Opposition To Proposed Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center In North Bethlehem

I have strong opinions, that’s never been in question, but while I often respond to things that occur, I don’t always have anything looming that I need to express my concerns over to prevent it from happening.

It’s been brought to my attention that a real estate developer wants to open a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center at 111 Dewberry Ave in Bethlehem. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the area, I can tell you that it’s right in the heart of residential North Bethlehem and is right next door to Bethlehem Catholic High School. Let me say that again. Someone wants to put a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center right next door to a school.

I don’t oppose the idea of addicts getting the help that they need, whether it’s of their own volition or by court order, but I do have a problem when it’s next to a school. The proposed center is also within a mile of Spring Garden Elementary School and is also too close to my own house for comfort.

A concerned citizen has put together a website, northbethaction.org, that does a good job explaining the issues associated with establishing such a facility in the location being proposed. I can’t say that I support everything on the website, but I do agree that the drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility does not belong on Dewberry Ave. I signed the petition but we all know how much weight those hold, so I’ll be attending the Zoning Hearing Board meeting on Wednesday, February 22 at 6 pm to show support to those that oppose the proposed facility.

Because I’m not one to complain without suggesting a solution, if the community needs another drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility (which is debatable) why not locate it at a hospital instead of right next door to a school? Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke’s are both nearby and are much more appropriate for someone seeking medical treatment.

If you have an opinion on the matter, I welcome  your comments and if you want to really make your voice heard, join me at the Zoning Hearing Board meeting on Wednesday at 6 pm at Bethlehem City Hall.

2 thoughts on “Opposition To Proposed Drug & Alcohol Rehab Center In North Bethlehem

  1. I could be biased, but this is what this situation reminds me of:

    Group homes for individuals with disabilities. Especially in the past (and believe it or not, it still happens now), people had oppositions similar to the one you posted about because individuals with disabilities were being de-institutionalized and moved into the community. Often there was uproar about these group homes being anywhere, and people were afraid to have these individuals live next to them for fear they would escape from their houses and wreak havoc (in whatever ways). Even though these houses would be staffed 24/7/365. Even though these individuals had the same rights as the rest of the people in the neighborhood.

    What is the worry about the location of the facility being in proximity to a school? That these impressionable teenagers might find out there is a drug and alcohol rehab facility within walking distance? That the residents at he facility who are there to get treatment and fight their addictions might get out and wander and wreak havoc even though the facility will most likely be staffed 24/7/365?

    These are high school students, not little kids.
    The facility will be full of addicts there in order to get help, not pedophiles.

    Maybe I’m making too many assumptions here, but I still don’t understand what the school *really* has to do with it. Seems more of a “I don’t want this thing near my house” kinda call. Which is fair enough, but just say so.

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