Council, Planning Board to discuss methadone clinic

LEWISTON — City officials will begin gathering information on a proposed Mollison Way methadone clinic next week.

Community Substance Abuse Centers of Quincy, Mass., filed an application with the city Wednesday morning to open the clinic at 18 Mollison Way.

The city has scheduled a joint City Council-Planning Board workshop meeting to review the proposal at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, in City Council Chambers.

"This is just an opportunity for both groups to look at the project and get familiar," City Administrator Ed Barrett said. "It's not going to supplant any part of the formal process. I don't even think we'll get to review the specific location Tuesday. We'll look more at the company and what their programs are."

The company is proposing to build Lewiston's first methadone substance-abuse treatment facility near the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley.

Methadone is used to treat addiction to opioid drugs, such as heroin and OxyContin. The company operates 11 clinics in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and a 12th at 2300 Congress St. in Portland.

Lewiston's methadone clinic rules require substance-abuse treatment centers to get business licenses from the city. Licenses must be approved and reviewed annually by the City Council. The city's ordinance allows substance-abuse treatment centers to be built as long as they are a minimum of 1,000 feet from churches, schools, parks and day cares.

"They have a minimum of three formal meetings — one with the Planning Board and two with the council," Barrett said.

If approved, the company plans to open the clinic late this summer or in the fall.

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 's picture

St mary's hands out methadone

and the school is right next door.

The requirement that said

The requirement that said clinic be 1,000 feet away from various types of businesses is not legal, unless you also require any other medical office to do the same. Methadone clinics are protected under the ADA and MUST be treated the same way as any other medical office with regard to zoning.

The clinic may or may not choose to take this to court--however, if they do, the town is sure to lose, as has happened in many many other similar cases of discrimination of this type.

People seem to be unaware that these are actual human beings who attend these clinics--people with jobs, kids, homes. These same people you are shunning may very well attend the churches you want them far away from, take their kids to the parks you want them far away from, have children in the schools and daycares you want them far away from--or maybe, they even TEACH in those schools and daycares! I know of one such patient who is a principal of an elementary school.

There is NO evidence--none, zero--that patients from a clinic have ever disturbed a church, harmed children at schools or daycares--or rained terror upon nearby parks. In my town, the clinic is directly across the street from an elementary school. Patients walking to the clinic cross the street with the children at the corner with the crossing guard. Kids walk down the street directly in front of the clinic all the time. And, in ten years of operation, there has NEVER been a single incident. Not one.

The reason the ADA had to step in to protect these clinics is because of the rumors, myths and prejudice that surround them. There is NO NEED, from a rational or statistical point of view, to force clinics to locate far away from schools, parks and oh yeah, God Himself. I really wonder what Jesus would have to say about people wanting to locate his house as far away as possible from those who need Him most?


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