Regional Chambers of Commerce support opioid detox center in Wicomico County

WICOMICO Co., Md. – On Monday, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce announced that they, along with five other regional Chambers of Commerce, are in support of converting the old Poplar Hill Pre-Release facility into an opioid detox center.

Bill Chambers, the President and CEO of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce said, “We need to continue to move forward with asking the state to convert the Poplar Hill facility into a comprehensive opioid treatment venue. We don’t have that kind of facility here on the shore.”

For over two years now, the Poplar Hill Pre-Release facility in Quantico has sat largely unused and vacant.

Back in January, nearly $1 million in state funding was secured to re-purpose the Poplar Hill facility into a 24/7 opioid detoxification center. Just months later, however, those plans came to an abrupt halt when the service provider withdrew.

Luckily, the state announced it still had an interest in transforming the property.

Chambers said, “It fell through and I think that is when the state this past late spring, early summer decided to explore the opportunity of using their building, it’s the states building out on Nanticoke Road, to provide a treatment option for citizens on the Lower Shore.”

The Chambers of Commerce hope that by coming together and voicing their support, it will inspire Maryland’s movers and shakers to take action.

Chambers said, “We hope it will send a message to the general assembly and our lower shore delegation that we need to take advantage of this opportunity now.”

The Chambers who are in support of the facility include: The Crisfield Chamber of Commerce, the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce, The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and the Talbot County Chamber of Commerce.

We’re told this facility would provide an additional treatment option for those battling addiction here on the Eastern Shore.

Those who are not in support of the treatment center worry it would harm the community, but those who are in support of it argue that it will make a noticeable difference, and benefit our community greatly in the long run.

Christina Bowie-Simpson, the Wicomico County Opioid Coordinator said, “Having a facility that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is really important because we really do need to meet them where they are and when they’re ready.”

Categories: Local News, Maryland