ST. CHARLES COUNTY, MO - Residents and business owners are out to stop a new drug treatment center from opening in St. Charles County.
The St. Charles County Police Chief is among those opposing the new location.
It’s called New Season. There’s a sign up already with the opening likely in December.
It still needs approval from state agencies and the DEA.
The location couldn’t be worse, opponents said Wednesday.
It’s on Campus Drive near West Clay, across the street from a liquor store, quick cash shops, about a “football field” away from a day care, and within a mile of 3 schools.
“Nobody I know of is against the clinics. It’s just why put them so close to schools. Why put them right in somebody’s back yard?” said Jim Meinhardt.
He’s leading a petition drive to stop it. He manages of a nearby computer store and lives in the neighborhood.
Greiner’s Pub has the petition, new surveillance cameras, and new worries just a few doors down from New Season.
“Robberies, stuff of that nature. They’re addicts. They’ll do anything to get their fix,” said pub owner, Ken Greiner.
“I would worry,” said Todd Eury, Director of Business Development and Strategic Marketing for New Season. “I have 4 daughters. I’d have the same worries if I thought a methadone clinic was coming in versus a corporation that manages medication assisted treatment.”
He’s meeting with St. Charles leaders Thursday to allay fears.
Transparency was key, he said.
This location will serve up to 350 people addicted to opioids – including heroin. They will be people seeking recovery not their next fix, he said.
New Season locations actually prevent drug-related crimes, he said.
“We don’t see crime associated with therapy and recovery because there’s a whole attitude change with these people… I think (more crime) that’s a myth,” Eury said.
New Season was founded in 1983, has 78 centers (including a center in St. Louis County) in 24 states, serving 34,000 clients, he said.
There’s already been one “open house” at the new location. It was only for 2 hours on a Monday and was sparsely attended.
New Season offers tours for anyone who’s interested, Eury said.