Palm Beach County Commissioners recently approved a new rehab center in Palm Beach County. A former 114 bed hotel and restaurant located at Lake Worth Road and the Florida Turnpike will be converted to a treatment facility operated by Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches.
The Palm Beach County Commissioners voted 5-0 in favor of the project, despite dozens of nearby residents’ objections to the plan. Residents argued that the treatment center would increase crime in their neighborhood.
While we are known for having large numbers of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in Palm Beach County, we also do not have sufficient beds for those who need and want treatment, particularly for those in need of state-funded rehabilitation programs. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for a person to sit in the Palm Beach County jail for weeks, even months at times, while waiting for a bed to become available at the Drug Abuse Foundation (DAF).
There is certainly a link between drug abuse and crime. Many offenders have cited drug use as the reason they committed crimes, including robbery, burglary, and theft. But isn’t a rehabilitation center, which aims to end the addiction a solution to the problem of crime? Residents shouldn’t be so quick to protest. In fact, County Commissioners actually found that the rehabilitation center would have a positive effect on crime in the community, which is why it was unanimously approved.