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When is to enough, enough ?

SSTAR is still trying to get another treatment program in the city of Fall River, Mass.
The city is reviewing a new proposal for SSTAR to build a multi-million dollar Drug Treatment and research center in the North End of the city.
About a year or so ago SSTAR applied to get a zoning change to build in an area that was no zone for the type of business they wanted to build. This all started a few years ago when the Opioid Crisis grew to a level in our city that left many people seeking treatment unable to find an open bed in detox. SSTAR began to make calls to politicians and business leaders look to get the support and funding to build a new treatment center.
SSTAR did not make it public that they wanted to build this center in the city and moreover, the north end of the city. It began to come out within the professional treatment arena, treatment advocates and neighborhood associations. That is when the media began printing about the process.
SSTAR applied for a permit from the city for a site located on Weaver Street in the north end of the city. It was learned at that time that this area was not zoned for the type of business that SSTAR wanted to put there.  That is when everything broke open. A group of people from the other end along with State Rep Carol Fiola stated that did not want it built there and went on to say that it should not be in Fall River at all. The Rep and group outline several issues why. They rang from Fall River already having a number of Methadon clinics and not needing another one as well as issues such as the neighborhood feeling it was to close to homes and other issues.
In short, SSTAR was not allowed the permit based on Mass zoning laws. They went to court and lost and now are trying another angle.   Many others have voiced strong concerns about this proposal since it started.  Boston has a total of (5) methadone clinic’s with a population in Boston of (685,094) in the year of (2017) Fall River population in (2017) was 89,420). That is a population difference of (595,760) fewer people in Fall River than Boston and only (2) fewer Methadone clinics than Boston.  The number’s alone show we in the city are a dumping ground for other cities in the state that have much larger tax base but do not what to stigmatize there cities with have Drug Treatment centers in them.  Westport, Ma,  Somerset, MA, Dartmouth, Ma, Seekonk, MA, and so on. Natick, Mass, and Newton are often used to show that they have a huge Tax base but do not have an SSTAR like center there.  I’ts is sent to the Gateways cities where the state doesn’t pay much attention to and don’t care if we are the dumping ground for all the Middle upper-class communities.
In my opinion, we do not need another Methadone program and If SSTAR wanted to add (60) new Detox bed’s I feel that is fine and they just need to tell the people what they are doing and find a site where everyone can live with. But they MUST stop thinking they do not have to get the approval of the people in Fall River before they build.  They have not made available all the things and services they want to put into this new site. We have no say in their eye’s.  That Must End.
In a quick check on google, I was able to find these three (Feedback) statement.  I could have added more but just wanted to give you a little taste of what some say. I did not pick from a list. These three were listed as the first three on the page.

The absolute worst staff I have ever come across in my 40 years of professional experience.

Negligence of the highest order during the intake process. I brought someone here who needed serious help and finally got them registered after multiple attempts. We came in with the required docs but were refused entry due to minor injuries resultant from the substance abuse. We were told we have a bed for you, so I left. Then I found out that they instructed the patient to walk 1/2 mile to the hospital for a CAT scan! This is the most disgusting and outrageous neglect I have ever witnessed. This gross negligence is unacceptable at all levels of professional care. All the appropriate State agencies will be notified of this derelict treatment of a vulnerable person seeking help and abused by staff. They have caused even more harm to this person than already existed.

  1. I left this “treatment” facility needing more help than when I walked in. Like the above person wrote, I am traumatized from my experience. Since outpatient and inpatient’s do groups together drugs are constantly being brought in. This was my first time to a treatment facility however I have heard a similar story of other places but I thought people were quick to judge. I heard there was councilor who had recently been let go for having relations with a patient and giving her HIV. This is a place for crazy junkies. The people who are there to help you are the true addicts. This place is filthy. Good luck

  2. My experience here most definitely led to further trauma. The facility was filthy, the food was UNIDENTIFIABLE, the staff was unprofessional. The environment was LOUD, overly Bright with false lighting, freezing cold and highly unconducive to early recovery.

    To be fair,  I’m sure they can put up many that say they are a good program.  I think we need to focus on better ways of treating and stop giving all the money to the few BIG Treatment Centers. Many small ones are doing good work but are left out.

About Gene St Pierre

Local advocate and political fanatic. My interest are wide and my focus is my community. Retired substance abuse counselor and owner of Studio 1A a social media marketing company. Producer of the no Spin Zone show on Comcast cable channel 95 every Monday at 12 noon. Contact me personally for more information. Hope you enjoy the page and the inside bring to each post blog and column.

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  1. What about the thousands that achieve long-term sobriety after that program? It’s been 5 years for me and I never went to SSTAR but I’ve been to other facilities and let me tell you, it’s not bad in there for what it is. I was just in the facility yesterday and the staff is amazing. Perspective. People like me go in there looking to blame everyone in the world but themselves. With how bad the opioid crisis is in our state and more importantly in our county why not let them build?

    • Because it is in the wrong place and unless you are from here and know all about what has gone on for years, you can’t begin to understand. I have 31 yrs off heroin, 25 yrs as a counselor, I know when a program is doing the right thing, and when it isn’t. thanks for your comment.

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