them start new lives.
Recovering addicts seeking help shouldn't be treated as pariahs. They're our family, friends and neighbors. Let's give them the treatment and respect they deserve in the proper setting and the best location that can be found.
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