EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

December 10, 2013

Letter: Stateline methadone clinic will drive up crime in Southern NH

To the editor:

Dropping a methadone clinic on Plaistow’s doorstep will undoubtedly bring more crime to Southern New Hampshire while robbing its people of a voice in the process.

A private company proposes putting a methadone clinic on land that is technically in Haverhill but really sits in the heart of a busy Plaistow, N.H., shopping center. This leaves Haverhill in full control over what happens, and Plaistow — where the real impact will be felt — with no official say.

As a prosecutor in Southern New Hampshire, I work each day on the front lines of combatting crime driven by drug addiction, primarily heroin.

Opinions are split on the use of methadone to try to cure heroin addicts and urges. In truth, treating an addict with methadone really gives him one controlled drug in hopes of ending his addiction to another.

Methadone, like other prescription narcotics, is sold by dealers and consumed by people who are not monitored by prescriptions and a doctor’s care. One source of black market methadone is people who are handed the narcotic at a clinic, only to sell or swap it.

Heroin addicts are a methadone clinic’s customers. Many addicts inevitably commit crimes to score the next fix. Plaistow and its neighboring townspeople will suffer the brunt of this project — more congestion in our retail hub, and a growing criminal element that means more victimization for us. Yet, we seemingly have no say, no actual vote in this methadone clinic practically coming to Plaistow.

To Haverhill leaders, you have cautiously aired and voted down past methadone proposals in your city. Please proceed carefully in this project and remember your neighbors to the north and the impact it will sustain.

To my neighbors in Greater Plaistow, we need to pay close attention to this project, get to the table and ensure we are heard. We need our town officials to do whatever they can to ensure Plaistow is a partner, not ignored.

Putting a methadone clinic on the outskirts of Haverhill will cause us — not Haverhill — to suffer the brunt of this project’s dark side: the added shopliftings, thefts, car breaks and other crimes driven by addiction. We cannot afford to be voiceless.

Jason B. Grosky

Atkinson, N.H.

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