addiction clinic will open in Dunkirk | News, Sports, Jobs


Dunkirk’s long-awaited addiction treatment clinic is finally about to open.

A ribbon cutting will take place at the Safe Point Lighthouse Center, located at 305 Main Street, Wednesday at 11 a.m. Executive PJ Wendel and Mayor of Dunkirk Wilfred Rosas.

The Acacia Network, a New York-based nonprofit with more than 100 affiliates, built the clinic. Its president, Raul Russi, and its CEO, Lymaris Albors, will also be at the inauguration on Wednesday.

One of the affiliates, Hispanos Unidos de Buffalo, will direct day-to-day operations at the site with its Alba de Vida substance abuse program.

The clinic will serve approximately 500 people “with integrated behavioral health and addictions services that include medication treatment, counseling, peer support services, relapse prevention, mental health care and physical exams, referrals and more,” according to Acacia’s press release announcing the opening.

Acacia started providing services in Dunkirk last year with a mobile unit, also called Safe Point Lighthouse. It was parked outside the clinic as renovations continued to the building, which at one time housed the local off-track betting venue. Drug treatments, such as methadone, could not be offered on the mobile site.

The opening apparently ends a saga dating back to at least 2018, when Dunkirk did not allow a clinic project at Third and Park streets, in the same block as Catholic schools in northern Chautauqua. Not wanting to see students and drug addicts potentially mixing, parents of students and other citizens strongly criticized the proposal and ensured its death.

Acacia considered many other sites in the city before finally settling on the Main Street location at Third Street in 2020.

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