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Georgia To Regulate Methadone Clinics So They Deliver Rehab, Not Just Give out Pills

Methadone clinics give opioid addicts methadone to curb the symptoms of withdrawal, without giving addicts the high they had with other drugs. However, the addicts are supposed to also receive drug rehab type counseling so they can get off drugs altogether. Instead, they’re being parked on methadone for years, sometimes decades, some for life. The State of Georgia has decided to do something about it.

The methadone is supposed to be a band-aid really – something to prevent the addicts from killing themselves through overdose, an accident, contracting HIV or Hepatitis C, committing drug-related crimes and so on until they can successfully address their addiction.

In fact, the methadone is even more dangerous than the drugs the addicts are trying to quit.

But worst of all, they’re not actually getting the help they need. So, more and more methadone clinics keep opening, they keep selling more and more pills, and they’re simply getting addicts addicted to one drug instead of another.

Methadone clinics weren’t a big thing in Georgia until Florida closed down several of their own or put tough restrictions on them. As the clinics closed down in Florida, they seemed to open up in Georgia. Florida still has about 65 clinics, for a population of 20 million, while Georgia has 67, with a population of only 10 million, according to an article in AJC.com news.

The new bill – Senate Bill 88 – passed the House 152-20 and is now going back to the Senate with revisions. It controls a number of aspects of clinics that primarily treat opioid addicts – how many clinics open up, where they’re located, and what services they’re delivering, is being championed by State Rep. Dewayne Hill, R-Ringgold.

“So we really need this. It’s a start, it’s not the complete answer. It is a beginning so we can monitor these so they don’t just become pill mills like they often do.”

If you’ve ever been to a methadone clinic, you know it’s not pretty. Early in the morning it’s long lines of people coming to get their drugs.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

If you help with getting this bill through, it will give anyone you care about a better chance of getting real treatment, and will get more drugs out of your environment.

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