Recovery center says more help, not less needed for addicts

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Not in my backyard. We've been hearing that a lot lately as residential rehab centers try to open their doors in Valley neighborhoods, but now we're hearing from the other side.

Elm Tree Recovery offers long term on-site treatment for people battling substance abuse.

"We help young people with addiction to not only overcome their maladaptive behaviors but also to go back to school," said Adam McLean, founder and executive director of Elm Tree.

[RELATED: Neighbors furious after rehab group home opens next door]

Their clients also live on the property in apartments set up to mimic dorms.

McLean says unlike some neighbors who have shunned recovery centers on their street, the Tempe community near Mill and Palmcroft has been nothing but supportive.

"Our neighbors have never complained to us or anything of that nature," McLean said.

Jude Kingston is the center's closest neighbor. He says it's a nice area and he has never had any issues.

"There's so many people with problems in all these homes who are keeping quiet with anything in their lives, so if we have a community or place where people are looking to change themselves for the better then I don't see what could be wrong with that," said Kingston.

McLean says he can understand where others might be coming from given that there is a lot of stigma associated with substance abuse and mental health issues but he says a little education can go a long way.

"To people that are concerned about what's going on their neighborhoods I would say that ya know people in recovery are some of the best neighbors that you could possibly have because their lives are based around helping others and service," he said.

Given that Arizona, like many states is in the midst of an opioid epidemic McLean says more facilities like theirs are needed, not less.

"If we don't start circling the wagons around people and start helping them this epidemic is going to get worse," said McLean.

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