Proposed opioid treatment center in Lynnwood continues to draw controversy

LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The controversy surrounding a proposed opioid treatment center in Lynnwood continues as city council chambers were filled with people wanting to speak on the matter on Monday.

One of the biggest issues many see with the facility is its location. Some feel that since this site is close to a Boys and Girls Club, children could be put at risk.

“I can’t believe they were so neglectful to figure out that this is an inappropriate place,” Julie Anderson said.

Some business owners directly by the site also feel this isn’t a good place for it.

“The kids are going to be right there. And so you got possible needles and other interactions. It is just a recipe for disaster,” business owner Jason Moore said.

Even some city council members expressed their frustrations with the lack of transparency from Acadia Health and the Department of Public Health.

“You have tried to tell us that you just want to be a member of this community. And yet you come to this community and insult us. And you have insulted us in the way you have approached this,” councilmember Patrick Decker said.

>> Opposition to proposed Lynnwood opioid treatment center grows

“I hope they will listen to the voices. If not, then we have reasons to really, really try to take a stand on this issue,” council President George Hurst said.

During Monday’s meeting, many in the audience were concerned about Acadia Health’s history as they brought up a recent fraud lawsuit with the company in West Virginia in 2019.

At the time, it was the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the state’s history.

“And they haven’t shown any good faith from the beginning. The way that we found this out, it increases our anger,” Vivian Dong with Safe Lynnwood said.

But despite the considerable opposition, some who were in the crowd or tuning in through Zoom said they see the need for facilities like this.

“No one chooses to go to these treatment centers. No one chooses to become an addict,” a woman named Elizabeth said.

As they all know, the conversation is far from over.

“I am open to talk. I want to provide constructive comments. We want to work together,” Dong said.

Representatives with Acadia Health were in attendance Monday night. KIRO 7 asked if they could comment on the public’s concern, but they said they could not provide a comment at this time.