Methadone clinic hearing had ‘misinformation,’ treatment advocates say

Beverly Haberle, executive director of The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc., opened the Frankford Civic Association meeting Thursday by addressing an issue that has residents of several Northeast Philadelphia neighborhoods up in arms.

On Jan. 30, Pa. Rep. Kevin Boyle, D-172nd, held a hearing at the Mayfair Community Center discussing methadone clinics, their impact on neighborhoods and access to treatment. With zoning approval for two Holmesburg clinics pending, no one is quite done talking about the issue.

“There was a lot of misinformation at the hearing and that’s why we are here,” Haberle told Frankford residents. She said there seemed to be confusion between treatment facilities and recovery houses — the latter being a persistent problem for many in Frankford. Treatment centers have rules and standards to follow, Haberle kept reiterating, and recovery houses don’t.

“We have to come together and find a way it’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Fred Martin, a colleague of Haberle’s. His comments addressed the continued concern residents stressed over the unruliness of dealing with many recovering addicts in neighboring recovery houses.

Another member speaking on behalf of methadone clinics was Fred Way, executive director of Philadelphia Association of Recovery Residences. “We’re looking at putting a face and voice to recovery,” he said.

When asked about what could be done to deal with the bad recovery houses, Way said that the residents need to contact him and point them out. He said he has a feeling those houses are not licensed.

I’m here for the long haul,” Way told the civic association, in an effort to assure Frankford residents he’s looking out for the neighborhood’s best interests.

 Ryan McDonald is a student reporting for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, the publication of Temple University’s Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab.

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