Article written

  • on 11.02.2013
  • at 09:15 AM
  • by Ryan McDonald

Methadone clinic hearing had ‘misinformation,’ treatment advocates say 1

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

Pa. Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-172nd, led last week’s panel on methadone clinics. Photo/Tiffany Goforth

Beverly Haberle, executive director of The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc., opened the Frankford Civic Association meeting Thursday by addressing an issue that has residents of several Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods up in arms.

On Jan. 30, Pa. Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-172nd, held a hearing at the Mayfair Community Center discussing methadone clinics, their impact on neighborhoods and access to treatment. With zoning approval for two Holmesburg clinics pending, no one is quite done talking about the issue.

“There was a lot of misinformation at the hearing and that’s why we are here,” Haberle told Frankford residents. She said there seemed to be confusion between treatment facilities and recovery houses — the latter being a persistent problem for many in Frankford. Treatment centers have rules and standards to follow, Haberle kept reiterating, and recovery houses don’t.

“We have to come together and find a way it’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Fred Martin, a colleague of Haberle’s. His comments addressed the continued concern residents stressed over the unruliness of dealing with many recovering addicts in neighboring recovery houses.

Another member speaking on behalf of methadone clinics was Fred Way, executive director of Philadelphia Association of Recovery Residences. “We’re looking at putting a face and voice to recovery,” he said.

When asked about what could be done to deal with the bad recovery houses, Way said that the residents need to contact him and point them out. He said he has a feeling those houses are not licensed.

I’m here for the long haul,” Way told the civic association, in an effort to assure Frankford residents he’s looking out for the neighborhood’s best interests.

 Ryan McDonald is a student reporting for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, the publication of Temple University’s Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.

  • a neighbor

    A Methadone clinic in the area does not have to be a bad thing, if run properly. It should be kept to a low census, 200 clients at the most. The larger the clinic, the more the chance for things getting out of control. Most clinics open very early in the morning. If you keep the operating hours short, that also helps with issues. There is no need for clinics to be open until 5, 6 or 7 at night. There needs to be adequate security, and adequate personnel to ensure the clients are not “hanging out” outside. There should be a separate smoking area, not in front of the building, for clients. They will be allowed breaks during the treatment groups.
    And the goal should be to assist people to get off the opiates, transition onto Methadone to allow the person to address the issue of why they chose to use opiates in the first place. And then, over the course of their counseling, the goal is to detox off the Methadone and lead a sober life. This needs to be the goal. Methadone is not meant to be a lifelong choice. Keeping a clinic’s census low gives the counselors and administrators the ability to keep track of each individual’s progress toward a sober life.

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