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‘Methadone clinic’ proposed

Pulaski officials to express opposition to state

By MELINDA WILLIAMS
melinda@southwesttimes.com

Pulaski officials will express opposition to a proposed “methadone clinic,” but doubt there is much they can do to stop it from locating in Pulaski Mall.

Pulaski Town Manager John Hawley said the town received a letter from Virginia Department of Health and Developmental Services in December indicating Gary Gavornik of Easton, Pa. filed for a license to operate an “opioid treatment center.” It would be in the store adjacent to Save-A-Lot and was formerly occupied by Pulaski Drugs and New River Valley Community Services.

The clinics dispense medications, including methadone, to persons with addictions to opiate drugs such as heroine and pain relievers like OxyContin, morphine, Dilaudid and Percocet, with the goal of weaning the person off drugs.

Hawley said the town has been trying to determine whether it has any recourse, but “we’ve checked and as far as we know it meet’s the requirements.”

The town government does have a right to comment on the proposal, but he said he doesn’t know how much weight the comments will have in the process.

They just said we could comment,” he said.

The property is zoned B-2, General Business, which allows medical clinics as a “use by right.” If the zoning ordinance required that medical clinics be allowed by “special exception,” the town would have more control over the matter since it would be able to place conditions beyond what is required by the ordinance.

It also appears to meet required distances from schools and licensed day care facilities, according to Hawley. He said there is some question as to whether it must be half a mile from these facilities by road or “as the crow flies.” That’s being looked into further.

A building permit was requested for a commercial rehabilitation of the store in October. He said there are no grounds to deny the facility under the building code as long as all code requirements are met.

Hawley said Pulaski Town Council carefully weighed the pros and cons of the clinic before deciding how to respond.

There are pros. It is controlled treatment and there would be less travel for those receiving treatment,” he said. “But council believes the cons outweigh the pros.”

Therefore, town staff has been directed to draft a letter to send to the Department of Health and Developmental Services expressing opposition to the clinic.

He declined to be specific about what would be in the letter. He intends to have it completed to send to the state on Friday.

Our goal is to put together something that will get their attention,” he said, explaining that the town is trying to make a convincing argument as to why the clinic would be bad for the town.

The town did inquire as to the impact of such clinics on other communities that have them, but Hawley said the response was mixed.

It depended on who you talked to,” he said, explaining that one person in a jurisdiction might have one opinion and another have an opinion that is the polar opposite.

Hawley indicated it is his understanding licenses are granted conditionally for six months to start. He wasn’t sure how frequently renewal is required, but did note that the clinics have to meet certain guidelines to stay open.

Pulaski Mall is owned by RAS Properties, which is owned by Robert Strenz, a former member of Pulaski’s Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Nearby jurisdictions with methadone clinics include Roanoke and Galax. Galax has two.

Since the town hasn’t seen the licensing application, Hawley said he doesn’t know when it plans to open if the license is approved.

 

58 Responses to ‘Methadone clinic’ proposed

  1. Tweeter

    March 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    It seems as you are overlooking one thing…..meth is a drug. Did you happen to notice in the paper the same day the initial article came out that there was a place where you could click on 96 people’s faces that were being charged with meth use and was in trouble with the courts for this?

    • OMG

      May 13, 2012 at 3:09 am

      Do you know the difference between Methadone and Crystal Meth.? Obviously not! Educate yourself before you comment on something you know nothing about! The 96 people were using Crystal Meth.,Methadone helps people stop using opiates like pills and heroine. People that have no idea what they are talking about are stopping a much needed clinic that will help your community not hurt it. make sure you read up on the subject before you voice such and ignorant responce!

      • Tweeter

        May 15, 2012 at 11:59 pm

        Obviously, you don’t quiet understand everything either. Because people do get addicted to the methadone at the clinics. Like I previously said, my sister is very addicted and so is her husband. The only it has done is help them get off one drug to get on another. So, before being so rude check out your research and facts!

      • PillsKill

        June 8, 2012 at 12:34 am

        Ignorance is Bliss on your behalf my friend.

      • a man who realy is clean

        June 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm

        OMG looks like all you want is a way to get high and not get in trouble for it. try getting clean for real.

  2. Pulaski County Resident

    April 5, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I really hope this clinic does not come to Pulaski. if it does we will NEVER shop in any of the stores or eat in any of the restaurants in that part of town. It’s the last thing that those businesses need in this economy. Although we normally try to support these local merchants, we don’t want to be around a bunch of druggies that will more than likely be roaming around the stores, restaurants & parking lots like zombies after they get their dose. We will be sure to head in the opposite direction to do any shopping or eating out if this dreadful clinic comes to Pulaski.

  3. former resident

    April 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    methadone clinics are intended to help addicts get clean. sometimes it actually works. but that addict has to want it to. these doseages they take home are a six day supply that gradually increases in mg strength and do get sold for a very hefty profit. it does help people but mostly not because these addicts know that they can get high with it or make money by selling it. if it werent for the take home bottles they get then the drug sales and useage would go down because they wouldnt have any extra to sell or drink when they got home.
    with that said, the idea is not a bad one, just needs a little fine tuning. not all addicts are bad people, they just made a bad choice to start using drugs and now they are struggling to get free.

    • a man who realy is clean

      June 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      Saying methadone works to get people clean is like saying pee on a shirt to get mud off. Being clean is to not have drugs in your life. methadone is a drug, people using it are NOT clean

  4. Anonymous

    May 22, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Methadone Clinics are the most absurd waste of money in existence. Sure, it gets people off of the drugs they went in addicted to…but guess what…THEY BECOME ADDICTED TO METHADONE! Not only does it put people in dangerous situations under the influence of Methadone, it becomes a quest for money, not effectively removing the drugs from a persons life. I highly doubt that the percentage of success is very high, considering I have yet to hear a single success story. If the community really wants to do something about the drug addicts that make up the majority of the towns population…do something productive and have a rehabilitation within walking distance. A place that admits the patients and cuts them off of drugs completely.
    Very little is happening for the bettering of Pulaski, and to be honest I have fought the urge to pick my family up and move them to a better town where they can actually succeed in life. If a Methadone clinic opens in our small town I can honestly say there will be no hope at all of a “better Pulaski” or of any success for future generations!

  5. Tweeter

    May 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I agree with you completely. My son is almost 14 and this town scares me to death with all the bullying and etc….and then if we have this clinic to contribute to the already big problem of drugs. I have started my search to find another town to move to.

  6. Someone

    May 31, 2012 at 2:27 am

    I was raised in Pulaski,Va. And the last thing it needs is a drug clinic..Considering that Pulaski to some is known as Pillville already…It needs recovery places that doesnt use one drug to get over another drug…U think Pulaski is bad now..Let that clinic open..Glad i moved away..

  7. resident

    June 5, 2012 at 10:12 am

    our save alot here is closing there doors for good july 7th and this meth clinic is coming its sad,,we dont need a meth clinic pulaski needs more jobs,,to better us,,not make us worse

  8. PillsKill

    June 8, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Methadone is more addictive then Meth,heroin etc.
    This is the Governments was of making more money providing drugs to the public.I know alot of people hooked on this crap and it is destroying their life as much as any hard drug will.
    They offer detox though you can only get in with outstanding insurance and or a $4,000 dollar cash payment to even come off the crap.
    Everything that is bad for us and causes problems are Legal…hince the Methadone and Alcohol.
    Its like this,people pick up the drugs and do them,they can put them down.Yes it may be hard for some but we all have a brain for a reason and to let something as small as a Pill etc control your life is no more then weakness hands down.And the only reason I see Pulaski even allowing this to come to their town is because there is NOTHING there now,the town is a ghost town.I just lived there for 2 years and I can tell the difference in people living there and people just living in Christiansburg.Its depressing in Pulaski,hardly any jobs and nothing to do.This is insane by all means.

  9. PillsKill

    June 8, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I don’t get it…Blacksburg can vote that a Walmart not be built in the town of Blacksburg though the people of Pulaski cannot vote against this crap?? This should be taken to a higher authority.

  10. a man who realy is clean

    June 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Pulaski needs things for kids to do and families not methadone. Lets get all the druggies together and give them dope. YAY, gotta love pulaski. No wonder you cant sell a house here, find a job, or have a family night. This town is a joke. they turn down so many things that could help this town as in stores and things for family but want to agree to this…..