I *just* got news that the Certificate of Need has been APPROVED by the State of Tennessee for the Methadone Maintenance Treatment Clinic in Johnson City, Tennessee!!
The fight is NOT over, though, because we will still undoubtedly have to deal with the "NIMBYism" from certain sectors of the Johnson City community. Our advocacy efforts are even MORE important now, as we must embark on an educational campaign to make sure that the community has the *truth* and *facts* about medication assisted treatments. I encourage EVERYONE who hasn't to sign the petition of support for this clinic. It will be delivered to State, County & Johnson City officials upon its completion. Here's the link: Citizens in Support of a Methadone Treatment Clinic in Johnson City, Tennessee.
Furthermore, Steve Kester, the co-owner and manager of the company who applied to open the clinic in Johnson City, was invited to write an editorial in the Johnson City Press. He has done an *excellent* job of setting the record straight and correcting the misinformation that has too often been reported thus far. You can read the editorial (and leave comments of support) by following this link: The case for a clinic.
And, also, for those who haven't it is still extremely important to write to the state of Tennessee in support of medication-assisted treatments... Here is the address to which you can send your letters:
Health Services and Development Agency
The Frost Building, 3rd Floor
161 Rosa L. Parks Blvd
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Furthermore, I am glad that Mr. Kester reminded the leaders and citizens of the Johnson City, Tennessee community that if they somehow block the opening of this treatment center/clinic they will break the law by denying disabled Americans access to treatment for their chronic disease (the Americans with Disabilities Act, "ADA"). If the Johnson City community unwisely choses to block the opening of this treatment center they will be sued in federal court and they will lose. There are countless federal ADA cases that have already set a clear precedent.
Again, today is a VICTORY for treatment and hope, but we can NOT stop our advocacy and educational efforts now. The opposition is sure to get even stronger, and we must continue to be warriors for the truth.