Methadone clinics under fire during Philly City Council hearings


While public health officials support methadone clinics, Philadelphia City Council members often are reluctant to have them located in their districts.

The clinics are getting extra attention during budget hearings.

Councilman David Oh questioned Dr. Arthur Evans, the city’s behavioral health commissioner, about methods of preventing patients from abusing the clinics at a hearing Tuesday.

Clinic staff watch for abuse, said Evans, adding that he doesn’t want to discourage anyone from getting help for a drug addiction.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“Less than 10 percent of the people who have an addiction in this city will access treatment services,” he said. “That means that 90 percent of the people who are addicted in Philadelphia are not going to go into treatment and 80 percent of them don’t think they need treatment.”

Health department officials offered City Council members a chance to sit with methadone patients to show that the treatment works with those who use it properly.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal