Opioid addiction knows no bounds. It plagues the nation and the Stateline. One local mental health center wants to bring a Methadone Clinic to Rockford. After two previous attempts, doctors at Mathers Clinic hope this time, they’re approved.
“You shouldn’t just hide them in the corner somewhere,” said Resident Mike Estlund. “You should put them out in every neighborhood because every neighborhood is in involved with drugs.”
“I understand that people think its terrible, scary and they don’t want people like that around,” echoed Mathers Clinic Head Psychologist Dr. Robert Meyer. Mathers Clinic is awaiting approval for a special use permit to change to the 5416 East State Street vacant store front, into a Methadone Clinic in Rockford. It would be in the same plaza where Circut City and many other stores used to be.
A methadone clinic is where anyone who suffers from an opiod addiction, whether it’s from heroine or prescription drugs can get medication based therapy.
“It is using medical assistance to help people recover from opiates,” said Dr. Meyer. “[We] meet their level of addiction. We bring down or stop the absolute craving for the opiate. So they can think about other things, prioritize other things.” The Methadone Clinic would house a doctor, a nurse, and support staff and would expand based on the amount of patients. In the past, Doctor Meyer says residents haven’t be comfortable with the idea of such a clinic being so close to their homes or businesses they frequent.
“What they don’t realize they have people like that around them all the time,” said Dr. Meyer. “They just don’t see them until they overdose.”
Residents like Mike Estlund know first hand, that addiction doesn’t discriminate and help should be everywhere. “To me it’s very important I’ve got a son with a problem, and pretty much i’ve known other people with problems and have been involved pretty much all my life.”
Residents can attend a public hearing to give their input. It will be held a city hall on Tuesday July 17th in Council Chambers.