Home > All Posts, All things MAT, NIMBYism > Concord Monitor – Proposed for-profit methadone clinic poses a danger to Laconia residents

Concord Monitor – Proposed for-profit methadone clinic poses a danger to Laconia residents

This is old news, but I had never actually read the letter sent to the Gov. of NH.  Its so full of misconceptions it made me laugh!  Not to mention its poorly written, and this guy is the MAYOR!?

Concord Monitor – Proposed for-profit methadone clinic poses a danger to Laconia residents.

To Gov. John Lynch: We are writing you concerning a methadone clinic proposed in Laconia. Metro Treatment of New Hampshire is planning to lease a building at 72 Primrose Drive South for a clinic. Under state law and city zoning, the only requirement for approval of this for-profit clinic is administrative approval from our planning director.

Our constituents are very concerned about a methadone clinic in the city. We recently held an informational hearing and invited the clinic owners to respond to local concerns. At that meeting the city council was presented with a petition signed by numerous residents, and we heard their opposition to this clinic. Residents also expressed their frustration at the city’s limited authority to prohibit such a clinic in our community.

Before and after that meeting we attempted to learn more about methadone clinics and their operation. What we have learned has caused us great concern – and it should also be of concern to the entire state.

Nationwide methadone deaths have increased at a faster rate than any other drug-related deaths. Maine tops the list for methadone overdose-related deaths per capita. New Hampshire is tied for fourth. The U.S. Justice Department ranks New Hampshire fifth in the top 10 states in the country for the highest percent increase in methadone deaths from 1999-2004. There have been nine methadone related overdose deaths in Laconia since the beginning of 2007. Police Chief Michael Moyer has stated there isn’t a heroin problem in Laconia – there is a methadone problem.

We recognize the need for certain individuals with opiate addictions to be able to wean themselves off the drug by temporarily substituting that drug with methadone as the first step of a rehabilitative plan. Metro Treatment of New Hampshire, however, appears to be more of a methadone dispensary than a clinic interested in rehabilitation. This aspect of the proposed clinic is of greatest concern to us.

We respectfully request that the Department of Health and Human Services more closely review the counseling and monitoring plan that this company provides to combat addiction. It appears that the “for profit” Metro Treatment, whose numbers show a projected increase in their daily clientele from 100 to 200 to 300 in its first three years of operation in Laconia, is more focused on maintaining and expanding a customer base of lifetime methadone addicts. At a “cash only” cost of $15 per visit which includes medication, counseling and testing and with no other funding source, we wonder exactly how much in the way of rehabilitative services this affords.

Please do not dismiss this request as another “not in my backyard” plea. We sincerely believe that after carefully reviewing the numbers you will see that these for-profit methadone clinics are not the Good Samaritans they appear to be. Without an intensive counseling component to their service, they pose a danger to the well being of the citizens of New Hampshire.

(Matthew J. Lahey is the mayor of Laconia. His piece was also signed by six Laconia city councilors.)

  1. February 18, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    All drugs are “lethal and unstable” if used incorrectly Pam. I am sorry if your offended by the tone of our replies, but we’ve all “been there done that” with NIMBYism like this.

    YES, I do believe a methadone clinic is needed so that addicts aren’t forced to buy off the street and take drugs illicitly. An addict entering methadone treatment decreases his chances of overdosing to almost that of a non-addict. Isn’t that what we want–to prevent overdoses? Remember, addicts in treatment aren’t dying.. the people dying are the people who are either sent home with a monthly script they don’t know how to monitor properly OR they are addicts who are still in the throes of active addiction who are buying methadone on the street and don’t have doctors, nurses and counselors to help them along the way to stablization!…that’s why giving them treatment is the answer, not making it even harder for them by enacting bans or regulations that just drive illicit use of drugs up.

    WE tried your way with Oxycontin. We tried sending the DEA in and suing pharmacuetical companies. Did we lower the deaths rates? NO! We made them worse!

    Our end goal shouldn’t be to lower the rates of methadone overdoses-it should be to lower OVERDOSE RATES PERIOD. Do you think you will have won this war if you ban methadone and every addict in the country starts overdosing on heroin?

    If you want to save lives, if that is really your goal, then your on the wrong side of the fence here. Banning methadone will do nothing at all for opiate addicts except make the problem worse.

  2. February 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    With the death toll already at 2, and possibly more awaiting toxicology, you honestly believe that a methadone clinic is NEEDED in this town?

    Old news? How would you be posting if it were YOUR child lost to this lethal and unstable killer drug? You people will just never stop until the deaths from methadone are astronomical.

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