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Proposed Wheaton Residential Drug Rehab Facility Draws Concerns

CHICAGO (CBS) -- While nearly 80 people were killed by opioids in DuPage County last year, when it comes to treatment, some tell CBS 2's Charlie De Mar "not in my backyard."

"The sad thing is with heroin, when you have a relapse, you often don't get another chance," said Patti Clousing, who's adopted son Keenan died of a heroin overdose in 2014. "It tore his life to pieces -- and it did tear our family apart, too."

Keenan was 19 when he overdosed.

And just miles from Clousing's Wheaton home, the Haymarket Center is looking to move in, providing a 16 bed residential and outpatient drug rehab facility.

"You have individuals already in the community that are impacted by addiction that aren't getting treatment," said Dr. Dan Lustig, who runs Haymarket.

The addiction treatment center is decades-old; it's largest location is in Chicago.

"This is an opportunity to bring medical care to a population that deserves it and needs it now," Dr. Lustig said.

DuPage County saw 51 opioid drug deaths in 2015. In 2016, that number jumped by 53 percent to 78 deaths, and, once totaled, 2017 will be nearly 80.

"This type of facility, while necessary, is not appropriate for that area, especially with the kids right next door here," said Dan Wasser, a Wheaton resident.

The proposed site, currently not zoned for residential use, would sit next to a daycare and homes. Some, like Wasser, worry that the facility will negativity impact the community.

Clousing, however, thinks the facility in that area could save lives.

"Haymarket will save lives. And it won't just save lives -- it will save a family."

Special residential zoning would be needed before Haymarket could ever move in. Public comment continues at city hall next Tuesday.

Narcan, the drug that reverses the effects of an opioid drug overdose, has helped fight the epidemic. It has saved 380 lives in DuPage County since 2013.

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