By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — The HYPE Recreation Center took its first step to building a new rehabilitation center for the community with an informative town hall meeting May 10.
The substance abuse coalition Safety, Addiction, Family and Education was formed by HYPE in order to address the growing issue of drug abuse.
HYPE Athletics Owner Ali Sayed began working on the rehab center plans a few years ago by researching ideas and models to implement here.
“The first meeting community members involved held lasted four hours because of how passionate we are about the issue,” he said during the meeting. “During this short time we are sitting here, lives will be lost from drug abuse.”
The mission of SAFE is to lead and support the greater Dearborn community to dispel the myths and stigmas about substance abuse disorders and drug addition through public education, stories of recovery, partnering with local and state leaders to advocate for SAFE’s cause, creating positive social changes, and providing recovery and prevention services for those in need.
“We want to break cultural boundaries by looking past drug abuse as a taboo in or community,” SAFE Substance Abuse Coalition Executive Director Hassan Abdallah said. “Through public education, elected officials and services we can tackle the issue.”
The 15,000-square-foot facility will be built on the 40,000 square feet of land behind the recreation center, 123302 W. Warren Ave.
Services and treatment for substance abuse and violence will be provided for patients in need.
Testing and triage, whether voluntary or court-ordered for patients who are insured or uninsured, are in the plans.
Also, housing for short and long-term patients is being discussed.
The executive board includes Abdallah and Sayed along with co-founders Ghada Abdallah, Dr. Ali Dabaja and Zainab Jaafar-Chami; Committee Chairs Dr. Ed Jouney, Lindsey Corso and David Makki; Treasurer Maha Zriek-Sabbagh; and Secretary Sarah Hazimi.
During the meeting, Jouney, a University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry doctor presented statistics, medical, behavioral and educational information regarding drug abuse.
Panelist Linda Davis, Clinton Township 41-B District Court judge, told the story about her daughter’s battle with drug abuse.
“My daughter was 17 years old when her drug addition began,” Davis said. “She was a great student and athlete who received multiple college scholarships.”
Davis said she discovered her daughter’s drug abuse one night when she heard her daughter complaining of pain. Davis said she began attending community meetings to seek resources and support for the issue.
“My daughter is now seven years sober, has attended college and has a job,” Davis said. “Through the meetings I attended I realized that it was better to seek help for my daughter instead of hide her, and if I hadn’t, she wouldn’t be alive today.”
David Turfe, 20th District Court judge, shard his concern with the number of young men and women he sees in court because of drug abuse or possession.
“The spiritual aspect is also important because each religion has consequences for sins,” he said. “It helps prevent or make people think twice about getting involved in drugs.”
Wayne State University Pharmacy School students and the Muslim Youth Connection Group were in attendance as sponsors for the event.
HYPE Reaction Center provides families athletics, education, event hosting and more at two locations in Dearborn Heights and Wayne.
For more information on the HYPE Reaction Center, call 313-436-0043 or 734-721-7400.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)