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Delray Beach, FL vs Drug Rehab & Recovery- Who Will Win Out?

By: Rhea Rosier, Palm Partners Recovery Center

December 19th, 2011

Delray Beach, FL is a unique place in many regards but one of its most well known aspects is its sober community. There are a high number of sober houses and rehabs in the area giving Delray Beach the name of “Recovery Capital”. While this makes Delray Beach, FL one of the most unique places in the country it also makes for a large amount of debate and discussion when it comes to those of us in recovery. As addicts and alcoholics going to rehab or sober houses there are no promises that we will stay clean and with this thought comes the idea of relapse. Relapse is a symptom of the disease of alcoholism or addiction. Meaning someone who is an addict or alcoholic is clean for a certain amount of time and starts using again.

Relapsing addicts or alcoholics in their drug use is the picture that sticks in most of what the recovery community calls “normal” people’s minds. They dont picture the alcoholic clean and sober because when they are, you cant tell them from any other person walking down the street. They tend to be, when sober, responsible, motivated, helpful, thoughtful and active members of their community and town. This fear that comes along with the idea of alcoholics and addicts has to do with the addict and alcoholic active in their addictions, which in some cases is justified. This and some other changes have given rise to multiple complaints and attempts to stifle the growing recovery community in Delray Beach, FL.

Just recently The Caron Renaissance Foundation, which has drug rehabs and treatment centers throughout the country including Delray Beach, FL and Boca Raton, FL; released information that it will be opening another rehab facility in a single family residential area of the town. This has given rise to many complaints and worries among the residences in the homes. The Sun-Sentinel reported that some people were saying “that drug and alcohol sober-living facilities do not belong in residential neighborhoods.” and that the sober houses and rehabs “belong in the city only where transient lodging is currently allowed — hotel zoned property — and not in single-family neighborhoods.” This has created a debate and lawyers are involved.

Along with this news, for about a month now, Delray Beach’s main street or Atlantic Avenue has been under constant watch by the police for addicts and alcoholics in active addiction at the local Starbucks. Business owners in the area say that the groups of recovering people outside their shops “are scaring off customers” and are “giving a black eye to the whole city.” This has caused some changes to happen at the local coffee shop that sits right on the corner of the busiest street during “tourist season” 5th and Atlantic. Some of the changes already happening and that are going to happen include fencing off an alleyway and more frequent police stops.

While some of this may be true, the city is slowly turning its back on its name as Recovery Capital of the United States, a name some say that should be taken with pride. This place where people can change their life and get well again is in constant battle with a city that is trying to serve its citizens, families and tourist population. Delray Beach, FL vs Recovery is becoming a more frequent headline throughout the local newspapers and a topic of discussion between citizens, alcoholic addicts and not.

It is probably best if there is some middle ground solution found, that way one group of people does not feel with or against anything. The solution to the rising problems within this recovery tourist area will probably start with some active changes on the recovery side and some educated open mindedness on the cities non recovering population.There can be a balance its just a matter of cooperation between the two. It doesnt have to Delray Beach, FL versus Drug Rehab and Recovery, the two can live together to make not only a wonderful city but wonderful lives for all of its citizens. 877-711-HOPE(4673)

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