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January 29, 2018 - 9:41am

Today's Poll: Do you support a methadone clinic opening in Batavia?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Howard B. Owens
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I fail to see what the downside is.

tom hunt
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At first I was going to vote NO, but on second thought , I changed my vote,. Every day I read in the Obs. young people dying at home unexpectedly. There are the off spring of people I have grown up with and known my whole life. The hard drug and Opium base drug addictions has caused untold heart ache and misery in this small Community. I would rather see this addiction treated in a controlled and safe manner that the continuation of these untimely deaths.

Jason Crater
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I think people are concerned that this will bring more opiate addicts into the community.

In 2014, the Institute for Research, Education, & Training in Addictions conducted a study and found that there was no increase in crime due to the presence of methadone clinics in Baltimore. The report highlights the benefits of methadone maintenance therapy stated by the CDC. It also assessed the frequency of crimes within certain distances of clinics, which did not yield evidence of increased crime reports.

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/methadone-addiction/clinic-facts/

Jason Crater
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The second paragraph is copy/pasted from the link provided...the first paragraph is my original thought.

Steve Hackett
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Shhhh....did you hear that noise???....that was my dad rolling in his grave....

tom hunt
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The Spectrum News article indicated that illegal drugs would be monitored for safe injection at these sites. The Batavian poll asked people's opinion on methadone injections. A big difference between the two as methadone is used in the treatment of heroin addiction.

Rich Richmond
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Howard B. Owens
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Jim Urtel Jr
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I support getting better doctors in our hospital to deal with real illnesses instead of worrying about drug abusers! I am a kidney dialysis patient and UMMC can`t do a thing for me and I have to go to Rochester or Buffalo. They also lack in heart and lung doctors. Let`s worry about fixing that first.

Howard B. Owens
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That's a false dichotomy. Helping people who are addicted to drugs does not take anything away from any hospital. They're different agencies with different funding pipelines.

And we should worry about drug abusers. Besides being friends and family to nearly everyone (and any family not affected by drug abuse will be), there is a substantial societal and tax costs to not dealing with drug abuse.

Of course, I don't support prohibition in the first place, but even in a non-probation era, we would still have addicts and we would need common sense ways of dealing with them.

But none of this has anything to do with medical care at hospitals.

BTW: Want more doctors? More immigration and making it easier for doctors trained overseas to practice here would fix that issue.

david spaulding
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hi Jim, from the way you presented your post, it sounds as if you think you're better than a drug addict. If that is the case, let me be the first to let you know that you are not. I find your statement very ironic since you have your own health issues to deal with.

Jim Urtel Jr
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Yea Dave, I feel I am better than a drug addict because I chose not to stick a needle in my arm like an idiot and then look for someone to help me get better on their dime! What the hell is ironic about my situation of being on dialysis have to do with the needs of a drug addict? And Howard, I realize that the funding comes from different places and don`t care about that. I was simply stating that I think our city would be far better off upgrading the healthcare system instead of worrying about the drug addicts. The addicts chose their path and I didn`t. More immigration, really? Wow!

Howard B. Owens
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"our city would be far better off upgrading the healthcare system instead of worrying about the drug addicts"

The funding doesn't come from the city.

Again, there is no either or here. This isn't a zero-sum choice. Just because somebody else benefits has nothing to do with your medical care or anybody else's.

Yeah, more immigration -- the path to economic prosperity for all, what made America great in the first place.

Jim Urtel Jr
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Whatever Howard!

John Roach
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Jim, how would the City "upgrade" the health care system since the City has nothing to do with it?

Jim Urtel Jr
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You guys miss the point. It`s not about the cost or who pays it. It`s about the fact that Batavia has already become a drug haven and putting a methadone clinic here will only add to that! It`s pretty sad that you can come to Batavia and be treated for addiction but you can`t get treated for kidney, lung, etc. diseases. 67% say no in your poll so I guess I`m not the only one who feels this way!

Jason Crater
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Can you provide any evidence that opening a methadone clinic will add to Batavia being a drug haven?

david spaulding
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Jim your ignorance shines with every post you've made.... and....... you are not better than anyone else, sorry......

John Roach
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Jim,Since the addicts are already here and going out of town for the methadone, then coming back to Batavia the same day, how does this make things worse?

And maybe you can clear up what that treatment center next to Aldi's does. I thought they did kidney treatment.

Jim Urtel Jr
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Think about it! Do you have any that it won`t? I know this much, I rented an apartment a couple doors down from GCASA for 8 years a while back and witnessed a lot of the same people over and over again. There were mornings when I`d get up to go to work and my front yard looked like Woodstock from the GCASA people sitting in my yard smoking and drinking there $4.00 specialty coffees from the corner store! I seen criminal action go down every night right in front of the place. You won`t just get Batavia`s addicts, but those of the surrounding towns as well. Why would anybody want to bring that here? It`s too bad that so many people make the decision to ruin their lives but it was their decision. I know too many people who are sick that didn`t bring it on themselves.

Jim Urtel Jr
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John, that is a dialysis center and where I go. It has nothing to do with the hospital and they tell us not to bother to go there in case of an emergency because they have no care for kidney patients. Dave, you are the ignorant one who thinks that it`s fine to be an addict.

Jim Urtel Jr
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The best part is a most of you who are for a methadone clinic are probably also for legalizing weed! That way you can treat the addicts after collecting the taxes from legalizing the gateway drug!

Jim Urtel Jr
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It`s up to 68% No now so maybe somebody else will tell you why they don`t support it. I`m not the only one.

Ed Hartgrove
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Jim. In comment #12, dated January 31, 2018 - 12:18pm, you stated, "The addicts chose their path and I didn`t."

While that may be true for (some) of them, I would hope you know that not every addict "chose" their dependence on opioids. Some (not all, of course) are victims of over-prescription practices by doctors.

Jason Crater
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The link I already posted references a study from 2014 that showed no increase in crime due to the presence of methadone clinics in the city.

david spaulding
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hi Jim, you said the addicts chose their path. You don't know anything about an addict. The addict choosing their path makes about as much sense as saying you chose yours.....

Howard B. Owens
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Even if you're a heroin addict who was never prescribed pain meds, the notion of choice is rather a misnomer.

First, raise your hand if you've never made a stupid decision? Any hands? I didn't think so.

I'll stipulate that the first time you use heroin you've made a stupid choice that is entirely your own.

The problem is, the continued use of heroin is not entirely a choice of your own making for people who become addicted. Heroin messes with your dopamine receptors and other parts of your brain at a cellular level making you physically dependent on the drug. (That's one reason methadone treatment is so effective, it actually addresses the physical addiction (though of note, not any underlying psychological issues that drive addiction).)

Further, because heroin is a street drug, illegal, and unregulated, it's even more addictive. Heroin today is usually mixed with fentanyl, an exceptionally powerful opiate. The user never knows how much fentanyl they're going to get.

This creates two issues -- there is what addicts call "chasing the dragon," always trying to get that high that matches the first time you ever used the drug, and the uneven dosage actually makes the drug more addictive than if the dosage was regulated and predictable. This means sometimes the dosage delivers a high that user finds satisfying; other times, it has no effect. Human brains are actually wired to respond to this unpredictability and find it more exciting and therefore addictive. (For the record, I'm just going by books and material I've read on the topic and welcome correction by actual experts.)

In theory, then, legal, regulated heroin of predictable dosage, would curb a lot of addictions (though not necessarily address the "chasing the dragon" issue). It would also prevent a lot of overdose deaths because users would not suddenly get an unexpectedly large dose of fentanyl.

Methadone helps serve the same purpose by providing a substance that acts on dopamine receptors and the rest of the brain in predictable doses.

Since opiates are physically addictive and, therefore, negate a lot of choice for addicts, the human thing to do is be at least a little sympathetic to their plight.

Methadone and reliable dosage, a study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/037687169390052R

General information on methadone here, including effectiveness of treatment
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methadone

Jim Urtel Jr
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Hi Dave, really? So some clown sticking a needle in his arm and becoming an addict isn`t any different than me getting kidney disease from hbp? You are a special kind of stupid! Howard, bottom line, did the addict choose to stick the needle in his arm and shoot heroin the first time? Yes, and I don`t feel sorry for them. Yes, I realize that there are some who get hooked on prescription pills and that`s terrible but methadone is used mainly for the heroin addicts and unless they were held down and stuck the first time, they chose their own path when they took their first needle.

Howard B. Owens
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There are heroin addicts who started with pills.

I'm glad to know you're perfect in every way, Jim. Never made a bad choice in your life that you later regretted.

Jim Urtel Jr
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I never said I was perfect Howard. If a heroin addict might start with pills but they don`t get hooked on heroin until they try heroin! I most certainly have made bad choices in life but trying heroin isn`t one of them!

Howard B. Owens
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A bad choice is a bad choice. Some make a bad choice to drive drunk. Some make a bad choice by dropping out of school. Some make a bad choice by trying heroin. I can't see passing judgment on somebody for making a bad choice. It's what they do about it after that matters and I always root for drug addicts to beat the addiction.

Jim Urtel Jr
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You have your thoughts, I`ll have mine. Hopefully, they build this great place right next to your house so you can go in their and volunteer your time to really help them!

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