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Last updated: Mon. Feb. 18, 2013 - 08:13 am EDT

Little history of drug’s abuse locally

FORT WAYNE — CRC Health Corp., the firm that has come under fire for its take-home doses of methadone, does not have a site in the Fort Wayne area.

Locally, the Center for Behavioral Health operates a methadone clinic at 1414 Wells St.

Patients there typically consume methadone in front of a doctor, but in special cases, patients are allowed to bring home small amounts of the drug, said Capt. Kevin Hunter, head of the Fort Wayne Police Department’s vice and narcotics bureau.

Terri Steinbacher, the regional director at the Center for Behavioral Health, said the facility follows strict federal and state policies when administering take-home doses for patients. Patients who do take home the drug must have regular employment, no behavior problems and not be involved in any criminal proceedings.

They must also pass drug screens, submit to required counseling and be available for random checks to ensure they are taking the medication properly and in the right amount, Steinbacher said.

“We have a strict diversion control policy,” she said. “All patients that get to take (medication) home, we randomly call them and we check their bottles and labels. If anyone is found in violation, they’re out of the program.”

Steinbacher said the clinic has not had any problems with abuse or selling of methadone, but if someone is caught doing either they are discharged from the program.

Hunter said methadone abuse does occur in Fort Wayne but that police do not have any cases connected to the Wells Street clinic. He said narcotics officers do not regularly seize large amounts of methadone.

One exception was a Jan. 29 raid at a Fort Wayne home that yielded 422 illegally obtained prescription pills, including 243 methadone tablets, according to court papers.

The man caught with the pills told police he would buy them “from random people” and then sell them, court papers stated. The man now faces several felony drug charges.

In an email, Hunter described that case as “an anomaly.”

aingersoll@jg.net

jeffwiehe@jg.net


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