"Opiate addiction really is a full-time job. People who are addicted to opiates -- when they wake up in the morning -- that is the primary focus of their day. How to get their opiates -- how to get their drugs. How to make sure they don't go into withdrawal," said Dr. Gordon Frankle with the Rutland Regional Medical Center.
Frankle has spent many years studying opiate addictions and says the city is in great need of a methadone clinic. "Opiate dependence is a big problem in this community and people are already here with opiate dependence. Many are not getting sufficient treatment and many are not getting any treatment whatsoever," he said.
But treatment is coming to the Howe Center, where construction will begin this spring for a methadone clinic. The clinic will be able to treat 300 patients daily and will be self-sustaining by 2014. Until then, the State has agreed to cover initial expenses and operating costs.
"The state has made this a priority area to develop this service and have been committed to it. They have been working with the Rutland community for well over a year on trying to get a program going here," said Dr. Jeff McKee with Rutland Regional Medical Center.
Local law enforcement agencies are also backing the clinic. Police say drug related crime continues to rise and arrests alone won't stop the problem. "Without having treatment and without having opportunities for folks to get themselves clean the demand is there and the drugs are going to keep coming and we are going to continue having the problems in the city," said Rutland City Police Chief James Baker.
Dr. Frankel says anyone seeking treatment must be a Vermont resident, and with several other clinics throughout the state, he expects that most patients will be from the Rutland area.
After multiple public meetings and community debate, Building Ten of the Howe Center was selected from several possible locations. But not everyone is on board with the decision. Christina Warren owns a day care in the Howe Center. She understands the need in the community but hopes the closeness of the clinic won't have a negative impact on the kids in her center. "Some of them have history where they are not allowed to be around children to begin with, so it is a fine line we have to walk to keep the kids safe and we have standards in place to make sure that happens -- but it definitely is a concern," she said.
The clinic is modeled after the Howard Center in Burlington, and will offer a variety of services including counseling and outreach programs.
There are currently over 100 people from Rutland traveling every day across the state for opiate treatment. Doctor Frankle says the top priority, is making sure those members of the community receive help first.
Sunday, December 8 2013 9:19 AM EST2013-12-08 14:19:27 GMT
Whether it's already cut and waiting or still hiding in the field, a tree farm can hold that perfect centerpiece for your holiday living room. And at Werner Tree Farm in Middlebury, they say pickingMore >>
If you're celebrating Christmas and you don't already have your tree, chances are you're thinking of getting one. More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 9:19 AM EST2013-12-08 14:19:23 GMT
The sun is completing a "solar flip," and that means many people could have the best chance in a decade of seeing the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights. NASA says every 11 years the sun's polar magneticMore >>
We check in on some of the week's big science stories, including why the Northern Lights may be more visible soon.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 7:09 AM EST2013-12-08 12:09:14 GMT
Competition could be fierce for new casino licenses in upstate New York. The licenses will be awarded next year after voters passed an amendment allowing Vegas-style casinos outside Indian land. FourMore >>
Competition could be fierce for new casino licenses in upstate New York.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 7:06 AM EST2013-12-08 12:06:06 GMT
Talks next week in New York will try to determine how new state land in the central Adirondacks can be used. The Adirondack Park Agency is considering recommendations for the land in the towns of IndianMore >>
Talks next week in New York will try to determine how new state land in the central Adirondacks can be used.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 7:04 AM EST2013-12-08 12:04:16 GMT
A 28-year-old Coventry man is dead after a crash Saturday night in Irasburg. Police say at about 8:40 p.m. Gerald Begin rolled his car on Route 5 and was thrown out of the vehicle. He was taken toMore >>
A 28-year-old Coventry man is dead after a crash Saturday night in Irasburg.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:43 PM EST2013-12-08 01:43:53 GMT
Police in New Hampshire are investigating an accident on Interstate 89 that claimed two lives. It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon. The initial investigation revealedMore >>
It happened on the northbound lane between Exit#18 and Exit#19 in Lebanon, N.H. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:38 PM EST2013-12-08 01:38:15 GMT
A Burlington family is remembering the life of a young teen through artwork. Emily Lyman died of Leukemia at just fifteen years old, in December of last year. Now, her mother, Monica Lyman, is holdingMore >>
A Burlington family is remembering the life of a young teen through artwork.More >>
Saturday, December 7 2013 8:17 PM EST2013-12-08 01:17:57 GMT
There's still plenty of time to check off gifts on that Christmas list. The 21st Annual Vermont International Festival has something for everyone. The event began at the Champlain Valley Exposition asMore >>
Shoppers could find everything from Yoga mats from South America to jewelry from Tibet.More >>