Lynnwood passes substance abuse clinic moratorium

Apr 18, 2023, 12:39 PM | Updated: 12:43 pm

A protest at thee proposed Lynnwood opioid clinic is being planned for Sunday at 1 p.m. (Photo from Lynnwood SAFE)

(Photo from Lynnwood SAFE)

The Lynnwood City Council passed a moratorium on all new substance abuse clinics in the city, preventing any new facilities from opening for at least six months.

A highly controversial opioid treatment clinic at 196th Street received massive backlash from the community earlier this year due to its proximity to youth-oriented facilities and the lack of transparency in the process.

Lynnwood opioid treatment clinic opens despite community concerns

Parents and other community members showed up to protest the opening of the clinic, saying that the city and Washington State Department of Health were not listening to their concerns about the site.

Councilmembers said that the process between DOH and city planners did not make the process clear and transparent. The Mayor’s office released a statement admonishing the company starting the opioid treatment clinic for not properly engaging with the community.

“We believe Acadia should have implemented a more robust outreach strategy for the community, which is a requirement of the licensing process. If they had executed the required outreach plan properly, they would have had the opportunity to educate and inform the community, ” Lynnwood Mayor Christine Frizzell said in a statement.

At Monday night’s City Council meeting, Mayor Frizzell said she was made aware of another clinic that has submitted an application to open a substance abuse treatment center.

With this new temporary moratorium in place, the process for opening any new clinics has been halted for at least six months, but could be extended to a year. The moratorium passed with a vote of 5 to 1.

Several residents who are against the temporary ban spoke up in Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“Drug abuse is a Lynnwood issue, it’s not a Seattle problem, it’s a Lynnwood issue, it’s happening in every community and I think it’s important to have that mindset to take ownership of helping to solve the problem,” a resident said.

Gee and Ursula discussed the moratorium, with Gee claiming that the city taking the extra time to get all their ducks in a row is a good thing.

“I am okay with this. I’m okay with a temporary hold. Like they said, the council members want to be on top of things. And so the members also admitted in this,” Gee said. “They’re not saying we’d never want to have one in the future. They’re just saying hold up.”

Protests outside Lynnwood opioid clinic

Ursula, on the other hand, treated it with a bit more skepticism, stating that the ongoing issue of substance abuse is a problem every community needs to help tackle.

“My initial reaction was, ‘Wait a minute, doesn’t everyone want to do this in our other cities, is everyone just going to follow suit?” Ursula said. “I would hope that that would not be the case. But I understand if you need to slow it down. But again, we all need to do our part.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Lynnwood passes substance abuse clinic moratorium