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Methadone clinic public hearing Monday in Brewer – Bangor Daily News


Methadone clinic public hearing Monday in Brewer

BREWER, Maine — A committee made up of city leaders has decided that the Wilson Street corridor is the best place for any methadone or other drug treatment facilities that plan to come to town.

A Planning Board and City Council joint public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall on proposed changes to land use codes, which would restrict where narcotic treatment facilities can locate, their size and licensing.

No one has approached Brewer about opening a clinic, City Manager Steve Bost said on Saturday.

“Not that I’m aware of,” he said.

There are six proposed land use changes that will be presented to residents tonight. The ordinance amendments were created by the methadone treatment facilities ordinance committee, a sub committee created by the City Council last fall.

Under the proposed changes, narcotic treatment facilities would only be allowed to open in the general business and professional business districts, which basically is a half-mile-thick band of land that runs along the Wilson Street corridor. The area equals 7.8 percent of the city.

All public or private schools within the zone, such as Brewer High School on Parkway South and Stillwater Academy on Acme Road, are in restricted areas that also have 250-foot buffer zones.

In addition to location requirements, additional restrictions cover landscaping, parking and building size. The proposed rules would require 15 square feet per client to ensure that there is enough room “so no one is waiting outside of the building,” City Planner Linda Johns has said.

Security guards and surveillance cameras also would be required, along with renewing city licenses and having an inspection on a yearly basis.

The proposed amendments also would ban mobile drug treatment clinics.

Methadone, a synthetic opiate, is used to treat addiction to heroin and other opiates. Supporters of methadone treatment say clinics are crucial to curbing addiction, while critics say the clinics breed more crime.

Bangor is home to three of the state’s nine methadone clinics.

The six Brewer city staffers who sit on the methadone treatment facilities ordinance committee are city solicitor Joel Dearborn, police Chief Perry Antone, Mayor Archie Verow, code enforcement officer David Russell and Johns and Bost.

After the public hearing, the Planning Board will review the proposed changes and if approved by that panel, they will be presented to the City Council for approval at their next regular meeting, which is April. 14.

City councilors enacted a moratorium on methadone and other drug treatment clinics that expires in August.

Please read the comments:

here is mine:

Do you honestly believe that methadone patients never bring their children to sporting or entertainment or school events? You’ve probably sat next to patients a hundred times and never even known it. They sure aren’t going to TELL you they are, because look at your attitude>? You have such a prejudice you actually believe your own ignorance!

By the way, boneheads, no one is even proposing a clinic in Brewer. What a waste of time, money and energy! Sit here and work for YEARS on the off chance that someone MIGHT want a clinic in Brewer? All the while three of them stand just a few miles away in Bangor–do you really think your safe from this “imaginary” threat by just proposing an ordinance?

Better yet, do you honestly believe that your better off with the addicts in Brewer using illicitly instead of getting treatment? The vet is worried about breakins? Where the hell has he been? Maine is one of THE most opiate addicted states in the COUNTRY right now–if someone was going to break in to get his medications they would do it when they are jonesing to use illicit drugs, not when they have a dose of methadone waiting for them.

As far as success goes: does it matter if someone is on medication or “drug free” as long as they are living a good life? Imagine if we put that same standard up to obese people (or a million other diseases that start out as a behavior and end up as a nightmare) —does it matter how someone losses weight (if they use medication, surgery or a nutritionist) as long as when everything is said and done they have lost weight, lowered their chances of dying of a heart attack, lowered their cholestrol and have their diabetes under control?

Does it matter if I have to take medication to stay well…as long as I have a career, am taking care of my kids, have an active and full life and am a contributing member of soceity?

Can you imagine all the “rejects” we would have in this world if EVERYONE who had to take a medication to live a full life was considered “less than” human?

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