Moving methadone clinic out of downtown Camden will be better for patients

Busy sidewalk outside the Urban Treatment Center, which offers methadone and other addiction services in downtown Camden. The clinic will move next year. Photo by Kevin Riordan

The relocation of the methadone dispensary in the heart of Camden is good news for downtown – and good news for patients, too.

Anyone who uses the City Hall PATCO station or has ever been anywhere near 5th and Market during business hours has likely witnessed sidewalk dramas around the Urban Treatment Center.

Mind you, not all of the folks hanging out, nodding off,  or yelling into smartphones outside the center are patients there. And the facility also provides services other than methadone.

Let’s also remember that addiction is an illness; people who suffer from it need treatment.

But as a recovering alky myself, I can’t imagine having to run that gauntlet at 5th and Market in order to get help.

It would be like having to elbow through a crowded bar to reach an AA meeting.

So moving the center out of a former Rite-Aid and into a building near South 6th Street and Atlantic Avenue, a semi-industrial area already home to other human services agencies, makes sense.

Addicts are nothing if not resourceful. They’ll find their way to the new location – and, let’s hope, off methadone and into fully clean and sober lives.