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Methadone clinic that drew protests moves from downtown Hagerstown

June 30, 2011|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — A methadone clinic that drew protests when it opened years ago in downtown Hagerstown is now located on the outskirts of the city.

Hagerstown Treatment Center is on Day Road, off Dual Highway, near Interstate 70.

Washington County records show that the center received a zoning certification to use the first and second floor at 2053 Day Road in November 2010.

The center’s final inspections were done by January 2011, clearing it to open.

The program director at the Hagerstown clinic referred questions to Chris Hassan, the chief executive officer of Colonial Management Group LP, a Florida company that says it runs dozens of outpatient substance-abuse treatment clinics across the nation.

Hassan didn’t respond to an email forwarded to him from the Hagerstown clinic on Tuesday.

Someone who answered the phone at Colonial Management Group’s Florida headquarters on Wednesday said no one was available this week to answer questions about the Hagerstown clinic.

Records with the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality, part of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, indicate that the clinic last was licensed in 2009 as an outpatient methadone program.

The clinic opened in 2001 on East Antietam Street in Hagerstown, offering methadone, as well as addiction counseling for people who used heroin and other opiates.

Hagerstown’s mayor and city council were opposed to the clinic and asked if it was violating zoning rules.

However, the city’s economic development director said at the time  that the building was zoned for doctors’ offices, and health clinics were allowed as a special exception.

Shortly before Hagerstown Treatment Center opened, clinic physician, Dr. J. Ramsay Farah, said it was needed to help “people who want to turn their lives around.”

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