Clinic volume steady

The closure of a methadone clinic in Calgary doesn’t mean its clients will be busing to Red Deer, says the director of the clinics.

The closure of a methadone clinic in Calgary doesn’t mean its clients will be busing to Red Deer, says the director of the clinics.

On Wednesday, Second Chance Recovery in Calgary announced it will close after residents there strongly objected to having the clinic in their neighbourhood.

Bill Leslie, who also runs Central Alberta Methadone Program in downtown Red Deer, said he’s optimistic a new location can be found in Calgary as more people are coming forward to support the program.

“The atmosphere has changed today. All day (in Calgary) they’ve been showing people the clinic and what we do,” Leslie said in Red Deer.

Methadone prevents physical withdrawal and reduces drug cravings for opiates, including morphine and heroin. Clients visit the doctor at the clinic and take their methadone at pharmacies.

Awareness is growing that addictions will continue in Calgary if the clinic shuts down and would probably become worse, he said.

The Calgary clinic, which has 400 clients, has been running for six years. It moved into the Braeside neighbourhood a week ago, its third location.

Leslie didn’t know how long it will stay open in Braeside. But he wasn’t going to allow bus loads of clients to go to the Red Deer, Lethbridge or Medicine Hat, where he also has clinics.

“I don’t want to do that. I can’t see bringing 50 people up on a bus and have them roaming around town all day.”

He only knows of four clients who have their own transportation who may access the Red Deer clinic if necessary.

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