A company that wants to build a drug rehabilitation center in Carriere, Mississippi is facing push back from residents who do not want the facility in their neighborhood.
Crossroads Treatment Centers, a healthcare provider that specializes in opioid addiction treatment, offered to construct a new drug rehabilitation center in Carriere, which would be the first opioid recovery center in the state.
Crossroads Treatment Centers has over 40 locations in nine states with the majority of its services being placed in the south. Each drug rehab center offers opiate addiction treatment for heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, Percocet, Lortab and Roxicodone. It offers medication-assisted treatment (MAT) that includes methadone and Suboxone.
A plan to build an addiction recovery center has been obstructed by the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors enacting a 1999 ordinance that prohibits the purchase, location and construction of halfway houses, sober living homes, addiction treatment centers or other businesses involving people with substance use disorders.
Due to this, Crossroads Treatment Centers has filed a lawsuit against the county in federal court stating that officials are discriminating against people with substance use disorders by enforcing the ordinance.
The lawsuit alleges that county officials blocked the potential drug rehabilitation center while also allowing substance abuse treatment programs that use faith and religion, to continue operating. Another note in the claim indicates that the closest drug rehab center that offers MAT is approximately 30 miles away.
The suit highlights that Crossroads Treatment Centers has been working on the drug rehabilitation center and even acquired permits from Pearl River County. The claim also alleges that the Pearl River Police Department is against the proposed drug rehab center.
Crossroads Treatment Centers wants the judge in the case to repeal the 1999 ordinance and Pearl River County to pay for damages accumulated, including court fees.
The public had an indirect response to the lawsuit during a meeting held at the Resurrection Life Worship Center in Picayune. Members of the community voiced their opposition to the drug rehabilitation center while attempting to formulate a plan to permanently prevent its launch.
A local pastor stated his opposition to methadone treatment, arguing it could be addictive. He also indicated that he did not trust the fact that the center intends to accept cash only.
To counter the lawsuit, the pastor introduced a petition to the attendees of the event with the goal of collecting 10,000 signatures to present the document to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi.
Despite the lawsuit claiming that no opioid addiction treatment centers were nearby, the pastor indicated that there were methadone clinics in nearby towns such as Gulfport.
Due to ongoing litigation, the construction of the drug rehabilitation center has been delayed and there isn’t a projected opening date yet.
Despite the opposition, there have been attempts to find a solution to the drug epidemic in Pearl River County. A similar meeting, which included representatives from the Department of Mental Health, the Bureau of Narcotics and the Department of Public Safety, was held last year to address the rampant opioid abuse in the county.