Proposed drug treatment center has Oxford residents nervous

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OXFORD, Miss. -- "The drug epidemic is real and is serious in our nation right now."

That's why Bryan Fikes wants to convert a large home in the beautiful Clear Creek community outside of Oxford into a facility to help boys ages 12 to 17 struggling with drugs or alcohol.

Fikes saids when he was a teen he battled addiction and went to Texas for treatment. Now sober, he wants to open Stonewater Addiction Recovery Center because he said there's a need in the area.

"The expanse of the property out there is a positive for us. The privacy of the property is important to us."

That privacy and peace is why Dr. Rick Carlton moved to the area. He told WREG he's worked with people battling abuse and he's not on board with having new neighbors.

"There's a huge need for something like this but with those centers come special concerns. There's an increase in criminal behavior."

Carlton, who shares a property line with the proposed facility, said there's the issue of property value changing as well as the atmosphere on the road.

"Now there's a lot more traffic. They'll be teachers coming in on a daily basis, there will be visiting families."

But the biggest concern for Carlton and other neighbors is security.

Fikes said he understands and said it's a valid concern. He told us there will be 24-hour supervision, along with bed checks at night. There will also be other safety checks in place.

"Doors opening, windows opening, individuals leaving the facility and that's done through camera systems and alarm systems," said Fikes.

For now the center could house up to 16 teens and Fikes said he hopes to open the center's doors in the next few months, but the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors still needs to sign off on the plan.