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Feds cut funding for Halifax methadone clinic. (Health).

HALIFAX -- The federal government will no longer support a methadone street clinic for hard core drug users in the spring. Dr. Donald Fay, a member of the clinic staff, warns that this will likely cause an increase in drug use and crime in the city.

If the clinic, Direction 180 closes, it's going to unleash 90 hard core addicts. As well, he notes, the clinic serves clients who have no family doctor or who "flunk out of the province's strict Nova Scotia Drug Dependency methadone program."

Direction 180, established in February 2001 in the Mainline Needle Exchange, helps addicts cope while getting off of opiates, and helps them to maintain regular contact with a nurse and periodically with doctors.

Calling on the province to pick up the tab for the clinic, Fay warned that vulnerable addicts could also lead to more use of other drags, such as cocaine, and that clinics like Direction 180 do more than help cities fight intravenous drag use. He also cautioned that family doctors, such as himself, will find it hard to take on more patients, if the program closes.
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Publication:Community Action
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 17, 2003
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Next Article:First Toronto family health network opens. (Health).

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