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Push made for second methadone clinic in Everett

EVERETT — City Councilwoman Brenda Stonecipher last week called on the city to speed up zoning changes to allow a second methadone clinic in Everett.
It’s been a work in progress for months. The call came amid news that a nonprofit that runs opiate substitution treatment centers is having difficulty finding a site.
But even if it solidifies a home, the city code wouldn’t permit it.
City zoning rules currently allow for one center, and that’s open in south Everett.
Therapeutic Health Services (THS), the nonprofit that operates the southern site, sees north Everett as ideal because a microcosm of social services are nearby and the area has a high number of overdoses. 
Earlier this year, THS tried to locate in downtown until the deal fell through.
The city’s planning commission had conversations about accommodating the downtown site earlier this year, but their work has paused while city planners do some more legwork.
The zoning issue would come before the planning commission again after city planners finish their review, city spokeswoman Meghan Pembroke said last week. The timeframe is not
formally set.
The city’s been working on this for months. The city is talking with THS on helping locate its second clinic, city public health and
safety director Hil Kaman said.
In downtown, THS was negotiating to buy the former Trask Surgery Center at Pacific and Rucker avenues. The building’s owner, TheEverett Clinic, has since put the building under contract with a different buyer.
A representative for the nonprofit THS highlighted in a recent Tribune article that north Everett is where the highest concentration of opioid-related deaths in the state occur.
The nonprofit organization has sought a home the
past two years. A separate deal to put a clinic in the city of Snohomish fell through.
THS operates a methadone clinic at 9930 Evergreen Way near 100th Street, just north of Everett Mall Way that
treats 850 clients each month. 
The county tasked THS with opening a second site in the county two years ago.
“If we don’t rezone, it makes it hard for them,” Stonecipher said in her comments. “They’re wondering where they can go.”
The Evergreen Way center is one of a few locations in the county that offer opiate substitution treatments. Another is in Arlington at 21123 Smokey Point Boulevard run by a separate organization.
Kaman said a suboxone treatment center opened recently at 3624 Colby Ave in Everett. That company’s name is Ideal Option; it runs centers in Spokane, Kennewick, Yakima, Mount Vernon and in four other states.
Suboxone and methadone are two different synthetic opioids used to “fill-in” as a substitute for opioid addicts in treatment.

— Material from the Tribune archives was utilized in this report.

 

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