Your Suburban Children Need To See Addiction

I wish that Brian O’Neill was proposing an addiction treatment facility just a few miles down from where he currently is in Haddonfield. I wish he was proposing to build one of his facilities in Cherry Hill, in plain sight, so that all the children of Suburbia could see addiction in real life, and not in a text book or tv show.

Currently, Haddonfield is saying no. Even though Haddonfield had 40 reported cases of addiction in 2013 (roughly 13 cases per mile in this town) for drugs including alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, it seems as though the residents have waived the NIMBY flag high enough. But I ask, why? Their town is surrounded by high concentrations of reported addictions, leaving good reason to believe that soon they will be shaded in burgundy too.


Is it because the proposed RCA center would be close to Haddonfield Memorial High School? If that is the case, then why is Haddonfield allowed to have this conversation, and Camden isn’t?

Camden is home to one of a whopping six methadone treatment facilities in all of Southern New Jersey. This facility sits within 5 blocks of about 6 different schools, and sits at the opening of the City Hall Patco Station, and is within one block of Rutgers University-Camden and Camden County College, and an Early Learning Research Center.



Was there an opportunity for Camden residents and stake holders to speak out against this clinic? If there was, they should have, and we suburban residents should have demanded it to be built in our towns.

Why? Because the overwhelming majority of addicts who need a methadone regime are suburban residents. Why is it justified to send our addicts to another town, almost as to cast them away? Why are we pretending that Suburbia doesn’t produce addicts?

I wish that more suburban residents, parents mostly, would welcome addiction treatment centers into their communities, and use their existence as teaching points. If that had been the case in my corner of suburbia, then I’m certain that my graduating class would not have such a high number of individuals who have overdosed, gone through interventions, gotten arrested, or relocated outside of the state for rehab. Yes, I am telling you that the graduating class of 2011, from Cherry Hill, has a high number of addicts. This shouldn’t be a secret to the world. Instead, it should become common knowledge, and it should be an aspect of society that parents pay more attention to, in hopes of preventing more young-aged addictions.

Addiction is everywhere and it comes in all forms, and it is definitely time for Suburbia to stop pretending that it doesn’t exist behind our groomed lawns and pristine landscaping.

Bring an addiction treatment center to Cherry Hill. Build it as an addition to Kennedy Memorial hospital on Chapel Avenue. Build it right next to High School West. Let our kids see addiction, and let them be afraid of it.

It is also time to get serious about our State’s medical procedures concerning the frequency, and the reasons, for prescribing opiate drugs. Time and time again, we have elected officials and representatives from law enforcement speaking out about the definitive pattern between opiate drugs and heroin. To be blunt, THESE PILLS ARE CAUSING MORE ADDICTIONS THAN ANY OTHER TRIGGER. THE 21ST CENTURY ADDICTION IS BEING PRESCRIBED.

A medical side effect from a prescribed drug should not be addiction.

I am not a doctor, but I always avoid the use of these medications whenever possible. The risk is just too high for temporary pain relief. There must be a better way to treat short-term pain, and we must work harder to find it.


One thought on “Your Suburban Children Need To See Addiction

  1. This is such an important thing for communities to consider as the social climate changes. Their children, underneath their own noses in their own overly priced houses, are becoming addicted to narcotics that are in their own medicine cabinets. The real reason (at least in my opinion, no facts to back it up) that addiction centers are not being built in suburban areas is because 1. People in the suburban areas want to ignore the fact that a problem exists and 2. That they are already receiving treatment for their addictions through things like Suboxone patches and acupuncture. Addiction is very much assumed to fall within the urban populations and for people who are weak. But that is so very wrong. Powerful doctors, lawyers, business owners and even blue collar workers experience addiction and it falls under many, many categories. The denial is the ultimate problem. The more we deny that the problems exist in our OWN BACKYARDS the sooner we can stop losing our kids to heroin laced with drain cleaner.

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