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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.

46 Responses to ‘Methadone clinic’ still in first stage

  1. Tweeter

    October 23, 2012 at 11:49 am

    You are exactly right!!!! The priorities of Pulaski are so screwed up it is not funny.

    • Deborah

      December 28, 2012 at 12:55 am

      What are the Politicians in Pulaski thinking? PULASKI will not allow a Liquor Bar in Pulaski… where people would happily go to enjoy a night out with friends… However, They (The town Officials) invite a METHADONE CLINIC… where drug addicts from hundreds of miles away… will come into our lil-ole-messed-up-but-OURS town and steal, and destroy what ever is left?
      People, the drugs addicts became drug attics because there was nothing else to do!!!!!!! Your choices are drugs and church. No social clubs for the regular Joes? VFW?… for veterans only. Moose lodge?… for members only.
      DO YOU KNOW WHAT A METHADONE CLINIC WILL DO TO THE TOWN OF PULASKI???
      We will ALL be brought down to their (the drug addicts) level and then be pulverized by their (the drug addicts) experience there!
      B&E’s (A.K.A. Breaking and Entering) will become a common everyday event, drug induced pedophiles from hundreds of miles around will bare down on US like thieves in the night. Muggings of Grandma’s will become regular. Drug sales will increase, as will drug use, as ALL THOSE METHADONE CLINIC PATIENTS will not be coming empty handed!
      I LOVE THIS TOWN! The people here are proud, and for a very Large part, honest quiet people. I DO NOT WANT TO WATCH IT BECOME ‘LIL ROANOKE, OR ‘LIL D.C.
      Just for Poops and Giggles- google search “Methadone clinics in Virginia”… then look at the demographics of the towns in which the operate.
      WAKE UP PULASKI! THIS IS NOT A POSITIVE MOVE!

      • Eugene Mathena

        December 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm

        Amen to Deborah.

  2. Nancy

    October 27, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I see absolutly nothing wrong in placing a Methadone Clinic in Pulaski! Pulaski is exactly the right place for it. Per capita this is the drug capital of the U.S. Maybe the clinic will help some those out there that need to become drug-free!! Something needs to be done. snowflower

    • Issmail

      November 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm

      For generations my famliy has always thrown moth balls around the house and under it to keep snakes and spiders away. It really works. The hpuse dont smell too good for a couple of days but its totally worth it not to have bad critters around

  3. wow!!!

    November 10, 2012 at 10:24 am

    TT, Town resident, tweeter, and reality you are VERY wrong on a few things. First TT….Thank you, I am not “hooked” on anything! Just because my opinion is different from yours, you dont like it. Thats fie with me. I dont need to do research on methadone. One of these”horrible clinics” SAVED MY LIFE!! I grew up in Pulaski and thats where my addiction started at the age of 15. I abused oxycontin and other opiates for years. I had been to jail and was at the lowest point in my life. I started the METHADONE (not meth) clinic and went for 2 years. I used the clinic for its intended purpose and tapered down and now have been CLEAN for 3 years!!!I know how bad the crime rate is in Pulaski. And while some people may abuse this clinic, not everyone does!! It can save a lot of lives!It may just make that town a better place and help those addicts. IF people are serious about being clean I believe that these clinics are wonderful. Also, methadone can be given in pill form, but thats at a Dr. Office, not the methadone clinic. It is given in liquid form. Also, yes some people can get 1 or 2 weeks takehomes. But those are people who are doing well on the program and are passing random drug screens and who are attending regular groups and meeting with their counselors. Hmmm….bet you all didnt even know about the groups and counselors. And if you fail drug screens, you dont lose takehome privliges for 2 weeks. The first time is 30 days and then it gets longer. The idea is to help these addicts. Methadone is meant to help the user not have any cravings for opiates. If they are on a stable dose, it works wonders.I am proof of that:). After I started at the methadone clinic, I got my life back. I am married to a wonderful man, have 3 happy chilren, a home, and a good job. Im not saying that nobody abuses the clinic. But if they do it will be the same result as with using illegal opiates…they will overdose and possibly die or go to jail/prison and will get clean that way. I honestly just think that this clinic can help Pulaski. Why arent you all downing the doctors there or close by that hand out oxycontin and other pills like candy? And yes, at the clinics in Galax and Roanoke the price is only $14 a day. Which is less than $100 a week. Thats better than stealing or robbing to feed a few hundred dollar a day pill addiction. I am a firm believer in the methadone clinic and lets be honest…it couldnt hurt Pulaski. If you’re afraid for your children then move out of that town. I did and its the best decision I ever made:).

  4. Shawn Davis

    March 24, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Pulaski,
    Please wake up!! Everyone seems to think b&e’s n drug sales will go up if a methadone clinic comes here. The fact sales are already thru the roof, people go2 galaxy get take homes n sale 2 the people that cant get 2 galaxy. He we had a clinic here, the 20 dollars that is stolen or borrowed etc. Used 2 buy 20mgs would be spent at a tax saying facility n kill the drug trade would effectively die in Pulaski.
    So wake up and face the realities of this town,
    Shawn Davis

  5. becca jones

    April 4, 2013 at 10:07 am

    I think it is a great idea to have a treatment program of thia kind in the Pulaski area. people have been travling long distances for a long time to get this type of help. some patients, who are on higher doses, tend to have accidents when travling those long distances, their bodies have to have time to adjust to the methadone. having a clinic in Pulaski will cut down on the travling and allow people to go directly home. there is alot of drug abuse in the Pulaski area and i think this will allow the people who want this type, or NEED this type, of help to get it. these programs have and can help a person to better their lives

  6. david

    April 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    It seems to me that if the town of Pulaski wants to bring a methadone clinic to town, and hand out free drugs to the users, then the should send out glass pipes and free spoons in the mail to all residents with coupons for business. If you can’t fight this then hell, join it. Guess the “drug store” is going to have optimal business. I’ll take the pipe, I don’t like needles!

  7. Tammy

    May 7, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    REALLY? A METHADONE CLINIC. WHAT IS THE TOWN OF PULASKI THINKING? DO THEY REALLY HAVE OUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART? MAYBE ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE IN THE TOWN OFFICES. WHAT DOES EVERYONE ELSE THINK? I HAVE (4) CHILDEEN TO CONSIDER IN THIS

  8. Concerned at your intelligence.

    May 8, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    I have read numerous comments of people who seem to be confused.

    First and foremost methadone is an opiate. NOT something that burns in a spoon or pipe. Meth (amphetamine) and Methadone are two vastly different things.

    Free drugs? Do you have any idea how much it costs to be a patient at a methadone treatment facility? It’s more than your car payment. Most likely up there with your mortgage…around $400 monthly. Just to be treated there.

    The medication they dispense is not only controlled by the DEA but also by very strict clinic rules. The fact that most people got themselves into a program is alone testament that they are not ‘breaking into local houses’ etc…

    Do any of you think or research anything at all before you begin spewing misinformation further proving that the general IQ level of your entire town is single digits?

  9. Anon1

    May 21, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Being a mother of a methadone baby, I think that it is an awful drug and yes it is a drug! My daughter was sick when she was born and went through withdraw for 6 months it was the worst 6 months of my life, watching what i had chosen and yes it was a choice to do to my baby. I think that this clinic is bad news waiting to happen.