Close to a year ago, there was talk of another methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) clinic being opened in London, to assist people living with narcotic addictions. The community that this was to be located close to (SOHO, or South of Horton) has a strong neighbourhood association, that very vocally oppossed this. They highlighted some of the concerns with existing clinics, and were adamant that they didn’t want the same in their community (although it should be noted that the proposed site was actually quite outside the residential area of this neighbourhood, and in a very hidden light industrial area).
In response, the City of London implmented a 1 year moratorium on the opening of new clinics, and tasked planners to do a study of the benefits and concerns around MMT. The report has been released, and is available here. There is a public meeting this Thursday to discuss the report, and unfortunately I am unable to attend. Instead, I have forwarded comments to the planner, which I post here for your perusal:
1. Thank you for this thorough and balanced review of methadone maintenance therapy in London and the resulting concerns. I was struck by the statistics on the growth of narcotic addictions in our community and others, and it was clear that methadone maintenance therapy is one effective way of addressing this. In my opinion, it was clear from the report that rather than delaying further openings of methadone clinics, we need to attract more health care providers licensed in this area. It was clear from the report that having more clinics would reduce the primary concern of the community, which is having large amounts of people congregating in front of Clinic 528, which is currently over-stretched by the number of people it must treat. Decreasing this congestion would alleviate much of the concern.
2. Secondly, I am struck by the value to the community of having this type of treatment available. If the 1400 Londoners who access MMT did not have this available and were supporting $100-$200/day addictions, the resulting crime would be devastating to London. Ensuring that every Londoner experiencing a narcotic addiction has easy access to MMT will only make our city a safer and healthier place.