Project Cure’s request to operate a methadone clinic in One Elizabeth Place was turned down by the state of Ohio Friday.
The Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and the Ohio Department of Mental Health based the denial on a new state law restricting some drug treatment programs from locating within a 500-foot radius of a public or private school, licensed day care center, or other child-serving agency.
The treatment center signed a lease to relocate from 1800 N. James H. McGee Boulevard to One Elizabeth Place before the law became effective on Dec. 31. Renovations on the space were six weeks from completion. Project Cure spent about $125,000 on the lease and renovations.
“This was a tough decision, but we felt we had to operate by what the law said,” Bradley DeCamp, assistant chief of treatment and recovery services for the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services said.
Methadone primarily is used for the treatment of addiction to opiates like heroin or prescription pain relievers.
The law does include a waiver provision that permits methadone clinics to relocate if school officials in the area support the move. The Dayton Board of Education, in April, passed a resolution refraining from supporting Project Cure, citing its “responsibility for the safety and well-being of its student population.”
Virgil McDaniel, executive director of Project Cure, learned of the decision on Friday.
“If we were a business that had only been around for two or three years, I could understand it,” McDaniel said. “I don’t think there was a lot of empathy given to company that has been operating for 43 years.”
Project Cure, the region’s only state-licensed methadone clinic, has operated out of a converted apartment building for 31 years. The treatment center — open seven days a week and serving 650 to 700 clients per day — has been searching for a new building for at least eight years.
McDaniel said he will meet with the Project Cure Board of Directors and their attorney to figure out the next move, but said they likely will restart the search for land or a building.
“I just want to move on and do the best I can for our clients and staff,” he said.