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September 15, 2017 - 11:16am

GCASA looking to build methadone clinic addition to East Main Street location

posted by Mike Pettinella in news, batavia, notify.

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The executive director of the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse said a proposed 2,700-square foot addition to the agency's campus at 424 E. Main St. in Batavia is on a fast track to completion pending approval by the City Planning & Development Committee next week.

Speaking after Thursday night's Genesee County Planning Board meeting, where the site plan was recommended for approval without stipulations, John Bennett said the clinic could be "up and running in 14 months" and will be funded by an $820,000 Rapid Treament Expansion Grant from New York State.

Bennett attended the meeting with Raymond Murphy, project manager for Fontanese, Folts, Aubrecht, Ernst architects of Orchard Park. Murphy said they will take the plan before the City Planning & Development Committee on Sept. 19 and then prepare drawings for the building permit.

"We've talked to City Council and the Genesee County Legislature about this, expressing our view that it is much needed for the community," Bennett said, noting that the clinic would be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Monday through Saturday to dispense the medication to people battling opioid addiction. "And it is very private; that's one thing I like."

According to the American Addiction Centers website, a methadone clinic is a place where a person who is addicted to opioid-based drugs, such as heroin or prescription painkillers, can receive medication-based therapy. Patients receive methadone, or the brand name version known as Dolophine, which is an opioid analgesic. This treatment is often referred to as replacement therapy.

Bennett said the methadone is dispensed in liquid form, with each visit averaging about five minutes. He said it is a long-acting, safe medication that produces "little or no cravings."

Other drugs used to treat this type of addiction include suboxone, vivitrol and naltrexone.

The new clinic, which will be attached to the back of the existing treatment/prevention facility, will be able to provide services for up to 150 people at any given time, Bennett said. It also will result in the hiring of 10 to 12 more employees, including nurses, medical director, counselors and support staff.

GCASA has treated more than 1,200 people for opioid addiction since 2006, Bennett said, adding that the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 65,000 people will die due to opioids in the coming year.

At top, architect's renderings showing the GCASA campus, with the proposed addition in red in lower drawing.

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