Article written

  • on 31.01.2013
  • at 11:38 AM
  • by Tiffany Goforth

At methadone clinic hearing, balance sought between treatment and neighborhoods’ wishes 7

Pa. Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-172nd, leads a panel on methadone clinics. Photo/Tiffany Goforth

Pa. Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-172nd, leads a panel on methadone clinics. Photo/Tiffany Goforth

As Holmesburg, Mayfair and other neighborhoods along the Frankford Avenue business corridor work to keep methadone clinics from opening in their communities, Pa. Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-172nd, held a hearing Wednesday at the Mayfair Community Center to discuss the clinics’ impact on neighborhoods and access to treatment.

The hearing was prompted by the Healing Way Inc’s effort to open a clinic on the 7900-block of Frankford Avenue, and NorthEast Treatment Centers’ plan to set up a clinic at 7520 State Rd.

‍‍Boyle led the panel of speakers, which included community members and representatives of organizations who operate or support methadone treatment facilities.

Continuing coverage of clinic proposed for 7900 Frankford Avenue:

Healing Way argues for appeal

Application overturned

Legislation announced

Photos from second rally

ZBA decision will take 3 weeks

Sign-ups begin for bus to ZBA

500 expected to attend meeting about clinic

ZBA hearing set for Aug. 31

Legislators meet with state health department

Hundreds rally in opposition of the clinic

Rep. Kevin Boyle pens letter to the editor

Pete Specos of the Frankford Civic Association was the first to speak. “I am not against drug addicts or patients that need help, but against the facilities that abuse them and take their money,” he said. Specos said he believes that the methadone facilities need to have guidelines and rules to abide by.

On the panel in favor of methadone clinics was Dr. James Cornish, Director of Opioid Treatment Program at Philadelphia VA Medical Center. “Look at the programs that are good programs,” he said, in an effort to remind skeptics about the benefits methadone clinics can have for addicts. Cornish said that going to treatment for an addict should be as easy as going to a dealer — that they will feel comfortable and at ease.

Boyle briefly spoke about a bill he’s working on to help this problem. Representative Boyle said, “Everyone here wants people with drug addiction to get treatment. We just need a better process of where to put the treatment facility.”

The full list of those who testified is as follows: Pete Specos, president, Frankford Civic Association; Capt. John McCloskey, 15th District captain, Philadelphia Police Department; a panel from The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania Inc. and PRO-ACT, including Sandy Cini, clinical director, Aldie Counseling Center; Brittan Auletto, PRO-ACT recovery specialist, The Council of SEPA; Andre Ried, ATR recovery specialist, PMHCC; Dr. James Cornish, director of Opioid Treatment Program at Philadelphia VA Medical Center and associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Studies in Addiction; Noni West, PRO-ACT program specialist of the Council of SEPA and Doylestown Borough councilwoman; and Sharon A.L. Brass, general service representative for anonymous support groups.

Tiffany Goforth and Ryan McDonald are students reporting for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, the publication of Temple University’s Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.


    Amazing that all those in favor of these facilities are the ones that benefit financially from their existence. Guaranteed they don’t live next to one of these places. If their programs were so effective and successful they wouldn’t need to keep opening up new facilities; they’d be closing them down as people get clean. Another sham played on the taxpayer to bilk big dollars off of peoples sympathy for the less fortunate; otherwise known as people who made their own bad choices. Don’t go down the addiction is a disease road either, because it’s only a disease so business can play the disabilities act card.

  • ehej

    More then half of the people there are the ones whose kids are addicts or are themselves! shame on you for sending your kids to destroy other peoples neighborhoods! Wake up!

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  • twinofsean

    It poaches my hatred when I read the hate, stupidity, ignorance and blatant discrimination that someone like Mr. Specos displays. Mr. Specos is head of the Frankford Civic Association seems to be anything BUT civil. If he or any other know-it-all bigot would take the two minutes to research what they are opposing, then they wouldn’t sound so stupid. Without the facilities , which are extremely regulated and policied, there is no treatment. People suggested that a clinic should be put on State Road instead of in the populated parts of neighborhoods, so a very reputable, non-profit treatment facility heeded that suggestion to be courteous, and still, is being fought by discriminatory citizens of neighborhoods that are literally booming with drug addicts. These places save families, save lives and don’t ruin neigborhoods, so do your 5 minutes of research!

  • Jose’

    Well, well. Another great article with misinformed individuals whom left comments.

  • Jose’

    Addiction, in a lot of situations, is generational. Regardless of why anyone becomes addicted to anything they and their families should be able to recieve effective treatment within their own communities. Many people from the Holmesburg, Mayfair section are looking at their rising opiate abuse epidemic as an “outside of our community” problem when in fact it is “within their community” that this raging situation is occuring. It is because of this quick rise in numbers that the State is going to put a treatment center in that community. There is no “Is It Going To Happen” about this. By State and Federal LAW it is going to happen. The question is WHEN? Right now there are two extremely different facilities that are presently seeking approval from the Zoning Board. The first facility (The Healing Way) is what is known as a “For Profit” business that doesn’t have the support of the city’s various health departments that are working hard to get people the proper treatment. As we all already know the bottom line is only about money with “for profit businesses.” They also have no experience with operating something such as a methadone facility. You can just tell by the location that they want to put it that they are not experienced at thinking things through. Parking? What parking? The second facility (The NET) is what is known as a “Non-Profit” organization that has the support of the city’s various health departments. The bottom line for this place is known as results which is based on people getting their lives back on track and being productive members of their community. They are experienced and base their approach to addiction on science and evidence and faith. Those are the two choices. I hope that they support one of them before the State makes the choice for them.

  • Sue

    The presumption here is that methadone is a good treatment for addiction. It is a horrible drug in itself. It’s better to make opiate blockers available at more physicians offices. Right now, most insurances won’t cover them, but will cover methadone. These clinics are bad
    in general. They keeps addicts coming back usually for years, and limit their ability to get fee of their program. The addict must go to their clinic every day, to drink their dose. They’re not supposed to hang out in the parking lot, but they do. And, they trade or sell drugs to each other. Would be/is much better for addicts to have individual appointments, and medicine in pill form, that they can pick up once a week at their pharmacy. The clinic culture is not
    something you want in a residentil neighborhood. It also enslaves the addict, making them dependent on the clinic, so ths clinic can get the insurance payments. It I’d about numbers. Signed, A good mother is unfortunate to have an addicted child.

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