Neighbours oppose new methadone clinic in Fairview
Direction 180 clinic set to open on Dutch Village Road
People who live around Dutch Village Road in Halifax say they're shocked to learn a new methadone clinic will be opening on their street.
"There has been absolutely no public consultation," said Robert McDonald, who lives on the street.
"None of the neighbors knew about it until we found out basically by chance."
The province currently has no regulations in terms of public consultation with regards to the clinic.
Direction 180, the organization opening the facility, told CBC News there is an obvious demand for the service. A spokesperson said a lot of current clients live in Fairview, and 30 per cent of the people on the waiting list are from the area.
Direction 180 currently operates a treatment facility on Gottingen Street in Halifax.
Dr. Robert Strang, the province's chief medical officer of health, said he only learned of the new clinic on Tuesday. However, he said Direction 180 had no obligation to tell the government.
"There is a commitment to expand access to methadone treatment across the province," Strang said.
Strang said there is a significant problem with opiate drug dependency in the Fairview area, and methadone is a proven treatment.
"Anything that actually brings access to methadone treatment closer into that community is actually going to make that community safer, not less safe, by stabilizing people on methadone rather than continuing to use illegally sourced opioids," he said.
Direction 180 said it will meet with people who live near the new location to discuss their concerns.
Strang said he hopes the neighbours will give the clinic a chance.
"I would encourage communities to step back and look at what are the needs in the community and how do we address the many needs," he said.
"The closer we can bring those kind of services to home right in the community, the better off it is for those communities."