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‘Methadone clinic’ still in first stage

By MELINDA WILLIAMS
melinda@southwesttimes.com

Six months after the town was notified of a potential “methadone clinic” locating in Pulaski, nothing has changed in the licensing process, a state official said.

Les Saltzberg, director of licensing for Virginia Department of Health and Developmental Services, said the licensing process for Pulaski Medical LLC is still in the initial application process. Two more steps must be taken before a license can be approved, he added.

Gary Gavornik of Easton, Pa. has filed with VDHDS for a license to operate an “opioid treatment center” in the Pulaski Mall unit formerly occupied by Pulaski Drugs and New River Valley Community Services.

The town of Pulaski was notified of the application in December and, along with Pulaski County, has filed objections to the proposal. However, since the clinic is consistent with town zoning and other requirements, officials are doubtful they can do anything to stop it.

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.

Saltzberg said Thursday the licensing process can take from three months to a year dependent upon how quickly the applicant provides necessary information and the quality of the information provided.

After the initial application is filed, he said the second step in the process is for the applicant to file policy and procedures for the clinic. Once those are approved, the third step consists of a site visit.

Asked whether VDHDS would be notified if the applicant decided not to pursue a license, Saltzberg said some applicants notify them and others don’t.

Once a year has passed without any contact from the applicant, the file is closed. “That happens about 20 percent of the time,” he said.

If approved, the clinic would dispense medications, including methadone, to persons with addictions to opiate drugs such as heroine and pain relievers like OxyContin, morphine, Dilaudid and Percocet. The goal is to wean the person off drugs.

A building permit was requested by the property owner for a commercial rehabilitation of the store space in October.

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

Comments

comments

46 Responses to ‘Methadone clinic’ still in first stage

  1. County Resident

    August 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Pulaski is already deceased. I drive through Main Street from the exit off I-81 into downtown and it is truly sad. It would be another blemish for the Town to have this clinic.

    • Madhavi

      October 7, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Hi Kerry I hope you are well. I’ve put the Carry On DVDs down and as your token Tory on the blog would not object to taepayxrs money being spent “shoot up” rooms. I think it is best that methodone is injected in a safe clean environment. I think crime would go down too.Millions gets wasted on smoking cessation and could easily be diverted from that white elephant.Also could we at the same time re-introduce “shooting galleries” for nicotine addicts, they used to be called pubs, before they all shut?

      • David

        October 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm

        I don’t know if I should laugh or tell you that you are an idiot. Methadone is not “Shot” at these clinics. The real solution is to legalize and regulate. If there was legal and controlled access to Marijuana we would not have drug dealers in the first place. It is easier for a teenager to get a bag of weed or a pill than a can of beer. If an adult could go to the liquor store or other licensed place and buy his or hers marijuana there would be no drug dealers. If somebody had a license to lose they would obey the law. How many bootleggers do we have now that the liquor store is in town? The same thing could happen to the drug trade. That is something to think about.

        • David

          October 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

          Change my name to Dave. I’m not the same David that left some of these comments.

          • Editor

            October 31, 2012 at 11:49 am

            Unfortunately, we’re unable to change the account names – the only way is to sign up for a different account with the user name you want to be known by.

  2. mom of two

    August 21, 2012 at 6:52 am

    The article states that the location of this clinic is far enough from schools and such…what about the new POSITIVE business that just opened up in Pulaski? Bouncing Brandon’s!! It should be too close for such nonsense to come to the area.

  3. barbara simpkins

    August 22, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    say no to methadone in the new river valley especially pulaski its already the most popular town known for drugs and lets watch methadone clinic does for them.I live in radford and i hope we never see one come here to get addicts off drugs tdo them and keep them locked up til they detox on their own and then they wont need methadone.I think if you want them, on methadone then keep them in the cllinic for 30 days mandatory i bet you wouldnt have any of them come to get them think before you give a pill that kills so many parents and kids mandatory 30 days or no methadone pulaski good luck

    • jon rez

      September 18, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      bad idea. in patient cost tens of thousands of dollars that people don’t have (which will end up coming out of our tax dollars). methadone is harder to get off of but people who are serious about stopping their opioid dependency can get a stable does (not getting high off it like people seem to think, there are people who abuse methadone like any other narcotic prescription by mixing it with drugs that intensify it’s effects) but for the most part patients get on a stable dose which gets rid of cravings and withdrawal and will slowly come down on their dose adjusting to each new dose so withdrawal is minimized. In cases of ” cold-turkey” and forced in-patient, it has proved to be a waste of time and money. The problem is that, although, methadone clinics are, ” non-profit” they can engage in profit making activities; which in turn motivate them not to get you off opiates completely but to simply keep you from getting high off them while staying on methadone as long as possible seems to be their actual goal. Obviously their employees will rationalize what seems morally unjust is fair because they’re in some way still ” doing them a favor”- which we all know is completely BS when you could be doing a better job. Not to mention if it worked too well their employees would start to worry about job security etc. and probably try to keep people on. Most clinics are a joke and don’t even kick repeat offenders (people still using outside drugs) off the program.

      • David

        September 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

        Yes, getting “high” off of methadone is definitely possible. What makes it potentially dangerous is that it is such a potent, long acting synthetic opioid that there is a high dose sensitivity aspect. 10 mg [of methadone] for somebody who takes 4 Vicodin tablets will make them feel like they have taken about 15 [Vicodin's], at 5/500 strength There will be no “rush”, and the full effects peak at around 3.5 hours after oral ingestion.

        Unlike other synthetic opioids like oxycodone or hydrocodone, methadone doesn’t give that energetic feeling that the other opioid compounds sometimes produce. It’s more like tranquility and relaxation, with a serious “nodding” It definitely dulls any pain, and has a half life of 28-36 hrs. Therefore, the metabolites can be detected in your system for up to 2 weeks.

  4. jj

    August 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    this is help for people with pain problems. will take crime off the street . you dont have to look over your shoulder or kiss up to your dealer.

    • David

      September 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      spoken like a true addict! helps with pain…um if you truly want to be done with the pain, suffer thru the long sleepless nights, fight the crawlies, throw up, hurt….that way when your clean, you wont have to use a legal alternative to get high. This is just a way for all the addicts who “Suffer” from this disease of addiction, to legally say its ok.

      • robert

        October 18, 2012 at 2:30 am

        All I will say about your new soon to be up to date meth clinic and have dealt with these in the past directly is,I hope you all enjoy it because your town will soon regret having one,for me,no worries due my job I’m moving on to another area,but hey,lets put it in a way you will understand Lamens times if you must,if you all cant listen to the truth,you will soon get to feel its impact,personality I wouldnt let it come in there,but now, its YOUE community not mine,enjoy

  5. Tweeter

    September 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    All I have to say, is it is NO GOOD AT ALL!!!!
    people have to pay for some of these treatments and where do you think they’ll get the money for their next fix at the clinic? Stealing, I just moved from one house in Pulaski because of the stealing and when and if this clinic comes here everyone in town be prepared.

  6. David

    September 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    This subject need a “ROMNEY REBOOT.” Lets give the addicts a “LEGAL” way to get high. If Pulaski County allows this to go into their county without a fight, you will see an increase of addicts in the community. Methadone is not a alternative to Meth, its used and abuse just as illegally as Meth itself. If this happens, you should open a Meth lab and actually get some revenue from sales.

  7. wow!!!

    October 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I cant believe the things that I have read on here and the complete ignorance as to what this clinic does. I’m not sure why people seem to think that you go to the clinic and “shoot up” or that they give you a pill, but that is not the case at all. You are administered a dose of 30mg-120mg of LIQUID Methadone. Which is supervised by a nurse. You start out at 30mg and gradually go up, until you are on a stable dose and are no longer feeling any withdrawl symptoms. AND YOU SHOULD NOT BE “HIGH”. Do you all think that people are going to steal to pay $11-$14 a day for methadone at a treatment center or $80-$320 a day for heroin or oxycontin? So, wouldnt you think that crime rate in you town would go down? As long as people use the treatment center for its intended purpose, it can be a lifesaver. And if you are on a stable dose, it is safe to drive or operate machinery. People need to get their facts together before putting people down. I think that if addicts want to get their life together then great for them!!! If you have never been addicted to heroin/pills how can you say the best way to come off of it?? And yes, you do have to taper down off of Methadone but it is very doable if the addict is serious about getting clean. Even medications like clonadine for high blood pressure, have to be tapered off of. Would you rather heroin or oxycontin addicts run around your town or people who get a medication everyday administered by nurses at a facility?

    • Town Citizen

      October 18, 2012 at 8:48 am

      WOW!!! apparently you don’t live in my town.. When I can’t even leave my car unlocked or my windows up on my house or let my children play out side because theft is so high in our town. I can’t even sale the house to move out of the town. SO NO!!!!! as a resident of the Town of Pulaski I DO NOT WANT A METH CLINIC IN MY TOWN! You must know I come from a long line of alcohol and drug addicts. I myself wanted a better life for my family. I believe that addicts that want help will succeed. However the system is abused and it is just another avenue for addicts to get the drugs they want.Everyone should have the right to get help but everyone should be responsible for helping them selves when it comes to anything.

    • TT

      October 18, 2012 at 12:05 pm

      WOW you should do some real research on methadone. It does have similiar effects like other drugs. It is a pain medication. It also can be given in pill form. You are probably someone who is hooked on it. Just like most of people in Pulaski, you’re hooked on something from alcohol to oc’s to meth. If I still lived there and couldn’t get out I would probably support this as well so I could fit in with my neighbors. Also the doses decrease not increase…..

    • Tweeter

      October 20, 2012 at 1:00 am

      WRONG!!!! My sister and her husband has went to these clinics. They pay more than $14 a day and THEY ARE HOOKED. Yes, people will steal for this it is cheaper to pay for. I even hate for my 14 year old son to walk in this town. We both used to walk in this town to exercise and enjoy the air BUT NOW BEFORE THE CLINIC IS EVEN HERE….I do not feel safe for him and do not feel safe for myself. All I say, is I am waiting on tax town and hope and pray it is enough money to move out. I lived on 4th SE in the past 6months and guess what I couldn’t even have a lawn mower outside or even a gas can. We had a fruit tree and for some reason some people thought it belonged to everyone in the neighborhood so every time when they thought we weren’t looking they would be out there. I would say something and would get dumb remarks oh, I thought it belonged to everyone. So just wait everyone that I have ever known on drugs does whatever it takes to get their next fix. It doesn’t matter who it hurts or how many is hurt…family, friends, it just doesn’t matter AND I KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT….used to be married to one, two sisters and others that I have known are addicts and yes 2 are addicts from the clinics. They had to have money for their fix from the clinic so they of course had no money for their food for their kids, for rent or anything of the basic necessities…so of course sponge off of others….

    • Reality

      October 26, 2012 at 12:53 pm

      Please!!! Do you really think that we don’t know about the 2 week take home liquid methadone and skimming some out and selling on the streets to get their drug of choice. So you get high and go to the clinic and fail your pee test and do you get thrown out?? NO!! You just have to drive to the clinic for the next 2 weeks for them to give it to you. C’mon…everyone that has been around anyone on methadone can see them sitting with their mouths hanging open and bottom lip resting on their lap or falling asleep. HIGH is HIGH whether its Meth from the street or Methadone from a clinic that only the ‘druggies’ want here so they don’t have to drive to Galax.

  8. Town Resident

    October 18, 2012 at 10:28 am

    To Wow!

    Our town is already full of addicts. We don’t need to bring more in. Yes, this is close to a very positive buiness that just opened. It’s near to Bouncing Brandon’s, a restaurant geared toward our children. It’s near a family-oriented restaurant with the Steer House and near to McDonalds. I think we need to fight hard enough to save our town in these terrible economic times anyway; we don’t need this dragging our town further down the toilet.

    I feel terrible for anyone who has an addiction that they have to fight ever day, however, I don’t want this in my town and I think other residents feel the same way.

    • TT

      October 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm

      Don’t worry Bouncing Brandons will be shut down by next year.

  9. Town Citizen

    October 18, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Town Resident…
    I would like to shack your hand!

  10. My opinion

    October 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

    To Tt and Town Citizen you are both correct. Any drug is unsafe and dangerous. A clinic in Pulaski just confirms the talk of Pulaski being a drug and welfare location. But give the clinic a try. What can it hurt? Maybe it would actually help but I to, doubt it. So if you think Bouncing will close dont you realize the clinic will be here less than a year. Just means another building redone with our tax money when the middle schools are crumbling before our very eyes and the Dublin Elementary is focused on by a tv station because of the heat issue. Doesnt it make you proud? A meth clinic and a new museum all in the same year and educational hazards for our children. Yep dear Pulaski with mixed up priorities.. As an after thought they choose to do the drugs same as I choose not to.

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