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Expand Methadone Treatment To Curb Crime: Saint John Police

Saint John is about an hour from where I live in Calais. It’s across the border in Canada.

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2009/01/16/nb-methadone-crime.html

January 16, 2009 –  The Saint John police chief is calling for an expansion in methadone treatment programs to help battle drug-related crime.

Bill Reid said about 75% of crime in the city is related to drugs, including the prescription painkiller, Dilaudid.

Reid said many of the robberies, assaults and break-and-enters that occur in the Southern New Brunswick city are drug-related. He said addicts will do whatever they need to do to feed their habits.

“The frustration is that we arrest so and so and he or she is back out on the street and they’re doing the same thing again,” he said

“And at some point that has got to stop and we have to support whatever it is that we can get for those folks to get the help they need besides incarceration.”

Reid said it’s unacceptable that addicts who ask for help may have to wait up to a year for treatment.

He said the methadone maintenance program at Ridgewood Addiction Services should be expanded.

Marji Mullin, the co-ordinator of the methadone program, which serves people from Sussex to Charlotte County, said there are 81 people on the waiting list, up from 61 this time last year.

“There is an indication that this is an addiction that’s in our community that’s going to be staying here and we need to look at the best ways that we can provide that service,” Mullin said.

Mullin hopes to admit about 50 people this year. Meanwhile, staff will continue to look for ways to expand and improve services.

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