‘Methadone clinic’ still in first stage


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. Pingback: 'Methadone clinic' still in first stage | The Southwest Times | My Blog

  2. Angelo

    June 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    “The goal is to wean the person off drugs”.

    The hell it is. The goal is for the patient to sign up for “medicated assisted therapy”(MAT)They know once the patient is given methadone for detox off there drug of choice the patient will then have a methadone addiction and the withdrawl will be even longer so the patient usually just stays on the methadone. This is how the clinic makes money by the client staying on.

  3. Va Girl

    June 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Angelo, yes but it’s basically the lesser of 2 evils being the treatment is legal and the meth is not.

    As for the clinic making money by the patient staying addicted all I can say to that is welcome to the health care system as we know it. All about keeping the patient addicted to the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. We are a nation of addicts to something or other. :<( They are going to make sure it if.

    If we are stupid enough to fall for this Obamacare socialized "heath care" agenda it will only get worse. It's all about keeping the money coming in and keeping America UNhealthy. Otherwise they'd be telling young mothers not to dump antibiotics into their kids every time they sneezed and allowing the immune system to do it's job. Rather they pump the kids full of whatever mom wants them pumped full of and destroy the immune system's ability to handle little things on its own.

    Really scary state of affairs not only in America but any country with socialized healthcare. Wherever it exists it's a proven fact by statistics health of the nation rapidly declines.

  4. Va Girl

    June 25, 2012 at 8:59 am

    Furthermore, the health care providers should be telling people how to eat properly (what they should and should NOT eat), they would be honest that overweight is a killer, they would be honest that stress causes many physical problems that no pill can cure, and they’d be honest about much more. But no…they have their Volvo payments to make and it’s all about $$$$ and keeping the patient addicted to their care.

  5. upset

    June 27, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I feel that this is enabling drug users to use drugs! I have passed many people thru the town that have just come from these clinics with their eyes closed driving on the other side of the road. Substance abuse is substance abuse no matter if you make it illegal or not. This will raise the crime and death rate in Pulaski.People always complain that Pulaski is run down now and there is nothing to do! Now you can do drugs legally. So now we can live up to the perception of Pulaski.

    • Home owner and part time resident

      June 30, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      If the community knew anything about the danger of these free Drug Clinics, they would never tolorate it!!! I count more than I have fingers and toes the amount of deaths of young people in our community from drug abuse… It is extremely serious!!!! And, it is of epidemic proportion…

  6. Home owner and part time resident

    June 30, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I keep waiting for Pulaski to turn into some kind of positive symbol of Southwest Virginia towns. Choose any town in the area and the main difference is when you drive into Pulaski, one of the first things you will notice are the bums sitting in the park. Yes, bums and I don’t mind saying it. It is a pure disgrace for the town to lolerate this negative appearance. Now…. we can have have a bunch of Methadone addicts sitting with the bums…. Yes, Methadone addicts!!! I have personally experienced these people working for me and, me being totaly naive to the fact that they are completely hooked on Methadone… They will do anything to make their Methadone Clinic appointment in Galax… No matter what the work schedule is… Methadone comes first. They not only do the so called legal drug, but they share it. I have witnessed it first hand. Bottom line… no cure simply more junkies on our streets in Pulaski and in our society…. this time sponsored and paid for by our faithful Big Daddy Government!!

  7. Karen Graham

    July 1, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I have read with interest the responses to the possible addition of the Methadone Clinic in Pulaski. I too, don’t like the idea of one being located in the midst of our town. (Yes, I still consider Pulaski my town, even though I no longer live there.

    I went on the web to back up my argument against a clinic of this kind. I found some interesting information. Methadone has gotten a bad rap because of an increase in it’s usage as a drug of choice over heroin or oxycodone. Why? It’s more available, and doesn’t have the stigma associated with it’s use.Oh, by the way, it is also a Class II drug, a controlled substance.

    The affects of methadone last much longer too. Heroin gives you a high lasting only hours, where methadone users find the “high” for methadone lasts 24-36 hours. Treatment can last for years, or as short a time as 4-15 days. Getting off methadone can be a rough “trip” all by itself, too.

    As for driving ater taking a dose of methadone, it is recommended the person not drive, or even use complicated machinery. Methadone, if properly used can be helpful to some people, yes. But , I can forsee a potential for just the opposite happening in our town.

  8. Shaking my head....

    July 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    There are more people than you currently think that are already going to these clinics or buying the methadone that is distrubuted in the Galax clinic. You may work side by side with these people as I did myself for many years, unsuspecting that they were “patients” at these facilities. I always wondered what was wrong: why the slurred speech, the drooping eyelids and erratic behavior? Why keep these people on a drug for 8+ years if it is supposed to keep them from being addicted to another substance? As I have always said, this is not a cure, just an easy way to get what they want on a daily basis.

    I don’t know if many know this, but on most insurance plans it is a covered service to recieve treatment at these clinics and most insurance companies even PAY FOR YOU A RIDE TO GET THERE AND THEN TO GET HOME!!! So they get a “limo ride” to get their drugs…how convenient!!!!

    Unfortunately, for those who don’t have insurance, $11.00 per day isn’t too much of a fee to get the “guaranteed high” that you get in these clinics. Now coming up with that money may be a problem because most people who would go to the clinic may not have jobs to make that money….so watch the crime rate increase!!! Along with the arrival of this clinic, think of the amount of people driving to Pulaski to recieve treatment…how much more dangerous will our roads become?

    I do not approve of these clinics and wish there was something that our county could do to make sure that it is not brought to our town, but who are we kidding? There isn’t much hope that will happen and just think how many of the people in our county that are already addicted to street drugs who will be beating the doors down to get inside.

    Has everyone forgotten about the 3 year old little boy who ingested methadone thinking that it was children’s cough syrup and died because his mother would not take him to the hospital because she was already under invesigation with the Department of Social Services? Why sit and watch your child die from a methadone overdose? THIS is what will happen to more of our children and to those who will not follow the directions of using this drug and will overdose themselves.

    Pulaski already has enough problems…how many businesses have we lost just in the past year? Global Contact Services, Deli Mart, Express Stop, and Exxon on Route 99 heading into the town of Pulaski…just to name a few. Why bring in a business to make it easier for the residents of this town to have access to methadone? There is no hope of improvement in Pulaski County if this drug is made readily available to residents and the surrounding counties.

    God help us all…..

  9. momo64

    August 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    This would mean the death of Pulaski!

  10. Former Resident

    August 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    “Shaking my head says it all”… The town of Pulaski is already a slum. This clinic will finish it off. I moved away, I will not come back..

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