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MailTribune.com
  • Methadone treatment center does good work, so give its clients a break

  • When is enough, enough? The methadone treatment facility in Medford treats more clients on a daily basis than any other in our community.
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  • When is enough, enough? The methadone treatment facility in Medford treats more clients on a daily basis than any other in our community.
    When you look at the statistics of success between this kind of treatment model vs. any other, you will find that the data shows it is more effective in treating the problem long-term.
    This facility saves lives, takes those committing crimes out of that world, and helps them get back on their feet.
    How can you possibly target a facility that does all of the above? Ignorance. So when is the harassment from the neighbors going to end?
    The city and state have come to a resolution, yet, because a group of neighbors that happens to include the mayor doesn't like the decision, they are going to continue to make the lives of the 500-plus patients miserable?
    Our jails are overcrowded and our police department overworked; however, this group of neighbors call them for noise complaints regularly. I can't tell you how often it is they come by the clinic while I am there, to investigate the complaint and find the opposite of the report.
    As a client who is educated, holding a professional job and an active member of this community, I ask that we put an end to this. The facility is doing all it can to prevent the issues and then some.
    I am personally feeling harassed by these neighbors. I go down to the clinic to take part in treatment groups, and I cannot tell you how frequently the staff comes into our group sessions to reiterate that we are not allowed to loiter, smoke or be within a five-block radius of the facility.
    They continue to ask us to take the "high road," show tolerance and be good neighbors. My question is, when are these same values going to be upheld by the neighborhood?
    Next door to this treatment center is a career college; the students stand on their breaks and smoke. Clients of the methadone clinic do not congregate on the property to smoke; we risk getting kicked out of treatment.
    I have witnessed disputes involving the students in their parking lot. Who do you think the neighbors called the police on? The addicts next door.
    I've seen more poor behavior working at a local grocery store than I have at this treatment facility. All treatment facilities deal with these issues. Don't get me started on my observations at OnTrack. You get a large group of people together, and people show poor judgment. We don't like it, we don't condone it, but we don't condemn them forever.
    That clinic saved my life and changed the path for my entire family. The parking lot is not filled with nice new cars, and most of the clients don't go home to manicured yards, but they are trying. I think this is an opportunity for everyone to show tolerance for one another. Please stop the harassment. This facility will be gone come August 2013.
    Whitney Frank lives in Medford.
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