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Local physician believes methadone clinics are working

'I think after hearing this conversation that a lot of things will be changed by this time next year'
20201011 police board addictions
Dr. Ralph Dell-Aquilla speaks to the Police Board during the public Zoom meeting on Tuesday.

North Bay's Police Chief was impressed with a message of hope and support today during the monthly Police Board meeting. 

Dr. Ralph Dell'Aquilla gave a comprehensive methadone treatment presentation to the Board. 

"The Board, for a number of months has asked me about information relating to crime and any linkage in regards to methadone clinics in our community," said Tod. 

"They were looking for some science-based research and information they could form an opinion on." 

The methadone treatment clinics providing the drug at a number of locations in the downtown core have been the centre of controversy as local businesses have questioned their safety in the core area.  

Dell-Aquilla noted that 95 per cent of those who seek treatment using methadone are in real recovery and it is only five per cent of those getting treatment that are causing the problems.   

"We have to step back and look at the evidence with a scientific approach as opposed to shaming or blaming," stated Dr. Dell'Aquilla during his presentation. 

The well-known physician, very well versed in the substance abuse treatment in the community, stated that Methadone is not the problem, drug addiction is.  

Tod understands that. 

"How we are able to recover from drug addiction is extremely important," said Tod.  

"He noted how important it is to keep every door open that has an opportunity for recovery and he talked about the purpose of methadone as a treatment and the idea of developing recovery services within our community."

Tod and Dell-Aquilla believe the local partnerships within the community hub are making a difference.  

"It was very moving listening to his passion in regards to recovery services in our community and what is available and encouraging police services to support that," said Tod. 

As the police chief, Tod left the meeting feeling optimistic about the problem. 

"I think after hearing this conversation that a lot of things will be changed by this time next year."