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Methadone clinic zoning a wise decision

We support the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s proactive decision regarding appropriate zones for any future methadone clinics or substance abuse treatment facilities.
Instead of waiting and having to fight to keep such drug rehabilitation clinics from locating in an undesirable location, the BMA has taken the lead to say where such a facility will be allowed – almost next door to the Washington County Detention Center and Justice Center.
There are plenty of concerns surrounding a potential clinic in Jonesborough. We, too, are concerned about the patients who receive their allotment of prescribed methadone from the clinic and then walk out the door, possibly only to resell.
We worry about the type of people, other than the patients, who may start hanging around the clinic.
However, we are comforted that these types of problems should be greatly curtailed due to the close proximity of establishments which are teeming with law enforcement officers.
Another positive — the location is over 2.5 miles from the nearest school and it is not in a residential neighborhood.
By stating exactly where a future clinic can be, the town avoids lengthy and costly disputes to decide where this type of drug treatment facility can’t be.
Baltimore County, Md., just completed a long-fought legal battle to prevent a methadone clinic from locating in a residential area.
The county spent eight years and went to a great deal of expense to do what Jonesborough’s simple proactive approach has already accomplished – establish a clear and limited area where a future clinic could locate.
The Americans with Disabilities Act makes preventing a methadone clinic from locating in Jonesborough illegal, but the BMA’s action is certainly not a red carpet for methadone clinics.
Instead, it is a sensible, well-thought-out effort that serves as an invisible fence to confine potential clinics to the “yard” we as a community think is most appropriate.