|Wednesday, July 1, 2015||Search Our Site|
Comment on This Story / Send This Article to a Friend
Business North - Around The Region - Duluth & Superior Newspaper
Long-stigmatized methadone treatment center to close Sept. 1
A long-controversial Duluth methadone clinic will soon close.
The privately owned Lake Superior Treatment Center (LSTC) told its clients this week that the clinic will close on Sept. 1, raising concern as they prepare for the unknown – where to obtain a daily methadone dose as part of their rehabilitation program.
“During the next two months, our staff will be working to assist you in transferring to another clinic, if you choose to do so,” LSTC said in a letter to its patients. “We hope that you will choose to remain in treatment and continue to make positive choices in your life.”
Executives of the company declined to comment.
The clinic has been under intense scrutiny during recent years. It received multiple state citations and its license was revoked. LSTC has appealed those actions.
The facility applied for a new license this year, but was informed last week that its request was denied, BusinessNorth has learned.
Despite the citations, the clinic has taken care of its patients and provided quality care and treatment, patients have said.
"Methadone saved my life, it gets a lot of negative outlooks because of the people that abuse it and give it a bad name. But no one ever puts the success stories out there, and there are a lot of successful stories of people that now are living stable healthy lives due to methadone. Closing the methadone clinic will change my whole life," said one patient who asked not to be identified.
A new clinic will open soon. Gary Olson, executive director of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment (CADT), said the organization plans to open a new methadone treatment center, Clearpath Clinic, on July 21 in Duluth.
“We’re going to do everything we can to help these patients transition over to Clearpath by Aug. 31,” he said.
The original plan was to begin taking new patients immediately, but the closing of LSTC will alter the original goal.
“We have to transfer the LSTC patients first before we can begin to help new ones,” he said.
CADT has been in operation since 1961 and offers services including regional detoxification, outpatient services and help with gambling addiction.
Olson said Clearpath’s capacity is about 400, and LSTC has roughly 210. Those patients will need to transfer to either Clearpath, which will be the only methadone treatment center within a two-hour’s drive of Duluth, or one of the many clinics farther away, including Brainerd’s Pinnacle Recovery Services. Their other option is to taper off the medication before the clinic’s closing.
Olson said St. Louis County, local law enforcement and Carlton County had issued a request for proposal in 2012 for a new methadone clinic. There were five responses, and CADT was chosen in November 2012 as the preferred provider.
Previous Around the Region Articles:
BusinessNorth - The business news source for Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin.|
P.O. Box 16223, Duluth, MN 55816
Phone: 218-720-3060 Fax: 218-720-3068 firstname.lastname@example.org