Warren to decide whether to settle disability suit over methadone clinic — Maine News — Bangor Daily News

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Warren to decide whether to settle disability suit over methadone clinic — Maine News — Bangor Daily News.


Warren to decide whether to settle disability suit over methadone clinic

Posted Sept. 07, 2011, at 5:03 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 07, 2011, at 7:06 a.m.
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WARREN, Maine — After spending more than an hour Tuesday night behind closed doors in executive session, the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to let the town’s residents decide if they prefer to settle a federal lawsuit related to a proposed methadone clinic.

But even officials who feel that it is in the best interest of the town to spend a total of $320,000 to settle the suit acknowledged that the move wouldn’t sit well with many in Warren.

“There’s a lot of people in this town who believe in standing for principle,” Selectman Doug Pope said after the meeting. “It’s pretty hard to say that’s a bad thing.”

The lawsuit was filed this spring against the town by California-based drug rehabilitation company CRC Health Group, which argued that Warren violated the Americans With Disabilities Act when it temporarily banned methadone clinics from opening their doors in the community.

A year ago, Bob Emery of Vixen Land Holdings Inc., a Rockland developer, attempted to purchase the unused Brick School from the town, telling municipal officials it would be rented to a business as office space. But when it became clear that CRC Health Group planned to rent the school for a methadone clinic, the town broke off the agreement with Emery.

Residents overwhelmingly voted in December for a temporary moratorium against methadone clinics. They voted in July to adopt land use ordinances which would restrict the development of large business, professional and medical offices or clinics in the community, limiting construction of these to sites on U.S. Route 1 or State Route 90. The ordinances also detail 500-foot setbacks from churches, schools, day care facilities, playgrounds and public parks.

The words “methadone clinic” are not in the final ordinances passed by the towns.

However, in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Portland, CRC Health Group asked the court to find that Warren’s actions are discriminatory because drug addicts are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act and the municipality won’t allow them to receive treatment within the town’s limits. It also asks the court to order the town to let the company move in and for the town to pay the company’s legal fees.

An opinionated crowd of about 15 waited Tuesday night for the town’s elected officials to open the doors after the executive session.

“People have a lot of questions, but no answers,” one man who declined to give his name said.

“This whole mess is a question,” added a woman he was talking to, who likewise didn’t identify herself.

Selectmen said they hoped residents would find some answers in two documents that they passed around after the brief public portion of the meeting: a copy of an informational letter to Warren residents and the memorandum of understanding that details the proposed settlement between the town, CRC Health Group Inc. and Vixen Land Holdings LLC.

Among other points, the informational letter states that the town’s insurance company has taken the position that it has “very limited obligations” under Warren’s insurance policy.

“The Plaintiffs assert that as a result of their inability to operate the clinic at the Brick School, they have lost close to $900,000,” the letter stated. “The Town denies any wrongdoing. However, any lawsuit brings with it uncertainty …. the Select Board believes that the people of Warren should be entitled to decide whether this settlement is in their collective best interest.”

A settlement would mean that the plaintiffs would agree to drop all claims they could have brought against the town.

No representatives from CRC Health Group or Vixen Land Holdings appeared to be present Tuesday night and efforts to reach them for comment were not successful.

Voters will be asked next week if they will authorize the spending of $180,000 from the town’s fund balance to go to the “full and final settlement.” The remaining $140,000 would be paid by Warren’s insurance company.

According to Pope, when mediation for the settlement was conducted on Aug. 31, he learned that if the lawsuit progresses, the town faces the possibility of years of litigation, expensive attorney fees and the chance that ultimately it would lose the case.

“The question is, do you want to take the chance?” he asked.

He said that he expects there to be a good turnout at the special town meeting held to decide the matter. He encouraged residents to read the informational letter and the memorandum of understanding and to speak with selectmen before making their final decision.

“This issue has energized the townspeople from the very beginning,” he said. “I hope that after serious consideration, they will vote what’s best for the town.”

Selectman Wayne Luce said after the meeting that he believes the plaintiffs’ argument is wrong.

“They’ve taken the Americans With Disabilities Act and broadened it way more than it was ever intended,” he said. “I think a lot of people’s first reaction will be, don’t settle with them. I want to do what’s in the best interest for the town — and that’s a settlement.”

The Warren special town meeting to determine whether to settle the federal lawsuit will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Warren Community School.

For information, call the town office at 273-2421.


Rockland gives final OK to methadone zone – Stephen Betts – Rockland – Camden – Knox – The Herald Gazette

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Rockland gives final OK to methadone zone

By Stephen Betts | Sep 08, 2011


Rockland — A proposed methadone clinic can move forward following approval Sept. 7 of a zone change to allow the drug treatment center to operate near the Thomaston town line.

The council voted 3-2 (Councilors Elizabeth Dickerson and Larry Pritchett …

via Rockland gives final OK to methadone zone – Stephen Betts – Rockland – Camden – Knox – The Herald Gazette.

A new methadone clinic planned in Sanford addresses a growing problem – Keep Me Current: News

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

A new methadone clinic planned in Sanford addresses a growing problem – Keep Me Current: News.

A new methadone clinic planned in Sanford addresses a growing problem

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Posted: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 2:14 pm

SANFORD – A proposal to open a methadone clinic in Sanford speaks to the growing problem of opiate-related drug addiction in Maine, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services and advocates for improved substance abuse treatment in the state.

“More and more people are showing up in recovery whose primary drug of choice is opiates,” said Deb Dettor, coordinator for the Maine Alliance for Addiction Recovery, a nonprofit substance abuse recovery advocacy group.

Massachusetts-based Spectrum Health Systems has proposed to build and operate a clinic at 61 Eagle Drive, in an industrial complex in Sanford. According to James Q. Gulnac II, director of planning and community development in Sanford, town officials plan to meet with representatives of the company this week, in advance of a full site plan review with the Planning Board.

Methadone is a controlled substance administered in clinics to treat patients suffering from drug addiction, usually involving heroin, prescription painkillers or related opiates.

Statistics from the state Department of Health and Human Services point to the rising problem of opiate addiction in Maine. The department noted a national survey, conducted by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which showed a higher rate of abuse of pain medications in New England than in other parts of the country.

Dr. Peter Delany, who conducted the survey, studied the rate of admission per 100,000 people age 12 and older. He found that the national rate of admission for patients suffering from non-heroin related opiate addictions was about 45 admissions per 100,000. Maine’s rate, the study found, was more than eight times that, at 386 per 100,000.

According to state data, 8,933 people were admitted for treatment of addiction to heroin, prescription painkillers, or other opiate-based drug addiction in 2010. The same data shows that only 4,874 were admitted for treatment of alcoholism, marking the first time on record that opiate addiction numbers in Maine surpassed those treated for alcohol abuse.

In 2011, data for the year so far shows that alcohol is the more popular drug of choice, but not by much. According to data dated Aug. 5, there were 6,613 patients admitted for treatment of alcoholism, but 5,374 patients admitted for opiate-related addiction.

Dettor said the 2010 data in particular is “alarming,” and said a methadone treatment center would be a big step toward improving treatment options for addicts.

“It’s a good thing, if it’s done well,” she said.

Treatment counselors have to remember, however, that administering methadone needs a support program to go with it, Dettor said, including counseling and other forms of support therapy.

“Medication is not enough,” she said. “It’s a piece of the puzzle.”

The town of Sanford changed its ordinances regarding drug treatment centers in 2008 in response to another company, not Spectrum Health Systems, applying to open a methadone clinic in the downtown area, according to Town Manager Mark Green.

“The council was very concerned that that kind of use not be in the downtown,” Green said.

That proposal, Green said, was put on hold when the Town Council set a moratorium on such clinics, effectively blocking the proposal while the council worked on the new ordinance language. The clinic in that proposal was never built in town.

The ordinance change, Green said, allowed methadone and related clinics to open in certain designated areas of town. The new proposal from Spectrum Health Systems, Green said, is unrelated to the 2008 proposal.

Details of the new proposal or how soon it could be approved are not yet available, but Gulnac said the land has already received site plan approval for a structure. That approval, he said, was the result of a past unrealized proposal to build on the property. If the new clinic’s proposed building, he said, is similar to that which got approval in the past, Gulnac said, that would simplify the clinic’s approval process.

Categories: All Posts, NIMBYism

The Trouble with Morality: The Effects of 12-Step Discourse on Addicts’ Decision-Making – Journal of Psychoactive Drugs – Volume 43, Issue 3

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

Volume 43, Issue 3, 2011

The Trouble with Morality: The Effects of 12-Step Discourse on Addicts’ Decision-Making

The Trouble with Morality: The Effects of 12-Step Discourse on Addicts’ Decision-Making


Buy now



David Frank M.A.a*

pages 245-256

Available online: 29 Aug 2011

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Since its development in the 1960s, researchers have extensively scrutinized methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) as a medical response to heroin addiction. Studies consistently find that MMT is more successful than other treatment models in the reduction of opiate/opioid misuse, the transmission of diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C, and criminal arrest and conviction rates. Nonetheless, a significant portion of active and former heroin addicts view MMT negatively and—perhaps as a result—MMT is vastly underused. This study examines the effects of 12-Step discourses on the opinions and treatment decisions of active heroin addicts, addicts in MMT, and addicts in 12-Step treatment programs. The study finds the abstinence/morality based discourse of drug addiction and treatment is pervasive among addicts and their non-drug using relations and peers alike; moreover, addicts have internalized this narrative, oftentimes despite their own knowledge of MMT’s success and positive personal experiences. The findings suggest that the dominance of abstinence/morality narratives contributes to MMT’s poor reputation among, and low use rate by current and former heroin addicts and that the power of the dominant discourse is such that it produces a desire to buy into its values and tenets even when it is against the individual’s interests to do so.

via Taylor & Francis Online :: The Trouble with Morality: The Effects of 12-Step Discourse on Addicts’ Decision-Making – Journal of Psychoactive Drugs – Volume 43, Issue 3.


September 11, 2011 Leave a comment


MAAR will co-host its 3rd Annual Recovery Retreat ~ a Day of Healing and Celebration ~ Saturday, September 17, 2011 at University of Maine at Augusta click here for flyer

September is RECOVERY MONTH in Maine.Click here for more information

Click here to learn about National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month

via MAAR: Events | Maine Association of Substance Abuse Programs.

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MAAR: Events | Maine Association of Substance Abuse Programs

September 11, 2011 Leave a comment

Yeah Deb!



Deb Dettor has been selected by the Board of Day One to receive the Community Vision Award for her leadership in establishing a community presence and voice about recovery, and for providing community support to reduce youth alcohol and drug related problems. This award will be presented to Ms. Dettor at the Day One Annual Dinner Celebration on September 15, 2011.

We are delighted that Deb will be recognized for her many years of dedicated service on behalf of recovering people. We thank the Board of Day One for honoring Deb’s achievements through this award presentation, and for highlighting the importance of recovery presence and voice in strengthening recovery within our communities. click for flyer


A new Recovery Community Center will open in Portland this Fall!

See the MAAR webpage devoted to this exciting new program.

via MAAR: Events | Maine Association of Substance Abuse Programs.

Hello there!

July 10, 2011 2 comments

It’s been so long since I have made a post that I wanted to let everyone know we should be back up and running SOON!

GOOGLE ALERTS used to supply ARM-ME with any and all stories to do with MAT in MAINE and the US.  Unfortunately, due to a huge problem with SPAM invading one of our emails we have been unable to access the email that has the alerts.  WELL…we are back on track with an email specifically for the alerts!  ALSO I will be posting the email addy so our readers can send us news stories!

Thanks everyone!


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