Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

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 Mobile methadone clinic riles Camden

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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: Mobile methadone clinic riles Camden   Sun Aug 09, 2009 12:26 pm

This story came from the Philadelphia Inquirer and it just angers me! The public is griping about "mobile" methadone busses that go into areas to treat MMT pts that can't get to a clinic. I would give anything to have something like this come to my area as would so many others who have long drives to their clinic.

What also gets me is one person says ".....this is a strange way to serve human beings........" You don't see anyone griping about the Mobile Blood Units that park in grocery story parking lots and/or other businesses. You don't hear anyone griping about the mobile mamogram busses or the medical busses that give general medical services to the needy do you??? HECK NO! And they sure aren't saying any of them are a "strange way to serve human beings!" they are hailing them as a God send and talking about what a great service they provide to the unfortunate!

Mobile methadone clinic riles Camden


By Matt Katz
Inquirer Staff Writer

Opposition to the location of a mobile clinic that dispenses methadone to heroin addicts has forced the clinic to relocate across from the city's prize redevelopment parcel, the former Riverfront State Prison.
"That's nonsense," said Camden County Freeholder Jeffrey Nash, who has long advocated redeveloping the prison site. "They don't need to go into a place that is seeking to revitalize itself."

Every day since March, state-funded health vans have parked for less than two hours at a time at three locations in Camden to provide addicts with medical assistance, housing placement, and methadone, a drug that decreases their biological need for heroin.

One of the vans parked each morning on Linden Street, near the last exit off Route 30 before the Ben Franklin Bridge, drawing complaints from North Camden residents and activists. A police official told City Council members this week that the van was not legally allowed to park there.

So tomorrow, the van will move to a new location - Delaware Avenue and Vine Street, directly across from the recently shuttered Riverfront State Prison, according to the state Department of Human Services.

The prison has long been disdained by residents of the impoverished North Camden neighborhood, who think the waterfront site is the key to revitalization. It closed in June, and plans are being drawn up to bring housing, stores, and recreational areas to the 16-acre parcel.
Now, neighborhood activists wonder whether potential investors will be concerned if they see people milling around a large, white, unmarked medical van in the middle of a redevelopment zone.

"That's one question they will ask upfront: 'When is that moving?' " said Wilbert Mitchell, who runs the Respond job-training programs in the neighborhood. Mitchell was among those who complained about the Linden Street location.

The new location, less than a dozen blocks away, "is out of the residential area, but you have to travel through the residential area to get there," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, that's worse."
The fear is that methadone patients will congregate in the neighborhood where the van is parked, attracting drug dealers and prostitution.

Those who run the methadone program said the units are always accompanied by a police officer paid by the service provider, Parkside Recovery. The vans are needed to serve about 150 addicts who will not travel far for treatment, the program managers said.

Thanks to the $200,000 mobile program, eight female addicts under treatment have had successful pregnancies this year, said Anthony Lingo, program coordinator for Camden, and 31 addicts have been placed into permanent housing.

"We have to meet them where they are. They're on the streets," Lingo said. "And, yes, they do drugs. But if they can start doing methadone, they will mitigate doing drugs, they will take a break, they will not [break into] your house because they will not be getting high."

Each van is staffed with a doctor, nurse, and case manager.
Ellen Lovejoy, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services, said the mobile health vans are part of a pilot program, so the agency wants to work with the community on any concerns. There also are vans in Atlantic City, Pleasantville, Paterson, Plainfield, and Trenton.

Some city residents argue that because there are two stationary methadone clinics in Camden, there is no need for three mobile ones.
One of the mobile clinics parks next to an empty lot formerly occupied by public housing units on Broadway, across from the South Jersey Port. Against opposition from the Waterfront South neighborhood, Parkside Recovery's permanent facility, now downtown, will soon relocate to the port.

Residents wonder whether there will then be two clinics across the street from each other in their neighborhood, which has made strides toward revitalization.

"It's a very strange way to serve human beings - to make them drive into an overgrown, blighted, vacant area to receive medical treatment," said Helene Pierson of Heart of Camden, a Waterfront South nonprofit. "Why wouldn't we use that van to go out in the suburbs to serve them? To have both [facilities] here doesn't make any sense to me."

Parkside Recovery executive director Charles Greene said that while most of the clients at the stationary facility come from outside the city, from 70 percent to 80 percent who use the vans' services are Camden residents.

"I'm running into so much politics just to provide treatment," he said.
"We are keenly aware of the city's effort to revitalize its image . . . and we want to be partners in that. The issue of drug addiction has to be addressed because Camden is known nationally [to have] a drug problem."

The link for the original article is

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/nj/20090808_Mobile_methadone_clinic_riles_Camden.html

RuthAnn


RuthAnn
aka lilgirllost

We are not bad people trying to become good, we are sick people trying to become well.

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Last edited by Admin on Fri Aug 14, 2009 5:06 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Justify)
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PostSubject: Re: Mobile methadone clinic riles Camden   Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:27 pm

i think this is a great way to get help to people who may not have transportation. it seems it would help get more addicts off the streets & reduce crime rates. we should have a program like this in atlanta,ga. it could help so many. the people against this are not thinking about the good this program will do, just about the harm they believe will come from it. they are mainly concerned about their property values, not peoples welfare.
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