Some Northeast Philly Residents Really Don’t Want a Methadone Clinic in Their Hood

There are a lot of people in Northeast Philadelphia who could do without a methadone clinic on the 7900 block of Frankford Avenue. They held a public protest against it last Tuesday, and then a public meeting last night in the auditorium at Lincoln High School. About 750 concerned citizens and a few area politicians were on hand. Not one was vocally in favor of the project.

The get-together began a little after 6pm and while billed as a meeting to, as Mayfair Civic Association President Joe DeFelice put it from the podium, inform the citizens on the facts surrounding a potential drug abuse clinic in their neighborhood, it came off more like a rally to do whatever it takes to preserve the “nice neighborhood,” as one politician put it, that is Holmesburg.

It was the first and last time you’re going to see a bipartisan coalition, anywhere, this month. Those in attendance included State Rep. Mike McGeehan, State Rep. Kevin Boyle, State Senator Mike Stack, State Rep. Mark Cohen, City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski and Karen Grumankin, representing Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, who’s currently residing in the Washington garbage heap, doing the debt ceiling baby fight jig.

Krajewski was the first to speak, and she told the story of the potential clinic’s infantile stages, which she found out about in a Valentine’s Day email. When she heard about the permit posted on the window at 7900 Frankford read “Medical clinic,” she thought little of it. She’d heard rumors of the space passing out narcotic treatments, but nothing official.

It wasn’t until this summer, July 1, that she and other area pols became aware the applicant was Healing Way. The private company (the owners of which, said Boyle, have a background in “Cash for Gold” stores) got the property through a C2 permit, which allows a mixed use of small lots and does not require a zoning board hearing.

Dennis Kulp, who owns the property (and did not attend the meeting) has been telling anyone who asked that he wasn’t aware his tenants were readying to distribute methadone. He says he’s since offered the owners of Healing Way $100,000 to break their lease. They’ve refused.

Plenty of those on stage rallied those in the audience with awesome sound bites, like when Sen. Stack said there was “no way in hell” they’re moving a clinic into his neighborhood. Or when he said there may be a time and place for methadone treatment but, “I know one thing, it’s not here. It’s not anywhere around here…waiting in lines, in nice neighborhoods like this, that’s not the right use of methadone.”

Or when Rep. Boyle said he’d “fight like hell” against the clinic’s opening because that part of the northeast is a “safe, stable neighborhood where people can feel free to walk around, raise their family.” He also said there are already methadone clinics on Frankford Avenue, under the El, where people could go. He said Kulp was “duped” by the owners of Healing Way.

Every time a politician gave a showstopping pull quote, the guy sitting behind me screamed and clapped with his full strength, sending small gusts of wind to the back of my head. Rep. Boyle admitted he loved applause, and stopped several times during his speeches if he heard a slow clap with the potential to snowball.

Over the two hours, many in the audience became more angry, some cried over what was being proposed for their neighborhood, and one man toward the front screamed, “They’re [the owners of Healing Way] gonna need some healing!”

That guy behind me twice vocalized that Section 8 Housing was responsible for the potential clinic. “Get rid of the section 8 housing!” he screamed. When it was mentioned the clinic would not receive public funds, but those using its services would probably be on Medicaid, he said, over several gasps and private conversations, “They’re getting funds. We’re paying for it!”

The second time he screamed about the problem of public housing projects, hands cupped around his mouth, it was during a lull and everyone heard. A few people turned around to see who made the comment, and he shrugged. “What? No one wants to answer it,” he said, then repeated the same thing to his son: “No one’s answering that.”

Later on, he yelled: “Put it in front of Nutter’s house!”

One girl in her early 20s told her friend she planned on standing outside the methadone clinic all day with cartons of eggs, pelting those who arrived for treatment.

Then it was time for the Q&A portion, which were read on stage off cards taken from audience members. The first few questions were rhetorical, including one which asked whether or not “drug addicts” will be “riding the SEPTA bus with our children.”

Finally, a question was asked by, it was read, someone currently in treatment. “If the clinic is run correctly, will it still be opposed?”

“One-hundred percent,” said Boyle to applause.

40 Responses to “ Some Northeast Philly Residents Really Don’t Want a Methadone Clinic in Their Hood ”

  1. Montgomery Burns says:

    drug addiction is a problem you can’t just wish away. and considering the FACT that the biggest and most reliable open-air heroin market in the united states is only about 20 blocks away i can’t believe people would fight this. the addicts are going to be there regardless. the only thing we can do about it is provide support for those willing to fight their addictions.

  2. Kerry Wolf says:

    What a pathetic mess. Who is the problem here–the people seeking the most effective treatment available today for their condition, looking to get well and live a responsible life–or those good folks from the “nice neighborhood” who want to pelt patients with eggs?

  3. mike schmitt says:

    Most effective treatment available? You obviously have no experience with methadone or addiction treatment. The only thing is complete abstenance and a complete change in lifestyle and behavior. Also the ones saying they will be riding buses with addicts has to be the most judgemental comment i ever heard. This disease is affects every family in one way or another. Believe me its all over and ecspecially in mayfair. Methadone and ignorance will not help this problem.

  4. Jeff George says:

    “Considering the FACT that the biggest and most reliable open-air heroin market in the united states is only about 20 blocks away i can’t believe people would fight this.” By Montgomery Burns

    If you are referring to Kensington and Somerset, you are talking about a 8-12 mile distance and almost a 30 minute ride from 7900 Frankford Ave. Clearly, you do not live in the area, or else you would have know that they are no 20 blocks away.

  5. mike schmitt says:

    There is acctually a clinic on Bridge by 95 called the NET. Not that it makes a difference. Just an FYI

  6. Alex Wentz says:

    You can tell the author of this blog is just so smug and looks down his nose on the hard-working, working class residents of this neighborhood. It was so big of the author, Randy LoBasso, to force himself to leave Center City and come up to the Northeast. You just know the whole time he was sitting in the meeting saying “ewwww all of these close minded lower class white people”.
    Meanwhile, having attended the meeting, I can tell you that I was impressed by how well run it was. It was not some scream-fest filled with neanderthals. Were there a few folks who were out of line? Sure. In a crowd of 750+ people, that’s not surprising. But overall I left there feeling quite proud.

  7. suburbanite says:

    @alex wentz, um…the writer never mentions the race or class of the people who were at this meeting, so i’m not sure how you know he was thinking “ew white trash” or whatever you said. in fact, the only way anyone would think the writer had such an opinion of the audience was if they themselves see the ppl in the NE as poor white trash. i think you need to do some soul-searching, sir.

  8. Ken Hamilton says:

    Another point that no one is commenting on is that there are at least 20 of these centers in the city, we do not need any more of them. I live two blocks from where this “clinic” is supposed to be placed, and I will be riding with these junkies on the 66 as they go to get their legal fix with no intention of going clean. I had very little respect for PW before and have even less now.

  9. suburbanite says:

    also, a reporter’s job is to report what was said/done. you yourself admit that some ppl were out of line. ok, well, that’s what is conveyed here. some ppl were out of line and EVERYONE is very, very opposed to this clinic opening up in their neighborhood. if anyone spoke out in support of the clinic, i’m sure those quotes would be here, too. you were there, right? were these comments not made? did a girl not say she was going to throw eggs at ppl? did rep. boyle not get applause at his comments? c’mon. those things happened as reported here in this story. that’s journalism. and, if you support the clinic, please contact the writer, as i’m sure he’d love to get some quotes from you.

  10. William Redmond says:

    Obviously Mr. Burns and Ms. Wolf have no idea what they are talking about. Either on treatment or location. I agree that abstinance is the “ONLY” solution not substitution with another additive drug. The only reason for methadone is to reduce the pain of withdrawl from opiates/herion to the addict. Maybe the pain would be a deterent in itself. Regardless, controlled substances should be administered in a hospital or profesional facillity, not by a clinic, owned by schiester cash for gold buyers who will hire some low bid doctor to front their drugs for cash scheme collectiing our tax dollars for “PROFIT”. This isn’t about helping addicts, this is about “PROFIT” period! Let the owners open up the clinic at their house, “NOT OURS!”

  11. Tom says:

    THIS IS SO STUPID. Instead of locating this clinic a few blocks away on State Road, an easily accessible location with good public transportation but no residences, Healing Way decides to open on the main thoroughfare of a healthy, vibrant community. Those who oppose treatment centers outright ignore the fact that there are not enough treatment options for the junkies who live on their block. Just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. But siting this clinic on Frankford Avenue was a bad choice, and the very real arrogance of this company in doing so has caused an uproar that deafens out the very real problems of drug abuse and it’s treatment.

  12. Rokki says:

    WOW. NIMBY is alive and well in this town. I read stigma such as this all day long from people who have no idea what Opioid Treatment is and why patients require it. With the rise of prescription abuse,and it knows no boundaries and doesn’t say”Oh this is a good neighborhood we should stay out of here”. Do you hear how ridicules this is? Ms Wolfe knows more in her little finger then any of you could even fathom when it comes to educating people about Methadone. The “Clean” comment,I took a shower today so Yes I am clean. Methadone is a maintenance medication much like my thyroid medication. Neither are a cure but as long as I take them they keep my disease in check. Also there is this law about the Americans with Disabilities Act. Check it out won’t you? You can not legally stop a treatment program from opening,no matter how much stigma you speak.
    Well done Kerry..:)

  13. MayfairMike says:

    I do know about methadone ROKKI. Can you name one thyroid medication that you need to slowly taken off of? Its not just a “maintenance medication” It is considered to be the number one substitute for a drug habit. You need to be monitored by a counselor when your on this as well. And what about the people who are only on this because the courts made it mandatory for them? Do think that when they get there take home med’s they are keeping it? Ummmm nope they are selling it. With these clinics brings more and more dealers. I know what this stuff does to a person and to the persons family. I have seen this first hand. An addict can ONLY help himself if he/she REALLY want it. Why substitute one drug for another? To me that shows that person is not ready to get clean.

    Addiction to Illegal drugs is not covered under the ADA . Also the ADA covers a person/person with a disability And from what we all know the owners of Healing Way do not have any disability’s. So in turn You bringing up the ADA shows you dont really know what your talking about. Because we are not Stopping anyone from getting help we are stopping the owners.

    This is from the ADA website:

    Casual drug use is not a disability under the ADA. Only individuals who are addicted to drugs, have a history of addiction, or who are regarded as being addicted have an impairment under the law. In order for an individual’s drug addiction to be considered a disability under the ADA, it would have to pose a substantial limitation on one or more major life activities.

    Just thought you would like to know that bit of info.

  14. rick c says:

    Double edge sword!!!! Its a shame cause it could help alot of people but the reality is, it will not be run properly, people will still use other drugs while they are on the methadone because the meth doesn’t get you high it becomes a blocker at a certain milligram that’s when people start to mix it with xanax and that is what everyone see’s, the people who are nodded out while there standing there. It is those that give the people being treated w methadone a bad name. It is in a bad location, too close to schools. There are plenty of spaces on state road for it to be built. I hope both sides can reach a peaceful agreement for the sake of those who truly are trying to better themselves.

  15. Jennifer says:

    Thank you Rick C. It IS the people that are mixing their methadone with things like Xanax that give people who are truly utilizing the medication for it’s intended purpose. We don’t hear about the successful patients because their stories are not SENSATIONAL! Mayfairmike addiction and the ADA, specifically citing: Casual drug use is not a disability under the ADA. Only individuals who are addicted to drugs, have a history of addiction, or who are regarded as being addicted have an impairment under the law. In order for an individual’s drug addiction to be considered a disability under the ADA, it would have to pose a substantial limitation on one or more major life activities.
    Do you not think that an individual’s addiction to opiates doesn’t pose a substantial limitation on one or more major life activities? Do you not think that people with addictions to opiates aren’t “addicted”, have a history of addiction, or are regarded as being addicted? They certainly are, which meets the criteria! There is absolutely NOTHING casual about opiate addiction, and to say there is shows your own ignorance and prejudice. Oh, and when taking ANY type of hormone replacement therapy, such as thyroid, you should NEVER stop taking it suddenly! If you are able to stop, they do it in decreasing amounts as your thyroid starts responding again, if it does. Another thing to the people who think they live in a nice, stable neighborhood: yes, it IS nice and stable, but that in NO WAY exempts you all from people with opiate addictions. Just because everything looks good on the outside doesn’t mean it is. Opiate addiction does not discriminate. I agree that clinics are not always run the way they should be and that yes, there are those who still abuse other stuff while on methadone and sell their take home doses, but there are people who still abuse other drugs while in abstinence based programs. There are perfectly respectable people who are prescribed pain medication for chronic pain conditions that abuse their meds and sell them. Opiate addiction is EVERYWHERE!! Just because you don’t see it does NOT mean it isn’t there. In “nice” neighborhoods we just don’t talk about it for fear of being stigmatized! If you actually took the time to do your research, you would find that methadone IS the best treatment for opiate addiction according to the American Medical Association. There are people from all walks of life on this medication, not just homeless heroin “junkies”! Like I said, you don’t hear about the success stories, not because they don’t exist, but because they aren’t sensational. I AM one of the MANY success stories. I am on Methadone, go to school, work, take care of my family, and I pay for my own treatment like the majority of patients do. I don’t “nod”, abuse other drugs, sell my medication, or any of the other things you say ALL methadone patients do. You would never even know I was on medication of any kind by just looking at me! I am ashamed at the level of prejudice, hate, and absolute ignorance in this community! Maybe someday someone will find a way to educate people in a way that they will listen to and maybe someday politicians and others with an ulterior motive will stop spreading fear and hate of addiction just to further their own agendas!

  16. mike schmitt says:

    Did she just say perfectly respectable people who sell there pain medicine,and that people who practice abstinence abuse other substances. Then that wouldn’t be respectable or abstinent. You have no idea until you experienced true sobriety.

  17. Shannon says:

    This whole argument is shameful and ignorant. If they need to build a methadone clinic in the community, the drugs are already THERE. Personally, I’d rather live and commute beside people who are seeking above-ground treatment for their addictions than underground drug trafficking and the violence and decay that comes with it. But we all know that the real issue here isn’t the methadone. It’s the Section 8 housing, and the fact that a few more of those dirty, low class poor people might infect the neighborhood.

  18. William Redmond says:

    Listen, Shannon, Jennifer, Rokki, MS wolfe and Mr Burns. No disrespect intended, but plain and simple, I DON”T WANT THIS CLINIC IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD, PERIOD!

    Show me one of these clinics that has improved the area that it is in. Show me one clinic that is run properly and causes no negative impact on the area that it is in. Show me one clinic that contributes something back to the area. Show me the sucess stories on one clinic and one addict for that matter. Jennifer you claim to be a recovering addict from opiates and are currently on methadone? Well why don’t you explain your sucess story with us nay sayers. Just the facts like how long where you on herion? How long have you been on methadone? and how long will it be before you are off of methadone? Do you go to a clinic for your drug or to your own doctor since you claim to pay for it out of pocket? Most methadone users pay for it out of pocket? Do you have the data to back that statement up? I have a lot of questions for you. See I too am a recovering addict. Programs, meetings etc, I’ve been to them all. I know many addicts and I know what works and it’s not substitution. Complete abstinance is what works and few get it, I have 22 years clean, how about you? Clean is not methadone!

    Bottom line is, I work hard for my home and family and this WILL drag the value of my families life and my property. Most of these cilinic are funded by TAX dollars, most of the clientel are on welfare, SSI or some other form of assistance, also funded by tax dollars. That being said, don’t you think that the people paying for these types of places should have a say in where they are located? No one is saying don’t open them up, just do it where it is acceptable to the people footing the bill.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Mr. Redmond,
    You ask how long I was on heroin. I’ve never used heroin or any other illegal drug, including weed. I got addicted to Oxycontin after being thrown and drug by a racing horse. I started out with plain old vicodin and when that quit working I was prescribed Percocet, then Oxycontin. Before I knew it, I was addicted. I never bought off of the street or from a dealer, doctors and pharmacies were my dealers. I abused pain pills for almost ten years and went through six traditional 30 day in-patient treatment programs. The last treatment program I went to was very expensive and very good, but it certainly didn’t keep me from using while I was there and I wasn’t the only one. That went on in every program I went to. I got pregnant with my daughter and told my OB/GYN that I was addicted to Oxycontin. He said I had basically two options: quit cold turkey and have a 50-75% of miscarriage or start on methadone and have a healthy pregnancy. I thought he was crazy, but I didn’t want to lose my baby. I started on methadone on August 12th, 2002. My daughter was born in March of 2003 perfectly healthy, not one problem, and NO neonatal abstinence syndrome. Six months after she was born I started to slowly taper off and when I got to a certain point, I started having seizures. Never having had a seizure and with no family history, I had every test in the book run. I went to a neurologist, a psychiatrist, an endocrinologist, a neuropsychiatrist, and finally a neurologist that specialized in addiction to see why I was having seizures. After six cat scans, a pet scan, and four different MRI’s it was determined I was having post-acute withdrawal syndrome. This is a syndrome that doesn’t go away. When people abuse opiates heavily and for long periods, they actually change the way that their brains neurons function. Everyone has opiate receptors in their brains and everyone has natural painkilling signals that their sympathetic nervous system puts out. People like me have destroyed our bodies abilities to make these chemicals and not only the painkilling signals, but also other types of signals that deal with mood, thermoregulation, ect. We have literally changed the way our brain functions and have changed what it requires to work properly. After trying every anti-seizure medication and some not FDA approved stuff as well, the only thing that stopped my seizures was a therapeutic daily dose of opiates. Since methadone is the long acting one and blocks the high of heroin and other opiates, I stuck with that one. I will have to take it the rest of my life. I am clean just like you, only I take medication. For me,there are three parts to recovery: physical, psychological, and spiritual. If one of those isn’t taken care of, I am in danger of relapsing. Methadone is taking care of the physical part of my recovery. I also happen to take thyroid medicine and I don’t consider that any differently.
    Now, you also asked if I go to a clinic or to a private doctor. I go toa clinic like any other opiate addict. It is against federal law for private physicians to prescribe methadone for addiction. They can prescribe it for chronic pain, but the requirements are very stringent. Clinics have to abide by state and federal regulations and the doctors that prescribe for the clinics have to be specially licensed. I also pay for my methadone, $350.00 a month, every single month.
    I am not denying that there are many people that do exactly what everyone says and I’m not denying that many clinics aren’t run the way they should. What I AM saying is that not all patients deserve to be thrown into the heap with the ones that give methadone such a bad stigma. I know that Medicaid pays for a lot of people’s methadone, but there are plenty of people paying their own way. Being a methadone patient doesn’t make me any less of a person than you, any less of a mother or wife or student or worker than anyone else. There are a lot of good, hard working people that are on methadone programs, but you don’t see them because we are the ones that are only required to attend clinic once every two weeks or once a month. The ones that cause problems are the patients that have to attend daily because they continually have dirty UA’s, refuse to cooperate with counseling, and pretty much are just there to keep from getting sick in between getting high. I personally think those are the ones that should be kicked off so that others who truly want to get better can have a chance, but even if those types of patients were kicked off of the clinic, that doesn’t mean the problem simply ceases to exist in your neighborhood. If you think there are no opiate addicts in Mayfair, well you couldn’t be more wrong. They are everywhere. I don’t expect what I’ve said to change your mind or anyone else’s, but I’m hoping maybe it will open up some closed minds just a little bit. If anyone has any further questions, please feel free to email me at jenn.killgore@ttu.edu. Thanks.

  20. J.Miller says:

    Mr Redmon, I’d be happy to answer your questions and I could show you numerous clinics that are an asset to their community and have no negative impact on it. My clinic is one good example. It’s located in a strip mall in a suburb across the street from a residential area. It’s next to a pretty busy Walgreen’s and a lot of people come and go in the area all day. And you know what, none of the residents or businesses around the clinic have any idea that this is a methadone clinic. There is nothing about the clinic or its patients that stand out at all. The same was true for my previous clinic where the people that worked in the same building as the clinic apparently thought it was “some sort of doctor’s office”. That’s how much of an impact methadone clinics have – you don’t even notice them. In some areas where there are few clinics they tend to be quite large and there are a lot of people coming and going during the morning hours and therefore people do notice the clinic but it’s no different than any other busy business. Philly has several clinics and the majority of them are pretty small so I don’t think you will have this problem in your neighborhood.
    The clinics have a positive impact on the community as a whole since it helps people get off drugs and live normal, productive lives. For every one dollar spent on methadone treatment 4-7 dollars are saved.
    BTW, the majority of clinics are privately owned. Some accept Medicaid but many don’t. All patients at my clinic pay out of pocket.

    As far as success stories go my clinic is full of them. Not all do well and end up dropping out of treatment. Usually they are not ready to do the work required to stay clean. But those that stay in treatment usually do very well, like me.
    I used to be a heroin addict. I started at 15 and went downhill quickly and it took me almost ten years to get off drugs after trying numerous times by going to meetings, 12-step rehabs, etc. But I’ve been in methadone treatment for over 7 years and haven’t touched a drug in all that time. I’m doing great. I work, I’ve been going school and will be going back again in the fall, I volunteer a lot too. I live a very normal life with my husband in the burbs. Very few people who know me know that I’m on methadone and those that I tell as surprised to find out. I look and act like everyone else and the same is true for most methadone patients.
    There are a lot of misconceptions and myths about MMT (Methadone maintenance treatment) and you seem to have bought into all of them. You are clearly not very knowledgeable on the topic. FYI, all MMT patients go to clinics. It’s illegal for physicians to treat addiction with controlled substances. It can only be done in clinics with special permission from the federal government. (There are rare exceptions where doctors can get special permission but it’s very hard and very rare and there are none in PA). Most MMT patients do pay for their own treatment. In some areas that’s the only option.

    I’m glad that you have remained clean through abstinence based treatment but that doesn’t work for everyone, especially for opiate addicts. Some addicts have permanent damage to their brains where medication is needed to function properly. That is not at all the same as getting a “legal fix”. Unfortunately a lot of people believe that because of the common misstatement that methadone treatment is substitution for the opiates that the addict abused. That’s not true. Methadone is simply a medication used to treat a brain disorder. It’s no different than a person with bi-polar disorder taking lithium to treat his brain disorder. It occupies the opiate receptors in the brain so that the patient’s brain won’t need/crave opiates and can’t get high from them even if he tried. That’s all it is – a medication to prevent cravings which is usually what causes people to relapse. Unlike what people believe methadone does not get the patients high or have any kind of intoxicating effect on them. It’s nothing like heroin or vicodin or oxycontin. Although it is an opiate it works very differently than other opiates. Not all opiates are the same (Immodium, the diarrhea medication, is an opiate). I feel nothing more when I take my methadone than I do when I take a Tylenol. It just does what it’s supposed to which is to keep the cravings away and that’s why I keep taking it. As you know addiction is a lifelong disease and it doesn’t go away just because you haven’t used drugs in a few years. Addicts are always at risk of relapsing but while I’m on methadone that risk is slim to none. But if I stopped taking it the cravings would come back and I would be at risk of relapsing again and I don’t want that to happen. I never, ever want to go back to active drug addiction again. That’s my worst nightmare so I continue to take methadone to make sure that won’t happen.
    I was on methadone once before for a short time and then got off to live a life free of any substances. But it didn’t last long. The cravings took over my will and common sense and I relapsed. I don’t want that to happen again. Now, on methadone, my will and common sense is fully under my control and I choose not to use drugs. It’s working very well for me and with the risks of getting off I don’t see why I should. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?! You wouldn’t tell someone with another disease to get off their medication that helps keep their symptoms in check so that they can live happy, healthy lives, would you?

    As to your claim that most people attending methadone clinics are on some sort of assistance that’s simply not true. The clinics open early in the morning to accommodate all the patients that have to get to work. Almost everyone at my clinic works full time. If they don’t work or go to school full time don’t get any takehome doses. I’m sure there are some patients that get assistance, especially if they are disabled, but the whole point of treatment is to start living a productive life which the counselors are there to help you with. If people are not employed when they start most are within a few months.

    This clinic is very unlikely to have any effect whatsoever on your or your family’s life. It won’t affect you any more than any other business that would have opened in the same location. You won’t even notice that it’s there. People come, get their dose, see their counselor and leave. That’s it. There is nothing to be afraid of. Of course it’s a possibility that this clinic will be the exception and be run poorly to the point where people will start seeing problems. If that happens I hope you will call and report them to the DEA and have them shut it down. Bad clinics help noone. Fortunately most clinics are good though.

    Lastly, regardless of whether or not you think you should be able to have a say in where this clinic goes fact is that you don’t. The law prevents people to prevent the opening of a clinic simply because they believe in myths and misconceptions or because they don’t like it. That’s called discrimination. You have no more right to stop a methadone clinic than you do to stop a clinic that treats kids with autism regardless of who funds it. Do you think it would be right if people were allowed to stop a doctor from moving into the area because he would treat people with HIV/Aids because people have the mistaken belief that the patients are bad people and that the disease can be spread by sitting next to them on the bus? Not that long ago people came out just like the people in your neighborhood to stop people with HIV/Aids from attending public facilities. Should people be allowed to do that if that facility gets some tax money? Some may say yes but fortunately we have the Americans with Disabilities Act that bans anyone from discriminating against people with certain disabilities or diseases or the facilities that serve them. Stopping this clinic would simply be illegal.

  21. J.Miller says:

    Mayfairmike says: “So in turn You bringing up the ADA shows you dont really know what your talking about. Because we are not Stopping anyone from getting help we are stopping the owners.”

    Actually you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. Case law clearly shows that it is a violation of the ADA to discriminate against a facility because it provides services to people with covered disabilities which is the case here. By stopping the clinic due to reasons that amount to discrimination you are preventing people from getting treatment and that is illegal. You obviously do not understand how the ADA is used.

    I’m really surprised that PA politicians are taking up this fight again considering how many times PA cities have been sued and lost in other cases when they’ve tried to block a methadone clinic.
    For example, in the case of Habit Opco vs Borough of Dunmore (PA) the court said “[s]imply put, a methadone clinic cannot be treated any differently than a medical clinic that is serving as an ordinary medical clinic” and that doing so is “facially discriminatory under the ADA”

    I’d be happy to provide you with more information on how it is illegal under the ADA to stop a methadone clinic simply because it is a methadone clinic. You may also want to check into “Freedom Healthcare vs Zoning Hearing Board” and “New Directions Treatment Serv. vs City of Reading”, both PA cases. Based on what the decisions in these cases say I would recommend that you guys stop wasting your time on stopping this clinic, which won’t hurt anyone, since it’s clear that you will lose once it goes to court.

  22. Well, this panicky reaction is typical for northeast Philly and Upper Holmesburg, which might better be named Upper Clonesburg, since most citizens of that area consider difference an abomination. Every time something controversial is about to affect the northeast, the torch-bearing mob pursues what they perceive as the Frankenstein monster in their midst. To be fair, I do understand their desire to preserve the safety of their neighborhood. But oh, they are such drama queens.

    Why is there a need for methadone clinics at all? Can’t methadone be prescribed like any other medicine? The doctor can call the prescription into the patient’s local pharmacy, where the patient can pick it up and use the methadone in the privacy of their own home. That’s the way they did it in the 1930s before there were methadone clinics and all these laws created to demonize addicts when they are really just sick people who need help overcoming addiction. I don’t understand why they don’t do it this way. Then there will be no methadone clinics to attract real criminals who just want to sell drugs.

  23. Jennifer says:

    To Rosemary, To answer your question, no, a private physician cannot prescribe methadone for addiction. In order to get methadone for a treatment for opiate addiction, patients MUST go to a federally licensed methadone maintenance clinic. That is the law. If private physicians were able to provide this service, then there would be no methadone clinics. You also said something about clinics attracting “real” criminals who just want to sell drugs. Are you saying the criminals that are already in your community selling drugs ( oh they are there, even if you don’t see them) are fake criminals? That is a very discriminatory comment. You say the people of Holmsburg think any kind of difference is an abomination, well sounds like you are not as tolerant as you would like us to believe.

  24. J.Miller says:

    “Then there will be no methadone clinics to attract real criminals who just want to sell drugs.”

    It’s a myth that methadone clinics attract drug dealers or other criminals. That may be an issue at some clinics, especially those already located in drug infested neighborhoods, but it’s rare. That has not happened at any of the five clinics I’ve attended or any of the ones I’ve visited.
    It’s quite telling that these protests against clinics – which happens all the time – are always against clinics that are about to open, almost never against clinics that are up and running. The protests are always about what residents think will happen based on their misconceptions about what methadone treatment is and what a clinic does. But once the clinic opens the protests always die down when none of their fears come to fruition. Like I mentioned earlier most clinics are so low key that residents and businesses around it don’t even know it’s there. Had the plans of this clinic not been broadcasted to the residents in the area they would probably never know that the new business opening up in their neighborhood was a methadone clinic.

  25. Jennifer says:

    To all of you who have responded negatively to the opening of this clinic: I would like to ask that all of you give me the name, address, and date of the visits you have made to other clinics where you say there are horrible problems. I would also like to hear of a protest you personally have participated in against a clinic that is up and running. Also, I would like to know who your contacts are in the clinics that you have visited. I mean, you must have visited many clinics to know with absolute certainty what kind of people attend, whether they pay or not, and how it will be a disaster that puts everyone in danger. I have provided my private email address in an above comment.
    Also, as far as Section 8 housing, I could not believe that Shannon stated, “It’s the Section 8 housing, and the fact that a few more of those dirty, low class poor people might infect the neighborhood.” that just shows what kind of person you are. So anyone who is below you in socioeconomic levels is “dirty, low class poor people.” You should be ashamed of yourself!
    So, back to the topic, like I said, names, dates, addresses, and contacts of the many clinics all of you MUST have visited to get your information. Thanks. jenn.killgore@ttu.edu

  26. Ken Hamilton says:

    Well Mr. J. Miller, there HAVE been sucessful attemps to block these clinics and the slugs that follow them, as is proved by the defeat of the clinic that was proposed for Grant and the Blvd., so nothing is a Fait Acompli, I and my fellow neighbors will fight this with every breath and drop of blood in our bodies. I do not care what anybody says, what sane person is going to want to purchase a house two blocks from one of these places and deal with the trash they bring, so property values WILL go down.

  27. Ken Hamilton says:

    Sorry Mrs J. Miller, didn’t realise the “S” in the previous post didn’t register when I type it.

  28. Jennifer says:

    To Ken Hamilton,
    Again, I am going to ask where you did your research on this subject. Have you actually visited a methadone clinic that is up an running? Spoken to the staff, the patients (God forbid you speak to such “trash”), perhaps the doctor? I understand that you feel righteous in blocking access to a form of treatment for addicts, but what you are doing is not righteous in any way. Denying treatment to people that need in areas where prescription drug abuse is rampant is horrible. Would you block someone who buys space and plans to run an AA meeting there or an NA meeting there? I have personally attended both types of meetings and there are good ones and there are bad ones. Specifically bad NA meetings where lots of drug dealing goes on and those are totally unregulated. Have you actually gone in and seen first hand what is involved in methadone treatment? It isn’t just going in to get a “legal fix”. There is much more required by state and federal regulations. Are you saying that no one in your neighborhood has a problem with prescription opiates like Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, Norco, Demerol, Dilaudid, Fentnyl, ect? Even if they did, they are probably terrified of admitting and getting help because of the horrible stigma that surrounds successful treatment. What HON Code certified websites have you been to do research exactly what methadone is and how it works in the body? What doctors have you talked with that are experienced with addiction medicine? Or are you, like the majority of people who rally to keep these places from opening, getting your information from blogs, people who have heard from someone else who have heard from someone else etc, etc and actually have NO firsthand knowledge about federal and state laws, what methadone really is, how it actually works in an addict’s body, what opiate addiction does to a person’s brain chemistry, etc. Spreading fear and ignorance only breeds more of the same as well as hate, prejudice, and basically thinking you are above and better than anyone else. That is a very dangerous thought process. It is very small minded and idiodic. I truly hope no one in your family or circle of friends is ever affected by opiate addiction and needs help, because they certainly won’t find it with you.

  29. Ken Hamilton says:

    You better believe it hun, I have NO compassion for something a person brings on themselves. I’m willing, hypothetically speaking of course,to consider that the neighborhood won’t go to hell in a handbasket, but just suppose for one minute that things do go south and go quickly, wouldn’t getting the clinic closed (and I use the term loosely) be like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. I just not willing to risk my investment in my home for anything, I can’t afford to move, so if the neighborhood goes to hell in a handbasket I’m stuck living in a hell hole that has a real estate value just a little better than zero. Here is a report by our own Gov’t on what happens around some of these clinics http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d04946t.pdf
    I think the US needs new drug enforcement laws more in line with Singapore, absolutely ZERO tolerance for this crap.

  30. Jen says:

    This is so hypocritical because in all seriousness, the drug trade in Mayfair is alive and well. People sell their narcotic medicines there out of their homes and at every corner bar (of which there are plenty). To act like there is not an epidemic is ludicrous at this point. Yes total abstinence is the goal of recovery, but methadone can be a powerful tool on the road to getting to total abstinence. People should stop judging and start to realize that methadone does have its success stories. I am aware that many do abuse the system, however let’s not judge the ones that do get their lives back and don’t become a burden on the “system.” The reason the stigma exists is because of ignorance, as portrayed above. This problem affects every last one of us in one way or another. And as for throwing eggs at the patients, well that is simply ridiculous, immature and even violent. 2 wrongs b=never made a right, as far as I know.

  31. Jen says:

    Kudos Jennifer and J. Miller!! Very well put!!

  32. Jennifer says:

    Mr. Hamilton,
    First of all, drug addiction is not something we “bring on ourselves”. I started by taking a medication prescribed by a doctor and before I even realized it, I had a problem. When I told the doctor I thought I might have a problem, I received a certified letter in the mail that said he would no longer be able to be my physician and that I had thirty days to find a new one. Addiction is not a moral failing or a lack of will power. It is a neurobiological disease. Period! Oh, by the way, the article you cited in you post is from 2004! Plus, it was about clinics in DC. Find me some nationwide statistics and then we can chat. Also, you never have told me where you got your information from. Have you ever actually VISITED a clinic, talked to anyone who works at a clinic, like say the doctor or a nurse or counselor? It is people like you that spread ignorance, prejudice, and fear. Please educate yourself.

  33. Ken Hamilton says:

    Just because the report is from 2004 doesn’t make it any less valid that that behavior DOES happen around these clinics, it was meant as a rebuttal to those that say these clinics don’t bring the type of trouble we are worried about. I have no desire to go anywhere near one of these places, all I am concerned about is what could happen, once the behavior in the GAO report is established, it’ll be too late and as I said before, I’m not willing to risk the investment I have in my house on the CHANCE that the behaviors described in the GAO report don’t materialize. There are already 4 existing clinics within a 5 mile radius of the proposed site, enough is enough!

  34. Jennifer says:

    Mr. Hamilton,
    You are basing your opinion on, “what could happen”. If you live your life basing all your opinions on “what could happen” you’d never leave your house. You COULD get hit by a bus walking down the street. You COULD send your kids to school and their friends COULD ask them to try drugs. Does this mean you won’t let them go to school? Also, if there are 4 clinics within a five mile radius then my friend, these “people” are already all over your neighborhood. I feel sorry for you living your life in such fear all the time because of what ifs. Kindly, pull your head out of the sand and realize that this clinic COULD help people!

  35. Ken Hamilton says:

    “Head in the sand” REALLY? I’m trying to protect the only thing of REAL VALUE I have, my home, and if protecting the value of my home is living with my head in the sand then SO BE IT! And yes, there are already 4 clinics, we don’t need any more in the neighborhood, and again you refuse to even admit that what is stated in the GAO report COULD happen, in your opinion everything will be rainbows and sunshine if, IF this clinic should open. So instead of pulling my head out of the sand why don’t you get off your unicorn and come out from under your rainbows and realise that there are evil people who will follow these clinics into whatever area they go into to prey on the weak, and it will be these folk who will take their business into the neighborhood around the “clinic” and will be the final blow for both Mayfair and Holmesburg.

  36. Ken Hamilton says:

    Also, once property values tank, it will be too late to do anything about it, I’ll be trapped in a home that will be near worthless, in a neighborhood that’s gone to hell in a handbasket with no way to escape.

  37. Northeaster says:

    Look, that is not the place to put a methadone clinic. Even if you don’t accept that a methadone clinic doesn’t help to bring down the neighborhood by itself, if you put yourself in the shoes of the people who live there, and after seeing their nearby neighborhood deteriorate after alcohol abuse clinics, methadone clinics, and the like moved in. Why even take a chance on putting further pressure on that neighborhood? Give all your standard know-it-all, better-than-you statements about how these people need help and the neighbors should be more open-minded, but in the end, there are plenty of methadone clinics, and it will make it harder for that neighborhood to stay a viable part of the city.

  38. [...] 100 percent opposed to the clinic, which was set to be called “Healing Way.” I previously wrote about the meeting here, to which a commenter lovingly responded, “You can tell the author of this blog is just so smug [...]

  39. Janet says:

    I’ve been around methadone clinics since the first one l970, before that you had to Bribe a dr. to get it. Clinic are fabulous & very succesful. I have approx. 200 friends & aquaintances on or was on methadone, majority it saved their lives! My best friend for 43 yrs.& her hubby were on it for 25 yrs., they remained Clean 25yrs., til she passed away last yr. from lung cancer. FYI patients are not Allowed to walk with their medication, they have to swallow it in front of a nurse who makes you talk afterwards, they must show up daily, usually a small window of time to get there, they are very strict, ua’s daily sometimes, nobody on methadone is taking any thing else, can’t, ua’s tell all, a dirty could get you kicked off the program. Smoking in the Area can get you terminated, parking regulations are strict. I’m an addict for 51 yrs. now, clean for 21 yrs..due to failed back surgery now, I’m forced to take pain meds., since I know my limits, I don’t allow dr.s to give me anything but methadone, it takes away my pain & i’m able to walk, I am 64 now, started on drugs at l5, not pot, alcohol lst, then heroin, then coke, never pot. Not until a few yrs ago, I finally went to a clinic & got a prescription, now I smoke more pot & take less methadone & wish I had tried pot 51 yrs. ago!!! It is fabulous for my nausea, pain & sleep. Does all that & if I miss a day ot two, no big deal, no getting Hooked, then Sick. To the lame duck that advised to let us kick cold, your a sick puppy, I was in jail, kicking cold, dying in that cell wishing to die. Nobody will quite by doing that, believe me, it’s just as much mental as physical & soon as you kick cold, those memories fade quickly with the thought of more drugs. (just one more time)we tell ourselves before we relapse again. It always takes a few times or alot of relapses but hopefuly you have a support system to help you get through it. It takes a village. Addicts are just wounded souls trying to escape the pain. Usually abused children that certainly don’t Deserve eggs thrown at them. That person, people like her is just one example why people turn to drugs, stop being mean & ugly. What ever happened to all the Nice people, not many around any more. Must be a dying breed…which will cause even more drug addiction. People can only withstand so much pain & suffering before some just give up, turn on to tune out, numbing themselves so they no longer are forced to Feel the pain. The pain must be dealt with in therapy, group whatever works for you. Message to the ignorant nobody wakes up & Chooses to be a drug addict. Ridiculous just as ridiculous as your comment!
    Peace

  40. Janet says:

    Neighborhoods don’t just go down the tube due to a clinic, propaganda at it’s worst, shame on you. These clinics are necessary, a viable contribution to any neighborhood, helping people to get back to work, pull themselves back up & be responsible citizens. Avoiding this problem is the Cause, when your car needs brakes, you fix it, so what you all just said is people have no value anymore, not as much as your cars or plumbing, yards…wtf No yard is more important then a person trying to get it together. I spent a yr. at Genesis house in l973, they gave me love, family, understanding & called me out when I was wrong, also gave me the tools to stay clean especially when encountering people like yall that cheered the END of a treatment center.. Your savages, greedy, selfish, mean,ugly people & it’s no wonder there isn’t more drug addiction…Heartless, immoral drones.
    Peace

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