County Commission, local anti-methadone clinic group speak out against clinic

In case you haven’t heard the news (you probably have if you follow this site), Cedar Recovery of Middle Tennessee, LLC is eyeing (CR) a space for its newest Methadone (a schedule 2 drug, same as hydrocodone) clinic in the same building as Elite Sports Training (EST).

EST, at 1805 Burgess Falls Road in Putnam County, offers professional level training to young athletes. The facility offers weight training, multiple batting practice tents and other tools to help young athletes improve. The building is also near a day care, a church and what will be the new Parkview school.

If that sounds like a bad idea, you aren’t alone.

Recently, a citizens group opposed to the clinic has placed signs reading “No Methadone in our front yard” across the county (the largest of which has been placed across the street from the building in question). The group also distributed flyers to over 4,000 residences and businesses located on the route from exit 286 along Burgess Falls Road and to Cookeville Boat Dock Road.

Not only did 360 citizens sign a petition against the establishment of the clinic, but the “concerned citizens meeting” held Saturday evening was “standing room only” with “parking out to and down both sides of Ditty Road,” according to a spokesman for the citizens group. The panel at the meeting consisted of Tony Hudson, MD and Will Roberts, Director of the Cookeville Rescue Mission. County Sheriff Eddie Farris and County Mayor Randy Porter also joined the panel.

Packed house – Pictured above is a concerned citizens meeting opposing the proposed methadone clinic. Photo provided.

“It was standing room only with many concerned citizens stepping up to voice opposition during Q&A and open discussion portion,” said the spokesman.

The petition is at if you are interested. At the time of this writing there are 1,721 names (the goal is 2,500).

“360 plus signing a petition was just the beginning of opposing CR petition drive, and many more signs are going up all over,” according to the spokesman.

The signs and signatures seem to also reflect the voice of the County Commission (Commission) following unanimous approval of an ordinance opposing the establishment of the clinic in the County Monday evening. The Commission cited the negative side effects of Methadone, future sale to private equity firms, and impaired driving among other things. The state has the last say, however, when CR presents its Certificate of Need (CON) application at the end of July.

All 24 Commissioners were on hand as six speakers spoke.

“Recovery is not about satisfying someone’s need for a drug,” said Will Roberts who said he was there on behalf of “true recovery” from drug addiction. He was a Methadone addict in the 1980s before beginning a drug-free lifestyle acquired by “The God of my understanding.”

He continued.

“He enabled me to start to carry a very powerful message that you don’t have to take drugs,” he said. “You don’t have to ever take drugs for the rest of your life if that is what you choose to do. The argument is that drug addiction has changed because of Fentanyl. Let me tell you something, drug addiction has not changed and neither has recovery. Recovery is not about satisfying someone’s perceived need for a drug by giving them another drug.”

Roberts said trying to take someone out of addiction to one drug by giving them another will only add another addiction. Dr: Stephen Loyd, Chief Medical Officer at Cedar Recovery disagrees, and says CR offers a service for a “big need” in Putnam County: Substance Abuse Disorder.

“You say we are switching one drug for another,” he said, “but we really, aren’t.”

Loyd believes it’s all for kids and the community.

“The problem we have today is that Fentanyl is killing our kids before they have a chance at recovery,” said Loyd.

Paul Trivette, Cedar Recovery Chief Strategy Officer, says CR looks to be a positive force in the community.

“We are committed to being a positive force in the neighborhood,” said Trivette in a release.  “We understand the concerns that arise when a new facility opens its doors, especially when it involves addiction treatment. However, we want to assure our community that we are here not just to treat patients, but to contribute positively to the neighborhood fabric.”

A spokesman for the citizens group told the Upper Cumberland Business Journal its goal is also clear.

“… Help our communities be a pebble in the water and, with God’s help, start spreading waves across our county and our state and our nation in opposition to for-profit Companies using addictive drugs like Methadone as the method to treat those addicted to opioid drugs. It is like giving alcohol to someone addicted to alcohol and telling them it will keep them from being addicted to alcohol,” said the spokesman.

CR, a CARF-accredited outpatient addiction treatment service provider, is set to make an appearance before the Health Facilities Commission July 31 where it looks to present its CON application. The CON is a necessary step in the recovery Center’s effort to set up shop in Putnam County. For more information on the requirements and criteria for Methadone Clinics in Tennessee visit HERE

This is an ongoing story. Check back for updates.

UCBJ photo.

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