Friday, July 19, 2024
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Putnam Commissioners Oppose Methadone Clinic

Putnam County Commissioners passed a resolution Monday night opposing the establishment of a Methadone Clinic in Putnam County.

The resolution notes methadone’s link to brain tissue damage that can cause learning and problem-solving issues, slower thinking, and respiratory problems as a prominent reason for opposition. It also points out that venture capital investors view methadone clinics as highly profitable takeover targets, creating the potential to lose local control. Retired Chemist and Putnam County Resident Gene Mullins said methadone is classified as a level-two drug, the same as hydrocodone.

“We do not need the negative health issues and potential community problems of Methadone,” Mullins said. “Not when we have homegrown, non-medically assisted treatment groups who truly love and care for opioid users and want them to be completely drug-free.”

The resolution also notes that the proposed Cedar Recovery location at 1805 Burgess Falls Road is in the same building as a youth sports training facility and within half of a mile of a middle school and homeschool office. Cedar Recovery CMO Stephen Lloyd said the company has developed a policy for community commitment that outlines its intent to be a good neighbor and a valuable resource.

“We’re committed to being part of the community here,” Lloyd said. “We’re committed to being a part of the community in Putnam County. We’re committed to helping people with substance use disorders. There’s a lot of different pathways to recovery.”

Lloyd said fentanyl is a game-changer in the danger of substance abuse and Methadone can help the youth survive long enough to avoid harmful drugs and work through counseling. Resident Will Roberts said said Methadone clinics simply substitute one harmful drug for another.

“The argument is that drug addiction has changed because of Fentanyl,” Roberts said. “Let me tell you something, drug addiction has not changed and neither has recovery. Recovery is not about satisfying somebody’s need for a drug or their perceived need for a drug by giving them another drug.”

Several Commissioners said they had spoken with tens, and in some cases, hundreds of residents of their respective districts and received overwhelmingly strong feedback in favor of opposing the clinic’s application for a certificate of need. Cedar Recovery must receive state approval of that certificate to move forward.

The Commissioners voted unanimously to oppose the facility.

In other business, Commissioners voted to approve a proposed speed limit change on Sandy Stone Camp Road. The board voted to remove Welch Hollow Road from the county road map.

The Commission also voted to approve a slew of budget amendments to properly close out the financial year.