Blue Earth County, Minnesota, Refuses Methadone Clinic
A company in Twin Cities recently proposed opening a methadone clinic in Mankato – population under 40,000, spread across three counties: Blue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur – but Blue Earth County officials said no. Is the county depriving heroin and prescription painkiller addicts an opportunity to get off drugs? Not from the county’s viewpoint. In fact, county officials are worried that a methadone clinic could worsen the county’s drug problem. How could that happen?
Mankato, population under 40,000, spreads across three Minnesota counties: Blue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur. It was estimated that the clinic in Mankato would serve 75 people. BUT, it was also estimated that it would serve up to 225 people from neighboring counties. For a total of 300 people
Currently, there are only 5 people in Blue Earth County that are going to other counties for methadone treatment, and there is no evidence that there are even 70 more people that need a clinic.
Also, when you open the door to 225 people coming from other countries, officials are afraid that this could also lead to more illegal methadone being used on the street – which will create a problem with methadone addiction and overdose that Mankato doesn’t currently have.
Officials have a good point. Many people who get methadone from clinics pass it on to others who are going to use the drug illegally and without a prescription, and the addicts often trade methadone for other drugs – like heroin or prescription painkillers.
I don’t know if Mankato has a long-term residential drug addiction treatment facility but since law enforcement doesn’t seem to think they have much of a drug problem in the area, why not invest in something that will actually get people off drugs instead of methadone?
The majority of people on methadone don’t actually get off drugs, they just trade methadone for whatever other drugs they’re on.
Also, if your county, or the city of Mankato doesn’t have much of a drug problem, why invite addicts to come there?
I say they should keep up whatever they’re doing to keep the drug problem under control, and not make the place a haven for people who want methadone.
If the problem is centered in other cities or counties, let them handle the problem.
Well done to the people of Mankato for keeping the city clean!
What do you think?