Village of Canton voices concerns over methadone clinic

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:44 PM EST
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CANTON, New York (WWNY) - There’s a change of plans for a methadone clinic in Massena. It’s now coming to Canton, but village officials say no one told them.

St. Lawrence County wants to put a methadone clinic at its Human Services Center in Canton. It could serve 100 or more former drug addicts a day. Village officials say their police chief found out about it only recently.

“We are looking for information...We just want to know what it’s about and we want the opportunity to be able to separate fact from fiction,” said Canton Mayor Michael Dolan.

Village officials are now arranging a meeting with county officials. There are concerns.

“We just have a number of questions. Namely, is it going to increase our crime? Is it going to increase the use of our services such as police and rescue and things like that,” said James Santimaw, Canton police chief.

The county legislature voted 15-0 on November 1 to have its Community Services Department run a methadone clinic, but the resolution didn’t say where.

Methadone satisfies an addict’s craving, but doesn’t provide a high. The county already runs four addiction clinics. But they don’t offer methadone.

“This is simply an additional treatment that’s being offered in a clinic that has been there for years,” said St. Lawrence County Legislator John Burke (R. - 12th District).

A year-and-a-half ago, the county picked St. Lawrence Health System to run a methadone clinic in Massena. That deal fell through. Little was said about it. Now, county officials say they want to allay Canton’s concerns.

More and more people see methadone clinics as an effective way of dealing with the opioid crisis. And now, that appears to include all 15 members of the St. Lawrence County Legislature.

County officials say they can’t pinpoint when the methadone clinic might open.

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