Residents Fight Clanton Methadone Clinic

CLANTON, AL (WBRC) - A clinic designed to help people is under fire.  The problem is that the people who would be helped are drug addicts.  People living nearby in Chilton County fear the clinic would bring bad news into their neighborhood.

One Clanton resident said, "The clinic is going to draw in people that are I guess addicted to a drug."  And that doesn't sit well with this man. He didn't want to be identified but he lives close to the site of the future methadone clinic.  He says all of his neighbors on holiday inn drive are scared.  "We just really don't have a good view of those kind of people coming into our community," said the man who wanted to remain anonymous.

Fox6 spoke to the Mayor of Clanton on the phone. He says the city and county are against the clinic, but they lost their fight with the state.  Mayor Billy Joe Driver says there's already a methadone clinic in Alabaster which is why he doesn't think it was necessary to open another one.  The mayor also doesn't think methadone clinics work.  Mayor Driver said, "I don't know there is a cure once you get hooked on some of those hard drugs."  In case you're not familiar, in a methadone clinic clients are given methadone. It's a synthetic drug that treats drug addiction.

It's a concept Jimmie Hardee doesn't understand.  Jimmie Hardee said, "It's suppose to be a drug that helps drug addicts, to me its inducing drug addiction."  Hardee shared with me that he's a former meth addict, clean 10 years.  He says breaking his addiction took prayer and a decision to quit.  Methadone is not intended to treat meth addictions, but Hardee has questions about whether such clinics are even effective.

Hardee said, "If it's going to try to help them why do methadone clients continue to go back a year and a half later. How long do we go before we're off, not addicted to drugs anymore."  We know there are some people who support the clinic...the drug addicts who would get help there.

Fox6 was hoping to get some more information about the clinic like why it's needed in Clanton.  Fox6 News tried contacting the person who wants to open it, but we haven't gotten a response.

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