Rehab opposition

Emerald, Florida/March 19, 2007

Residents continue to fight plans for a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility, fearing it would destroy the neighborhood.

Destin-based Narconon Gulf Coast Inc. wants to open a 30-bed residential facility in a beach house at 747 Scenic Gulf Drive. The nonprofit organization recently met with about 100 people who own property near the house to address their concerns.

Some residents cited the group's Scientology-based treatment program as having no place in Miramar Beach. But Narconon Gulf Coast spokesman Trumon Phillips said Narconon's Scientology roots shouldn't be a concern.

The Miramar Beach house will be where people come when they complete voluntary drug rehab at the Destin facility, Phillips said. "Students" will spend time at the beach house reflecting and studying techniques for success, he said. The facility will have staff on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he added.

Narconon needs approval from the Walton County Commission before the facility can open. A meeting date has not been set.

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