Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

Methadone: A Flicker Of Light In The Dark

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 Methadone clinic must close in Mansfield

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lilgirllost
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PostSubject: Methadone clinic must close in Mansfield   Tue May 17, 2011 5:47 pm

Methadone clinic must close in Mansfield





MANSFIELD -- Methadone centers have been around in Ohio for 20 years, but Stacey Fronhnapfel Hasson said she can't remember the state ever revoking a clinic's license.

Such is the case for the Mansfield facility, which will close Saturday. After an Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services investigation April 29, state officials reported finding several deficiencies with Sojourner Recovery Services, 1512 Ashland Road.



The nonprofit organization provides substance abuse treatment for all ages. According to its website, it uses a "multidisciplinary approach to treat the physical, emotional, mental, social, vocational and spiritual issues compounded by addiction."



The center particularly focuses on its methadone maintenance treatment program.

Methadone is used to relieve moderate to severe pain that does not respond to non-narcotic pain relievers. It also is used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in patients who were addicted to opiates.



The privately owned organization, which operates cash-only, opened in November.

"Based on a review of client records, doses of methadone had been elevated and administered without physician approval, and this is a very dangerous drug," said Hasson, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. "From those that they're treating, we only found one treatment plan in place. If there's no therapy, they could be on methadone indefinitely. They also didn't have a physician sign off on take-home dosing."



Hasson said the local center serves about 150 people.



The nearest methadone facilities are in Columbus, Cleveland and Canton. Joe Trolian, director of the Richland County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, said clients can call their offices at 419-774-5811 or the crisis line at 419-522-4357 for other options.



"One client told us, 'If the place you're sending me to accepts insurance, then I'll be better off,' " Hasson said. "Our perspective is that we want Ohioans to have quality addiction treatment services accessible to them. We know that the distance can be a challenge, but we don't believe clients were safe in that situation."



She said the recent probe was provoked after a call from the Drug Enforcement Administration.



The director of Sojourner confirmed the license has been revoked, but declined further comment.



Sojourner learned Friday the facility would be shuttered. This week, department of addiction services representatives are in the Sojourner offices from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to speak with clients.



"Our staff is there to talk to people and let them know we're doing all we can to make sure they have other options," Hasson said.



Ben Shunk, 33, said he was shocked when he walked into the offices Monday and learned of the upcoming closure.



"Girls were crying, guys were yelling, people are scared because we don't know what to do," the Ashland man said. The cutoff time is coming up so soon, and now we all have to find somewhere else to go."



Shunk said he was a heroin addict before attending Sojourner in December.

"This was the first treatment place I ever went to," he said. "Since then, I'm no longer hanging out with the dirty crowd, I pay my bills, I can hold a steady job. I'm spending time with my family."



Shunk said he has been required to attend an anonymous treatment center and visit with a counselor at least once a month.



"It's a great place," he said.



A public hearing is scheduled at 10 a.m. May 20 in Columbus at the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services office, 280 N. High St., 12th floor.



This come from an Ohio news source and the original link is

http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20110510/NEWS01/105100305/1002/rss01


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