HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html End The Commute For Recovering Addicts
Pubdate: Fri, 12 Sep 2003
Source: Roanoke Times (VA)
Copyright: 2003 Roanoke Times
Bookmark: (Methadone)
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)


With the planned opening of a methadone clinic in Roanoke County, more area
residents will be able to get treatment.

INSTEAD of traveling 100 miles to Galax or 120 miles to Charlottesville for
treatment, recovering drug addicts in the Roanoke Valley need help closer to

A plan by Life Center of Galax to open a satellite methadone clinic in
Southwest Roanoke County is a sensible solution to eliminating the lengthy
commute for addicts of opium-based drugs trying to turn their lives around.

Because the Roanoke area is the urban center of Southwest Virginia,
situating a treatment facility here will provide easier access for more of
those needing help in the region.

About 70 patients from the Roanoke Valley are now enrolled in Life Center's
program in Galax. Officials have received calls from as many as 100 others
unable to begin treatment because they cannot make the daily visits, which
the program initially requires.

Once the clinic is fully operational, Life Center expects 200 to 300
patients to regularly visit the Roanoke County site.

The opening of a methadone clinic often raises concerns among neighbors. But
the experience of the Galax clinic indicates that many of those fears are

Authorities have said the clinic did not produce an unusually large number
of calls to police. Residents primarily complained about heavy traffic early
in the morning when patients arrive to get the methadone before heading to

That worry should be diminished in Roanoke County because the building is
the former site of a family medical clinic.

Methadone is a synthetic narcotic that eases the recovering addicts'
withdrawal symptoms and reduces the craving for opium-based drugs such as
OxyContin and heroin.

By relieving their symptoms, patients can hold jobs as they undergo
treatment. The Roanoke Valley should support an effort providing convenience
for addicts trying to resume their place as healthy and contributing members
in the community.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Josh