Methadone clinic proposed for St. Lawrence Centre Mall

WWNY Methadone clinic proposed for St. Lawrence Centre Mall

MASSENA, N.Y. (WWNY) - Another idea is being floated for the St. Lawrence Centre Mall. This time it’s for a methadone clinic. It’s one of three proposals for a methadone clinic in Massena.

St. Lawrence Health System wants to bring a methadone clinic to the St. Lawrence Centre mall. Officials say it would benefit opioid addicts and the community.

“There’s also nothing wrong with bringing people to the St. Lawrence Centre as well -- to kind of help boost the economy there. So I think it’s a win-win for everyone,” said SLHS Behavioral Health Service Line Director Jayme Smith.

Recovering addicts would come six days a week for methadone. It can eliminate the craving for dangerous drugs. It is itself an opioid, but doesn’t produce euphoria or hallucinations.

“This is a safe and effective treatment modality that can help people get back to some degree of normalcy,” said John Burke, St. Lawrence County legislator.

A county legislative committee heard three proposals on Monday for a methadone clinic in Massena. It would be the county’s first ever. Also presenting a proposal was St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers.

“Successful recovery happens a lot. The recovery rate for addiction is about the same as it is for other major chronic illnesses,” said Bob Ross, CEO, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment & Recovery Centers.

St. Joseph’s would have its proposed clinic behind Massena Hospital. The closest methadone clinics now are in Watertown and Plattsburgh.

“There is quite a void in between,” said Burke.

A third proposal is from the county’s own Community Services Department. Their methadone clinic would go in a building on Harrowgate Commons.

There have been five overdose deaths so far this year in St. Lawrence County. It’s something officials hope the clinics can help reduce.

The county has not put a timeline on when it will choose a proposal from among the three.

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