Neighbors protest methadone clinic

July 19, 2011 8:41:43 PM PDT
Residents in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia are upset over plans to open a methadone clinic in their neighborhood.

To show their outrage, neighbors and community leaders staged a huge rally on of Frankford Avenue at the site where the clinic would be located.

"We're ready to fight with every ounce of blood we have," Milt Martelack of Mayfair said.

Businesses near the location include a school and a daycare.

Philadelphia has other clinics around the city where the weaker narcotic is used as treatment for people who abuse drugs like heroin.

"It's not that we don't want to see drug addicts get help, however, it needs to be done the appropriate way; methadone is a Band-Aid to an addiction, not a solution," Martelack said.

The mayor's office says the group went through the proper zoning requirements and didn't need council approval.

Philadelphia Councilwoman Joan Krajewski and State Representative Kevin Boyle are leading the charge against the clinic.

"At no point did they reach out to any community group or any local elected officials to inform them of their intentions," Boyle told Action News. They say a company called Healing Way is behind the business, but they haven't been able to find out any information about the owner from the state health department.

Dawn Parris, who owns a business next door, believes she'll have to close up shop if the clinic opens.

"I already deal with people back and forth without a methadone clinic - on my pavement, shooting up here, just doing things they shouldn't do here," Parris said.

The clinic is not a done deal. The business still needs a permit from the State Department of Health.

Action News has learned Representative Boyle will meet with the Secretary of Health tomorrow.

"And I'll be asking him to deny the permit from Healing Way to distribute narcotics," Boyle said.