Haymarket could open residential drug treatment center in Wheaton

 
 
Updated 11/17/2017 11:29 AM
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  • Chicago-based Haymarket Center has proposed a substance abuse treatment facility in the former Loyola Medicine Center for Health in Wheaton.

      Chicago-based Haymarket Center has proposed a substance abuse treatment facility in the former Loyola Medicine Center for Health in Wheaton. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

A Chicago drug and alcohol treatment center seeking to expand its programs to Wheaton would fill a void for recovering addicts as the region faces an unrelenting opioid crisis, advocates say.

Haymarket Center is eyeing a long-vacant building near a Danada shopping center for a satellite program that would provide both outpatient care and residential treatment for patients with substance abuse disorders.

Across the suburbs, overdose deaths from heroin and other opioids are on track to surpass last year's tallies in four of six collar counties. Given that death toll, Haymarket's interest in opening the facility "could not be more urgent," said Dr. Dan Lustig, president and CEO of the nonprofit organization founded in 1975.

"We have found in our 43 years of doing work that bringing people into residential treatment is the best return on investment because you're stabilizing the patient in so many different areas of their life," Lustig said.

But such residential treatment is missing in DuPage, Lustig told city planning and zoning board members during a public hearing on the project this week.

Providers hope to open Haymarket DuPage in the former Loyola University Medical Center office building at 140 E. Loop Road. Plans call for remodeling the interior of the 11,723-square-foot building to make way for medical offices, exam rooms and a 16-bed inpatient facility.

Haymarket DuPage would offer a detoxification program and use an intake assessment on patients to determine the level of care they would receive.

"What Haymarket is trying to do is put patients into the right system of care," Lustig said.

By contrast, hospital stays for addicts going through detox are typically three days -- a "very costly and inappropriate level of care," Lustig said.

"Most of the time you have patients hitting the streets after a hospital detox stay in a withdrawal state, and that's where a lot of the overdoses occur," he said.

At Haymarket DuPage, the length of stay for residential patients would vary.

Providers also would offer support for families and medication-assisted treatment to help recovering addicts control cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

"The use of medication-assisted treatment really keeps people in treatment involved with counselors at a much longer rate with better outcomes," Lustig said.

Haymarket has requested a text amendment to the city code to add residential treatment facilities as a special use in the corresponding zoning district.

If the text amendment is approved, Haymarket also would have to obtain the special-use permit.

The planning and zoning board could make a recommendation to the city council for or against the request at a meeting Dec. 12. City council members could then review the project Dec. 18.

If the council approves the plans, Haymarket DuPage could open by May, Lustig said.

• Daily Herald staff writer Marie Wilson contributed to this report.

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