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Letter: Suburbs aren’t immune to the opioid epidemic

Suburbs aren’t immune to the opioid epidemic

I read the article about the residents in Amherst who oppose the opening of a methadone clinic in their area. I am embarrassed to say I grew up in that neighborhood. I have been treated with methadone for more then 12 years. When the clinic was at Sisters Hospital nursing school, I was parked on Kensington Avenue and was walking back to my car one day when a lady called me over and asked, “I see people going in and out of there in the mornings. What are you doing?” I said, “It’s a methadone clinic.” She told me, “You’re kidding. I’ve been living here 35 years and never knew that.”

Now the neighbors on Millersport Highway are all worried their property values will drop and their homes will be robbed. That’s wrong. These are all people trying to change their lives. No one knows that better than me. I’m in my 13th year of methadone maintenance. The doctor who runs the clinic is my doctor. When he found out that I was using and taking Suboxone, he told me “go on methadone or I’m done with you.” That day changed my life. I’m not afraid to admit I’m a heroin addict for more than 20 years. If my being clean with the help of methadone saves one person, it was worth it. The people in Amherst need to understand the opiate epidemic doesn’t stop at the city line.

Mike Elmer


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