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Pa. Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Neighborhood Methadone Clinics in Philadelphia

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Some Pennsylvania state legislators took a road trip to the Mayfair neighborhood of Philadelphia today, to hold a hearing on the impact of methadone treatment facilities in host communities.

State representative Kevin Boyle cohosted the hearing by the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee.

Boyle (center of photo, in tan suit) represents the area in Mayfair where he says a private methadone treatment facility opened secretly at Frankford and Decatur, near a residential area.

In response to that, he is reintroducing House Bill 422, which restricts the location of methadone clinics and requires full public disclosure and approval from law enforcement.

“I want to be clear,” Boyle said today, “my bill does not prohibit methadone treatment facilities from opening.  All it does is make sure that it’s mandatory that they inform people that that’s their intention from the get-go.”

But there are those who say there needs to be a community-centered solution, because drug addiction is widespread.

Jose and Martin, both of Northeast Philadelphia, are undergoing methadone treatment.

“Everybody says, ‘We don’t mind a treatment facility but not in our community.’  They want it all in someone else’s backyard.  (But) they can’t escape the fact that there is a growing number of people in their backyard that are having opiate addictions,” said Jose.

Added Martin:  “I’m an addict. I live here.  I’m your neighbor.”

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