JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- Two different companies are each trying to bring methadone clinics to Johnson City.
News Channel 11 confirmed New Path Treatment Center, LLC submitted a Certificate of Need application to the Tennessee Health Services and Development Agency, or HSDA, in mid-October. HSDA officials said they are still waiting on additional information from the company before HSDA can move forward with the process.
The attorney representing Crossroads Treatment Centers of Tri-Cities said it planned to file a Certificate of Need application on Friday. This is the company’s second attempt to bring a methadone center to Johnson City.
Methadone is a drug used to help treat people who are addicted to prescription pain relievers. Both companies said there is a need for methadone clinics in the area because right now there are not any. In its application, New Path stated there are a lot people living in rural areas “who are twice as likely to overdose on prescription drugs as people living in cities.”
Both companies have identified sites for the non-residential opioid treatment facilities. New Path wants to house its center in a building in the 24-hundred block of Susannah Street. Crossroads wants to build a 13-treatment room facility around the corner on Princeton Street, between Wesley and Susannah streets, costing no more than $1.9 million dollars.
Both centers would provide counseling as well as methadone to its clients as a way to treat opioid addiction.
Johnson City’s legal counsel, Erick Herrin, said the only role the city plays in the process is when it comes to land use. “Methadone clinic must be adjacent to, abut, or join a collector street or an arterial street, which really means it’s got to be a main drag,” Herrin said. “The idea is that we want to move traffic in and out… Methadone clinic generates a lot of traffic.” Herrin also said the land must be in a medical zone.
When asked about the locations of the two potential clinics Herrin said the Crossroads location might be ok, but he believes the New Path location could pose a problem, but said the Board of Zoning Appeals would have to hear and make a decision on that.
Both companies still have to go through a lengthy process before a decision is made. HSDA must deem both applications complete and then they will be scheduled to go before the HSDA at its regularly scheduled meeting.
Any healthcare institution wishing to oppose the Certificate of Need application must file written notice with the HSDA no later than 15 days before the meeting when the application will be discussed. Anyone else wanting to express their objection has to submit a written letter to HSDA at or before the consideration of the application.
HSDA said it has not received any support or opposition to the New Path application.