Allentown mental health, substance abuse center faces opposition | Business Local

But that is not what opponents focus on. They are concerned about opioid and cocaine addicts, who account for 26% and 13%, respectively, of drug users. And while Horizon insists it doesn’t distribute methadone, and doesn’t open this type of clinic, it’s those customers who worry the neighbors the most.

“The truth of the matter is that this is an important part of it,” said Jonathan L. White, an Allentown resident. “I would argue that it is still a center for drug therapy. We haven’t seen any numbers that say it isn’t, and we haven’t seen any numbers that say it won’t grow over time.”

Matthew Moscati, who lives down the street in Delaware with his wife and three children under the age of 12, said such a facility goes against everything he and his family love about Allentown, and why they chose to live there.

“People are increasingly returning to the city not only celibate and empty nests, but also raising families,” said Moscati, CEO of TRM Architects, whose office is a block away. “This proposed site goes against that.”

One of the biggest opponents is Benderson Development Co. , which has buildings on both sides of 600 Delaware—including the Residence Inn by Marriott, its offices at 570 and 584 Delaware, and two parking lots. Among these buildings, the company employs 350 employees. “We have a pre-existing business operating there,” said Eric Rickon, Penderson’s vice president. “There are investments. There is our employee base to take care of.”

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