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.

“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.

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