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Methadone Clinics Don't Bring Crime

Drug addicts coming to treatment centers are no cause for alarm, a new study finds.

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By Valerie Tejeda

05/01/12

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Don't let a methadone clinic scare you away from a nice new home, says researchers from University of Maryland. Many get the shivers if they hear a methadone treatment center is moving into the neighborhood, worried that crime rates will rise with so many addicts about. But according to the new study comparing crime rates in areas with methadone clinics and areas without them, there's nothing to worry about: "The concern is that methadone treatment facilities are related to a higher crime rate in the area, but there is no evidence that this is what happens," says Antonello Bonci, scientific director of the institute. "We hope this study will alleviate this concern. I hope people will look at this data and realize it is not a problem." Researchers also compared the crime near hospitals and convenience stores against methadone clinics, finding crime rates highest near convenience stores. "I think there is still a very bad perception of methadone clinics," says lead researcher Dr. Susan Boyd from the University of Maryland. "There are many more people out there who need treatment, but there are not enough slots and clinics available, and part of it is because of the community stereotypes they have about methadone clinics."

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