(Full disclosure: I own the property across the alley from 1620 Gaylord)
Yes, it's true. The US Federal Government, through funding to the University of Colorado ARTS Program, provides METHADONE to registered addicts. (ARTS in Denver features Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) using Methadone, Buprenorphine, Naltrexone, Vivitrol, and Antabuse in combination with counseling, addressing specific addictions such as opioid dependence or alcoholism.)
Methadone is now primarily used for the treatment of narcotic addiction. The effects of methadone are longer-lasting than those of morphine-based drugs. Methadone's effects can last up to 24 hours, thereby permitting administration only once a day in heroin detoxification and maintenance programs.
As explained here, the goal of this and similar programs is to help people rid themselves of addiction and pain. We might all agree that these are lofty and perhaps even attainable goals. But I have grave doubts that plopping this dispensary down in a predominately residential neighborhood will improve the quality of life for those living nearby. This dispensary was formerly located at 18th and York but forced to move due to impending development of that block into 300 apartments.
What I've heard from neighbors:
- The dispensary opens at 5:00 am
- The clients must consume the drug on site, and then leave.
- The dispensary will serve 200 clients a day.
- The clients will enter thru the new door being installed on the north wall of the back part of the building.
- There seems to woefully inadequate parking.
- Gaylord on-street parking is usually full.
- Church in the City's school is less than a block away and East High less than 1000 ft. (The principal of East reportedly phoned the Mayor as soon as she was made aware of this plan.)
- No posting is necessary because in legal terms the property is zoned for office use, and a dispensary equals an office (legal precedent).
- General construction permit was pulled 9/24/2014, but does not appear to be posted.
- No neighborhood involvement needed or sought.
- The owner is Victor Kolouch of Kolouch Properties, LLC, who has been the owner of the ARTS administrative building next door at 1648 Gaylord since 2005.
To be fair, one observer told me that the patients are well-behaved because they are paying for their drugs and don't want to screw up and lose their daily fix. She has watched them come and go at 18th and Gaylord for 5 years.
The tentative meeting set for 7:00 pm on Thursday, Oct. 2 has not yet been verified. As soon as I hear I'll post it here. I'm going even if I don't hear back. See you there.
Update: The meeting time and place have been confirmed.
Update2: I have confirmed the ARTS Methadone clinic managers will be attending. Jan Morgan (clinic manager) and Angela Bonagudi (director). The office # where they can be reached is 303-388-5894