Methadone clinic still in works

Peggy Revell

FORT FRANCES—Although slightly delayed, planning remains underway for a methadone treatment centre in Fort Frances.
“It looks like we’re going to start [renovations] probably the end of next month and hopefully be finished before the end of March,” said Kim Metke, owner of Pharmasave and the Fort Frances Clinic Dispensary.
Metke purchased the former Home Suite Home furniture store on Scott Street last year with the intention of renovating it and re-opening it up as a methadone treatment facility.
He originally had hoped to see it opened by the end of this month.
“We’re anxious to get going on it, obviously, so is everybody else,” Metke noted. “It just doesn’t seem to be falling into place the way we’d like it, but we’re still going ahead with it.”
As reported in the Fort Frances Times back in August, the number of area residents seeking methadone treatment to curb addiction to opiods has risen from six patients in 2007 to at least 50, and possibly even 60, last year.
But patients currently are required to travel to Kenora, Dryden, Thunder Bay, or Winnipeg once a week, as well as see their pharmacist daily for their dose of methadone.
A controversial topic, critics of methadone treatment say it doesn’t work and simply replaces one harmful drug with another.
Proponents say it helps people work to slowly overcome their addiction since patients can receive a “fix” without the accompanying high or withdrawal.
This, in turn, means harm done to the community through drug-influenced and drug-seeking behaviour also is reduced.
(Fort Frances Times)