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City hears about addiction therapy

Midwest Addiction Clinic representatives Crystal Ratliff and Sunil Chand provide an overview about their services to Leadington Mayor Pro Tem Debbi Matthews, Alderman Joe Davis and Alderman Cassie Schrum.

Leadington City Council gathered Tuesday night and representatives from the Midwest Addiction Clinic approached the council to make the town aware of medicated therapy being used to treat drug addiction.

Sunil Chand, representative of the Midwest Addiction Clinic, addressed the council. The clinic is beginning to use methadone by means of medicated therapy to treat people with an opioid drug addiction.

“We have started the process of adding methadone to the clinic. It is the newest component to the clinic, and we wanted the community to know that we are doing this," he said.

Chand said drug addiction is now the third leading cause of death. He said St. Francois County is sixth in Missouri for deaths from drug addiction. "Methadone [through medicated therapy] is the best way to help curb this crisis,” he said.

Crystal Ratliff, another representative of Midwest Addiction Clinic, said there were myths about methadone and addiction that she wanted to dispel.

Ratliff said 20.5 million Americans are dealing with addiction and medicated therapy offers a 70% to 90% success rate in comparison to a 5% to 10% success rate without the use of medicated therapy.

No one present at the meeting had any verbal objections or issue with the public address made, although Police Chief Erik Powers said, “The only added problem I would see on the police department side for the city would be maybe the occasional disturbance.” He later said the police department has not encountered any added disturbance from patients at the clinic up to this point.

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Nilima Chand, representative of Midwest Addiction Clinic and wife of Sunil Chand said, “The usage of methadone with medicated therapy is a safer but last-ditch effort and is used with counseling.”

Aldermen Cassie Schrum and Joe Davis responded to the public address from the clinic.

“I would love to see this grow and become something here in the community, and I would love to see the community support this because I do know from friends that I have that medicated therapy does work," Schrum said. "It is very touching to be able to watch someone overcome drug addiction and to see them then begin to gather up friends that they had left behind who were on drugs and pull them into getting help. I would love to support this.”

Davis said, “I know that I could almost speak for all the first responders here that anything that would help us see less overdoses would be fantastic.”

Needs for the police department were addressed. The department is still accepting applications for another officer and will continue on with the current work schedule. The purchases of ticket printers and an office printer were approved.

The fire department was approved to purchase necessities for the department including a new computer and equipment for the department’s vehicle. A summary was given of 77 hours and 45 minutes worked across 20 calls worked by the department.

Work sessions were scheduled by the council members for Sept. 24 at 5 p.m. to discuss the city’s budget and Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. to discuss city code revisions.

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Macey Adams is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at madams@dailyjournalonline.com.

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