LEWISTON — Neighbors and local health and city officials will get a first-hand look next month at a new Mollison Way methadone clinic.
Jennifer Minthorn, program director at the Merrimack River Medical Services facility, has invited 82 neighbors, city officials and health care providers to tour the facility on Dec. 9.
It's part of a promise Massachusetts-based Community Substance Abuse Centers, operators of the methadone treatment clinic, made when they received city approval in April.
"We've invited all the businesses in the area, and all the different providers that we deal with on a regular basis," Minthorn said. "I've already had quite a few RSVP and say they're coming."
The clinic opened in September, and Minthorn said it now treats 132 regular patients. Most are local residents who were treated in Portland or Waterville.
"But there are a number of patients that came from the community," she said. "They found out we were open and talked to us about treatment."
Methadone is used to treat addiction to opioid drugs, like heroin or OxyContin. The company operates 12 other clinics in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and a 13th in Portland.
The company began applying to the city to open the clinic a year ago, and the idea upset several neighbors. The clinic is in the same building as the Sparetime Recreation Bowling Alley and across Mollison Way from a pediatric clinic.
Company officials said then that they would open their doors to neighbors and community officials regularly to show how they operate. Clinic officials must also meet with the chief of police twice each year and come back annually for a City Council review.
The clinic is open seven days per week. Monday through Friday, the clinic gives out methadone doses to patients from 5:30 to 11:30 a.m. and provides counseling services until 1:30 p.m. The clinic provides dosing to patients from 6 to 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sunday.
"The weekend schedule was in response to the neighbors," Minthorn said. "We start later in Portland, but we wanted to get everyone in and out earlier and minimize impact on the bowling alley's traffic."