MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– Artist renderings of a modern gray colored building show what the Root Center for Advanced Recovery wants to build at 392 Washington Street in Middletown.
The clinic would provide daily doses of methadone to those being treated for an opioid addiction.
“We know that proximity and access are two key things for treatment success,” said Steven Zuckerman, Pres. & CEO Root Center for Advanced Recovery.
Right now those needing the treatment have to go to Hartford for it.
“The likelihood is not as strong of people remaining program compliant when they have to get on a bus or get to Hartford everyday to get their methadone treatment,” said Maryellen Shuckerow, executive director of St. Vincent DePaul Middletown.
She says having a clinic in the city will be a game changer for those fighting addiction.
She would not however support it if it was proposed for a residential area.
“But I live here and we have residents further down,” said Sonia Santavenere, who owns The Main Switch Beauty Salon and lives upstairs.
She supports having a methadone clinic in Middletown, just not next door.
“Take a look at all the other ones around. People hang out. They smoke cigarettes, they throw up, and it’s just a big congregation,” said Santavenere. “It’s not good for my business.”
“The majority of our services happen between 5:30 a.m. and 9 a.m., and the reason for that is the fact is the majority of our clients hold employment,” said Zuckerman.
He and many others were expected to listen in and weigh in during the Middletown Planning and Zoning Board’s virtual meeting Wednesday night on this proposal.
He says as many as 150 of his clients have Middletown addresses but believes there are many more who have chosen not to get treatment because they can’t or don’t want to go to Hartford.
“It hits everybody and the more we can combat that opioid crisis and save lives. Years ago with opioids you weren’t dying, today you’re dying,” said Shuckerow.
Up until April, there was language on the books preventing a methadone clinic from opening in the city but that was removed opening the door for this proposal and conversation.