Pubdate: Wed, 25 Sep 2002
Source: Oshawa This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 Oshawa This Week
Author: Gord Reid
Bookmark: (Methadone)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


To the editor:

Re: 'City needs to keep fighting methadone clinic,' letter of Sept. 13, 
2002 from Susan Shetler.

The recent paranoia surrounding the relocation of Oshawa's methadone clinic 
is becoming absurd. The latest letter from Susan Shetler is a prime example.

Ms. Shetler notes "it would be one of the largest of its kind in Oshawa!" 
Since there is only one clinic in Oshawa, it could also be designated as 
"the smallest of its kind in Oshawa." She goes on to ask, "How will we 
possibly keep our city secure and safe when clinics of this kind move to 
our downtown core?"

First, the existing clinic is only 500 yards, as the crow flies, from the 
new proposed location. Where's the big move?

Second, what kind of people does Ms. Shetler think the clinic attracts? Has 
Ms. Shetler ever visited the existing clinic on King Street? The majority 
of the clients are addicted to prescription drugs and have voluntarily 
entered a program of rehabilitation which requires methadone. The clinic 
also serves people who have debilitating diseases, such as fibromyalgia, a 
severe and painful rheumatic condition. Methadone is often used to relieve 
the pain.

To put this into proper perspective, if Alcoholics Anonymous started to 
hold meetings in the basement of St. George's Anglican Church, would Ms. 
Shetler get bent all out of joint because drunks would be attracted to the 
downtown core? The people who go to AA are going voluntarily and are 
certainly not going to be drunk and disorderly. The same holds true of the 
methadone clinic. These are not stumbling drug addicts, they are the people 
who have decided to get their lives together and are getting help, along 
with those whose medical conditions require methadone.

The politicians and those running for public office might well take note of 
the type of people they are alienating by their NIMBY (not in my back yard) 
syndrome. By voluntarily attending the clinic, the clients are well on 
their way to becoming proud citizens of this city and will have clear 
memories at voting time.

Gord Reid, Oshawa
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