Home > All Posts, All things MAT, NIMBYism > Methadone clinic in Laconia, NH approved

Methadone clinic in Laconia, NH approved

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) – Laconia, N.H., has approved plans for a methadone clinic in a city industrial park, despite opposition from police and local officials.

Laconia City Planner Shanna Saunders approved the treatment center, saying that despite its unpopularity, the clinic is a permitted use under Laconia’s zoning laws and, because the size of the clinic is less than 5,000 square feet, she could decide the matter without it going before the planning board.

Although city officials were disappointed in the decision, Police Chief Mike Moyer says he is confident the conditions of approval will make the clinic safe.

Before opening, the for-profit Metro Treatment of Concord must install a video security system and will be required to pay for a police officer and cruiser to be onsite during all hours of operation.

Information from: Citizen, http://www.citizen.com

via WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-Methadone clinic in Laconia, NH approved.

A police cruiser?  Well thats conducive to privacy, dignity and confidentiality isn’t it! NOT!

  1. January 29, 2009 at 12:20 pm


    Methadone clinics are a business. Just like pharmacies, doctors offices, Dialysis Centers and Cancer Care Centers are BUSINESSES. They help people and they are a business. Just like rehabs, hospitals and counseling centers are a business. They have to stay afloat in order to help those they set out to help.

    They do NOT set up in towns where they aren’t needed. Thats why the Certificate of Need process is irrelevant for a methadone clinic. A big company like CMG has already done all the research that a CON would have done. They’ve already evaluated the area and decided that the area has enough “business” to keep them afloat. Sort of like a RiteAid wouldn’t set up shop in a town that didn’t have many elderly people (the elderly keep pharmacies in business). A methadone clinic doesn’t just willy nilly point at a spot on a map and say “why not go here?” They know before they even start that there are enough “customers” to support the “business”.

    I am wondering. How many of the overdoses were PROVEN to be from methadone from a clinic? I know of only one, the Deluca case I believe it was? When I say PROVEN, I mean they proved it was methadone from a clinic not just rumor?

    Also, the rate of methadone overdoses has gone down DRAMATICALLY in this area since the problem started. Of course, the police department was all too willing to take the credit for this, but I believe a methadone clinic also opened up about twenty minutes away recently as well? So it could very well be that people are just getting treatment, therefore they don’t need to buy illicit drugs on the street….which means they don’t overdose.

  2. January 28, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Yeah, I agree somewhat with your last sentence. But let me ask you, how much do you know about what has been going on in that town in the past or recently? You act as if you are aware of some sort of opiate addiction problem there that even the local police aren’t. You are wrong. The entire problem with the town not wanting the clinic was that there is not a huge number battling opiate addiction. That’s exactly why that small area had so many methadone overdoses a couple of years ago. Because the people taking the drug had no tolerance. It is ALL about whether a methadone clinic is needed or not, and that isn’t something that should not be decided by the number of methadone overdoses that made headlines. Or whether or not a firm wants to open one. The benefit SHOULD have to outweigh the risk, IMO.

  3. January 28, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Oh and this isn’t a recommendation. They are requiring it. That is what makes it illegal.

    There are also confidentiality laws that will be broken by a police presence. The city planner knows they can’t keep the clinic out and is hoping this will do it. But one way or another if CMG wants the clinic there, it will happen.

    Prejudice and ignorance always loses in the end anyway. Even if the methadone clinic is kept out of this town, this town loses this battle because untreated opiate addiction is what is killing our loved ones, not methadone clinics.

  4. January 28, 2009 at 2:27 am


    If towns put in half as much effort, time and money into preventing and treating opiate addiction as they do into keeping methadone treatment centers OUT–they wouldn’t need one.

    Because they only way to make sure a clinic doesn’t set up shop in your area is to make sure one isn’t NEEDED!

  5. January 28, 2009 at 2:25 am

    It is illegal because it is against the ADA to make a methadone clinic (or any other facility that helps people who have a medical condition that communities unfairly discriminate against-like group homes for the mentally ill) that you wouldn’t require from any other facility under the same permit.

    And yes, I promise if CMG wants to take it to court they will win. A police presence in an ER is there by the hospitals CHOICE and paid for by the city, not the hospital.

    As far as CmG relocating. That is fine too. They will move into a town right next door and Laconia will falsely believe this keeps them “safe” from the problems of opiate addiction.

    The sad thing is, that people believe a clinic is their problem….when in actuality they have been able to ignore the problem until a clinic comes to town.

  6. January 27, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    If only the same people and politicians that are so vocal and move proactively against methadone treatment invested the same time and energy into drug abuse prevention and awareness…

  7. January 27, 2009 at 1:29 am

    What they are doing might very well be a “last-ditch” effort to get CMG to change their mind, but it’s not illegal. Many times there IS a police presence at medical facilities such as ER’s, and there are no laws broken by their presence. Many times it’s the dr.’s themselves who want that presence, due to what they have to deal with in the ER.

    I hope CMG does make an attempt to fight this. Because there is no law being broken by the reccomendation. You can bet that the OK was based upon entirely what is or is not legal, and CMG will lose that argument, even with the enormous amount of assets they could devote to legal aid. It takes more than a corporation to make a decision in a court of law… And the requirement, although not something encountered normally, would be more inclined to encourage CMG to relocate rather than fight it.

  8. January 26, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    I think there will be much more to this story if you keep watching.

    The city planner knew she couldn’t stop the clinic. They’ve been hoping if they hold out long enough CMG would give up. So this is their last ditch effort to get them to stop their plans.

    It’s illegal and CMG has lawyers that will fight it, if they decide it’s worth it. If not, they will just move in to a town right next to Laconia. The sad thing is that even though it will be right down the road, Laconia will still think that they some how “won”.

    You can not require a police presence at ANY medical facility, especially substance abuse treatment facilities. The point is to get people IN TO treatment, not keep them away.

  9. January 26, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Ok so lets run down the list of my comments, to the negative comments.

    -first: yes Pam. NH is a small state. Unfortunately it is very RURAL though and the clinics are very spread out. Just because there are X many clinics doesn’t mean there are enough because people need access to them close to home. Would you travel 100miles everyday to get medication at a pharmacy? Should you be required to travel so far to get medical treatment? Also, if you do some research you’ll will see that New England (particularly Maine and NH) have some of the highest rates of opiate addiction in the country.

  10. January 26, 2009 at 12:12 pm


    Do I think a clinic close to the middle school is conducive to education?

    Well that makes no sense? The clinic isn’t setting up IN the middle school! People go to the clinic, get their medication and LEAVE. How does that affect anyone at ANY business close by? Infact, the Sub shop next to one clinic loves the business here!

    Furthermore I have an 8th grader. I go to her sporting events, her community projects and school events. I see MANY people from my clinic there with THEIR children. How am I more a threat to my child and all the other children going in and out of the clinic: IF I AM NOT A THREAT while I am attending these functions?
    What exactly is it you think we do when we leave the clinic? Go in search of “young blood” to recrute more patients?
    You seem to believe that if a person is a methadone patient that 1) they don’t have children in their home and 2)that patients of a clinic are out to suck the very life blood out of children trying to get an education.

    It’s very naive and shows how very little you know about methadone patients as a whole.

  11. January 26, 2009 at 11:49 am

    George thank you for helping. I have already written. NO RESPONSE.

  12. January 26, 2009 at 11:47 am


    many people still have the idea of a “needle exchange” sort of facility where homeless drug addicts go and then congregate to do drugs. Most methadone clinics are nothing of the sort. One of our Maine clinics was in place for TEN YEARS before the day care down the road realized it was even a methadone clinic. When asked how the manager (of the daycare) felt about having a methadone clinic so close to their daycare she responded “I am not even sure where it is, so I can’t answer that.”

  13. January 26, 2009 at 11:44 am


    All clinics have security required by the DEA. What people don’t realize is that methadone maintenance is THE most regulated treatment in the US. There are FIVE different state and national agencies (including the DEA) that have to license them before they can even THINK about opening.

    Security of the medication and the patients that go to the clinic are top priority. A SAFE place for people to come and get treatment is essential.\

    What ISN’T essential or even conducive to good treatment is a cop in a cruiser who can run everyones license plate and “investigate” anyone getting treatment. A security officer is bound by confidentiality.

    Thanks for reading Lou!

  14. Lou
    January 26, 2009 at 12:01 am

    Interesting comment. Is that standard in other parts of the country for methadone clinics?

  15. January 25, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    I was thinking of writing a letter to the editor on this topic, but eased up to see if you thnnk it might be OK..

    Fairness lacking in requirements for requirements of a methadone clinic.

    The concept of requiring a clinic paid policeman to be outside of a methadone clinic seems to unfair when there is no such requirement to have a policeman to be outside of the local pubs, Abstinence Based Treatment Programs, and doctors prescribing pain medications feels like discrimination to me.

    Furthermore, the concept of privacy would be lost if a public servant starts to take drivers liocence numbers.

  16. January 24, 2009 at 8:35 am

    As far as Laconia, one of two things will happen. They will come off of some money or they won’t be.

  17. PamH
    January 23, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    I can not believe, given the demographics of such a small state, that yet another clinic is necessary.

  18. January 23, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    And a methadone clinic so close to Laconia Memorial Middle School is condusive to education? Many of these children walk home to apartment complexes VERY close to this clinic.

    I believe police presence is needed at this clinic, it is not far at all from Memorial Middle School, grades 6 through 8. As a parent, I am upset that a clinic is allowed to locate so close to this school.

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