published Monday, April 4th, 2011

Dade residents oppose methadone clinic

By Mike Chambers

TRENTON, Ga.—Dade County residents turned out in force last week to say how much they don’t want a methadone clinic in their community.

Melissa and Scott Hancock have plans to open a clinic called the Tri-State Treatment Center in Wildwood. Methadone is a synthetic opiate that is used to treat heroin addiction.

But county leaders oppose the plan, and county commissioners voted unanimously last week on second reading to ban the facility.

At a public hearing before the vote, Sheriff Patrick Cannon left no question where he stands.

“We don’t want this in our county,” Cannon told the audience. He cited federal statistics pointing to methadone as the “fastest growing cause of narcotic death” in the nation.

County Executive Ted Rumley said, “We oppose it and the majority of the people oppose it.”

He said commissioners’ phones were “ringing off the hook” in support of the ban.

The Hancocks disagreed.

Melissa Hancock said such a clinic would “not be a bad thing” and could help those addicted to heroin and other opiates.

“I know the unknown is scary,” Hancock said, adding that building the center could “put a lot of drug dealers out of business.” She said the couple also hopes to conduct and support drug education efforts in Dade County schools.

But she got no support from Dade residents.

Wes Hixson said such a clinic would bring “an influx of heroin addicts” and “criminals” into Dade county.

Commissioners must hold a third and final vote this week before the ban can become law.

Hancock said she’s not going to give up. She questioned the legality of an ordinance banning methadone clinics in light of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Contact Mike Chambers at

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ceeweed said...

Methadone is not a viable treatment option for opiate addiction. Rather than kicking opiates, methadone just kicks the can down the road. Addicts who have made the decision to stop the crazy train they are on need a medically supervised 5 day detox. Why trade one addiction for another? Drug and/or alcohol use is merely a symptom of an illness. There are much better ways to treat this chronic disease. Paramount to any success in beating an addiction is to totally abstain from the drug of choice. This cannot be achieved while taking methadone.

April 4, 2011 at 8:35 a.m.
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