Town Official Criticized For Calling People Battling Addiction ‘Junkies’

By Mike LaCrosse, WBZ-TV

WILMINGTON (CBS) – A comment by a town official about drug addicts is creating concern in Wilmington.

Daniel Veerman, who is the Chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals, is being criticized for calling people battling addiction “junkies” on Facebook.

“He specifically called them junkies and any parent who has lost a child to this, that’s like a knife right in your gut,” said Mary Giroux.

Mary Giroux lost her son Joshua to a drug addiction four years ago. She was furious when a friend sent her the Facebook comment made by Veerman and is concerned because he could be a deciding factor in whether or not a detox center opens.

drug Town Official Criticized For Calling People Battling Addiction Junkies

Facebook post by Daniel Veerman (WBZ-TV)

“If that’s how he feels what is going to make him objectively review a proposal or a building permit,” said Giroux.

Veerman says his comments aren’t related to any discussion of a rehab center and that the issue hasn’t even been brought before the zoning board.

“Moving forward, I will be careful to use the correct language in my charge as a public official needed to minimize the contention this issue has caused our town,” said Veerman.

The possibility of a detox center opening on Middlesex Ave on a vacant plot is dividing people in the town.

“It doesn’t make any sense we’ve got kids walking back and forth to the stores, there’s a liquor store right across. It doesn’t feel right, we don’t feel right for this particular zone,” said Jim Buckley.

Those against the center say the Middlesex Ave location is too close to a residential neighborhood.

Giroux disagrees and says the problem is most likely already there.

“If not here then where if not Wilmington then what town. This problem is everywhere it’s on your back doorstep now,” said Giroux.

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