New methadone clinic hopes to open in Hamilton commercial area

Pinnacle Treatment Centers is proposing to put a methadone clinic that can serve up to 300 people daily who are trying to conquer drug addictions in a commercial area of Hamilton.

The company, which has numerous treatment centers across the country, told the city it will use federally approved medications, combined with counseling and other therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to treat addiction to heroin and other opioids.

The proposed location is 8500 Bilstein Boulevard, in Hamilton’s Enterprise Park area, surrounded by companies in an area zoned for industrial uses. Under Hamilton’s zoning regulations, such facilities, categorized as “alcohol and drug addiction treatment clinics and facilities, inpatient,” are allowed as conditional uses within such zoning.

Pinnacle is among the largest treatment providers of its kind, treating more than 18,000 patients across the country daily, in several states. In Ohio, it has facilities in Cincinnati’s Covedale area, Milford, Dayton, Georgetown, Reynoldsburg, Barberton, Chillicothe, Elyria, Circleville, Athens, Ironton, Mount Vernon, Ravenna, Columbus, Toledo, Youngstown and Zanesville. It also has a location in Covington, Ky.

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With one of Hamilton’s largest employers, thyssenkrupp Bilstein, located nearby on the same street, city officials made sure the company knew about the proposed use, but city Planning Director Liz Hayden said the company raised no objections.

The city has proposed about 20 conditions for the property if the location is to be approved.

Hayden said city officials “reached out to the city of Cincinnati, the city of Dayton and the city of Middletown… and got crime data for their locations and found no issues related to the projects there.”

Mayor Pat Moeller, who serves on the city’s planning commission, said when Pinnacle officials described their operations, “it was well-presented.”

It is to be open six days per week, with medication distribution happening between 6 a.m. and noon, with counseling and office hours between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Staffing will be 12 to 13 employees, able to serve up to 300 people daily.

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The location will be in an area now occupied by A-1 Healthcare, and will be upgraded inside and out, with improved landscaping.

“All operations at the facility will be overseen by a board certified physician, and the facility will operate according to federal and state law,” the company wrote in its application.

Hamilton, like other areas of Ohio and surrounding states, has been hit hard in recent years by heroin and other opioids, which have killed many from overdoses, and which would have killed many more if not for drugs that are able to revive overdosed people.

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The company in its Hamilton application said its services can be especially helpful to military veterans: “According to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, veterans are twice as likely to die from an opioid overdose than civilian Americans.”

The facility is a lot like to a specialist doctor’s office, Pinnacle wrote, with patients mainly referred through local doctors and hospitals. “Patients in treatment receive medical, counseling, vocational, educational and other assessment and treatment services, in addition to prescribed medication,” the company added.

“Pinnacle will make significant improvements to the interior of the building, including rooms for doctor and nurse visits, as well as a sophisticated, FDA-approved alarm system, motion detector, and cameras,” the company wrote.

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