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Winchester couple to open drug addiction facility


WINCHESTER — The Planning Board has approved a proposal for an addiction rehabilitation center on Route 10.

With the approval in hand, David and Suzanne Boisvert are ready to move forward with their plans for the Winding River Retreat rehabilitation center.

“The name came to me in church one day,” Suzanne Boisvert said Wednesday.

To fund the project, the Boisverts are selling the Winchester Speedpark, which they have owned since 2002.

Boisvert said she will miss the racers and families they have met running the racetrack, but said she feels a calling to help people suffering from addiction.

She also sees a need in the area for recovery and detox centers.

“There’s a crisis happening, and we’ve had people in our town overdosing and suffering, so it’s necessary,” she said.

The solution to the heroin crisis is through services, she said.

The rehabilitation center will also consume a lot the couple’s time.

“So we’ll be able to devote our time to getting this going. I couldn’t do both well,” she said.

Boisvert said she knows how addicts and their families struggle.

Their 29-year-old son has been struggling with addiction for more than a decade, and has now been sober for a year.

“My son is a heroin addict; he is in early recovery,” she said. “It’s not a curable disease. It needs to be managed the rest of your life. But the longer your brain is off opiates, the better chance it has.”

When her son was struggling, she said, he was in and out of facilities in Massachusetts because there just weren’t addiction facilities in New Hampshire.

The Winchester facility has been approved for up to 36 clients, but will start with 20 residents who have already been through detox, she said. It will treat them for a period of six months — a much longer period than most facilities, she said.

Later, the center will begin taking patients for detox.

Boisvert said the center will use a combination of behavioral modification therapy and time to treat clients.

“I think six months is important. It takes six months to two years for the brain to heal,” Boisvert said. “I think these short turnarounds — I know these short turnarounds are ineffective and people just need a safe and secure place that is away from the trigger so that they have a chance of getting back to themselves. No one would choose to continue to destroy themselves and their family.”

The Boisverts have a purchase agreement for the 25-room house on Route 10/Keene Road that sits on 54 acres near the Ashuelot River.

They plan to renovate the house over the summer and open the center in the fall.

mpierce@newstote.com

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