|Frequently asked questions about locating a Methadone
House in Lebanon County?
||First, drug and alcohol treatment
is a mandated responsibility of a county.
|Where do Lebanon residents get methadone
||They must travel daily to Harrisburg, Reading or Coatesville.
|That's not so far.
||True, but the closer the treatment, the more likely someone
will stay with the program.
|Why should I care if someone stays on
||Heroin addiction is an expensive habit--$10/pack used 10
|What kind of job would a person need to support
||People usually end up committing crimes to support their
|They should be in jail for using illegal drugs
||Did you know that when people are in jail it costs you and
all taxpayers a lot of money? While some inmates
contribute to their stay, Lebanon County residents
are responsible to cover the costs of unpaid food, clothing, and shelter
to house inmates at the prison as well as medical care and of course
the guards' salaries.
Right now, Lebanon County has a bond issue to expand the prison as well as a
request to hire two more guards.
|Aren't we just substituting one drug for another?
||People can't stop using heroin on their own. Many people can
eventually get off of methadone. In the interim,
they can function normally.
|I don't get it. Nobody told them to use drugs,
and drugs are illegal.
||You are right. However, we have children as young as 10 who
are given free heroin to get them hooked. They
need our help.
|What is the difference between Renaissance
Counseling Service at the VA and this program?
||Renaissance is a last resort for hardened criminals who
would otherwise be sentenced to state prison.
Methadone is for people who realize on their own
that they need help and have failed at other treatment modalities.
Renaissance also costs a whole lot more to administer than methadone.
|How many heroin addicts are in Lebanon County?
||190 known, but about 585 in the County.
|But all 585 are not on methadone.
||Right. It's the same as trying to lose weight or stop
smoking. People have to want to get clean.
Methadone is another tool in the tool box of treatment.
|I'd rather concentrate on prevention.
||We also use science based prevention programs that are
|What is the success rate with methadone?
||The relapse rate to illicit opioid use, for patients who
have withdrawn from methadone, is 80-90% after one
year. Methadone maintenance treatment does not
cure opioid addiction. Combined with appropriate psychosocial treatments,
methadone can put the disease into remission. As with all chronic
diseases, when effective treatment is
discontinued, the disease reoccurs (think diabetes,
high cholesterol or hypertension.)
|Are there any savings to the County.
- 10 County funded clients
- 10 projected additional County funded
- 18 medical assistance clients
(38 x $25/week = $950 weekly
savings x 52 weeks = $49,400.00 yearly plus
transportation costs of $13,367.95 for a total
savings of $63,717.95.)
|What about increased insurance and other costs
to the county?
||All costs are the responsibility of the provider.
|What about using methadone and then driving
or using machinery? What if someone gets hurt? Is
the County liable?
||Researchers consistently found that methadone-when used in
the treatment of heroin addiction-has no adverse
effects on a person's ability to think and
|Why can't we use the existing facility to
provide methadone treatments?
||Because of confidentiality, in and out-patient clients can't
|That's a laugh. Everyone can see each other
and meet on the parking lot.
||State regulation provides that arrivals enter in one door
and leave through a different door.
|I lived in a neighborhood with a methadone clinic.
People were lined up outside before opening, and
drug deals took place regularly. Will police
be there to monitor activity, and at whose
||The provider has assured us that this is not an issue at the
clinics they run. They are the largest provider
in the United States. The provider and the
Lebanon County Commission on Drug and Alcohol
Abuse (LCCDAA) have met with the North Cornwall Police to
discuss this issue.
|I thought there was a hiring freeze on at the
||Employees would be under the jurisdiction of the provider.
|From where is the money coming to build this
||One half from the State and one half from CRC, the provider.
|What if all 100 spots are not used.
||That does not impact the County budget. It is the
responsibility of the provider.
|Oh sure, then they advertise openings to bring
in more drug users. Look what happened at
||The first few weeks, methadone is administered daily, but
then a "block" builds upon the brain that doesn't
allow a person to get high on heroin, so they don't
use it. At this point, a client can earn a take-home supply which
reduces the number of visits to the clinic.
|So where are other clients likely
to come from?
||Northern Lancaster and Schuylkill Counties. They don't have
|We're smaller than Lancaster. If it's such a good
idea, why doesn't Lancaster have a clinic?
||The provider is also in talks with Lancaster.
|That's setting us up for failure. We build,
Lancaster fills the spots, then they build and their
clients go to the closer clinic in Lancaster.
||Most of the Lancaster clients will continue to attend the
clinic in Coatesville. We anticipate that only
Northern Lancaster county residents might use this clinic.
|This is a business. What happens to the building if
we don't have enough of people to make it
||We could possibly rent it to White Deer Run for inpatient or
|And what if White Deer Run doesn't want the
space? What costs are there to the County?
What do we do with the building if we can't
fill the facility with Lebanon residents?
||I would anticipate that another
provider of Methadone services would run the
clinic. LCCDAA has been approached by 2 other Methadone Clinic providers
(unsolicited) who expressed an interest in operating a clinic in
Lebanon. We have an epidemic at this time in Lebanon. 52% of the clients
we treat are heroin/opiate addicts, the highest in
the state. 29 have died in the last 3 years. Or
maybe we could use it for a temporary (overnight)
juvenile detention center.
|Is this a good idea ahead of its
||We need another tool in our tool box of treatment
|What if I agree to try this treatment facility, where would
it be located.
||Between a sewage treatment plant, the Quittapahilla Creek,
and cornfields. In-patient clients are
being treated at this facility now and have been since 1977.