BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Heroin addicts and those who depend on prescription drugs containing opioids may no longer have to travel to cities like Mobile or Jackson for treatment.
On Tuesday, the Biloxi City Council approved a conditional lease for Colonial Management Group to take over the old Goodwill Center on Pass Rd. Colonial, an opioid management group, is hoping to place a methadone clinic in the space.
"What our mission is is to take those addicts that go up and down with cravings, and highs and lows, and try to stabilize them so they can go and maintain employment and be better family people," said Camp Murphy, corporate relations manager.
Colonial Management Group owns around 60 drug treatment centers around the country, the closest in Alabama. People fighting addiction have the opportunity to receive treatment seven days a week from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.
"So what they'll do is they'll come in, they'll go to counseling and then they'll be given a liquid dose of synthetic opioid that seems to level off cravings and make them a little more stable productive member of your community," said Murphy.
However, not everyone is happy about the proposed change to the location.
The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd sits a few businesses down from the potential clinic. In a written letter, leaders say they are not opposed to drug treatment, but have concerns about the already existing issue of homeless people in the area.
However, city councilmen think otherwise.
"I think it's needed in the community. Obviously, you've got the data to prove that. It has to be located somewhere, this happens to be West Biloxi, and I say it's a good thing," said Councilman Paul Tisdale.
The motion passed as Colonial Management prepares to head to the next step. Construction will soon take place inside and outside the building to meet guidelines for drug treatment facilities.