July 8, 2011 in City

Hearings planned on methadone clinic in Spokane Valley

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Hearings

Two public hearings will be held Aug. 4 on a proposal to open a methadone clinic in Spokane Valley.

• 3:30 p.m. at the Spokane Valley Library, 12004 E. Main Ave., Spokane Valley.

• 7:15 p.m. at the Ritzville Public Library, 302 W. Main Ave., Ritzville.

A California company is planning to open a private-pay methadone clinic in Spokane Valley as the waiting list to enroll in the county’s only other such drug addiction program lengthens.

State officials have already recognized adequate demand for another methadone clinic in the Spokane region. The only other methadone program in the county treating addicts of opiates such as heroin and some powerful prescription painkillers is run by the Spokane Regional Health District.

The new clinic must first weather public hearings on Aug. 4 in Spokane Valley and Ritzville.

WCHS Inc., a division of Cupertino, Calif.-based CRC Health Group, proposes to open the clinic at 15812 E. Indiana Ave., a commercial building across Sullivan Road from the Spokane Valley Mall.

Deb Cummins, a certification policy manager for the Washington state Department of Social and Health Services, said the clinic would be called Spokane Treatment Solutions and could open as early as this autumn.

State regulators have already reviewed records that indicate Spokane is in need of a second clinic.

“There’s an enormous waiting list – six months to a year,” Cummins said.

Methadone is often considered a last-resort treatment for addicts. Patients travel to the clinic daily to receive their dosage, which dulls their need for drugs.

The health district’s methadone clinic in downtown Spokane treats about 470 people, said spokeswoman Kim Papich. Many of the patients have their treatments paid through taxpayer subsidized programs such as Medicaid, along with private funding sources such as insurance. There remains a waiting list of at least 20 people.

The average cost of treating opiate addiction is $219 a month, according to state studies.

The new clinic in Spokane Valley would not treat Medicaid patients.

The proposed site is about a block from a bus stop and is not within a residential neighborhood or near a day care or school.


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