Crittenden County offers new opioid treatment center for local residents

Opioids pills

AP Photo

CRITTENDEN COUNTY, Ark. — One Mid-South city is getting another resource for fighting the opioid epidemic in the form of a new outpatient treatment center.

Carol LeMay is an advocate in the fight against opioid addiction.

“I’ve went to too many funerals. I’ve seen too many good people die,” she said.

And she knows a big part of the opioid problem is access to treatment.

“You’ve got to have resources to help people. Some people are not going to come across the bridge,” LeMay said.

She’s talking about the bridge between Arkansas and Tennessee; most of the Mid-South’s opioid treatment centers are on the east side in Memphis. But now, a brick building on Avalon Street in West Memphis is the city’s first methadone clinic.

Crossroads Treatment Center will offer a life-saving option for the people dealing with heroin and opioid addiction in Arkansas.

“We’ve had an uptick in our opioid problems in the last few years. Specifically with heroin, fentanyl and a variety of painkillers,” said Capt. Joe Baker with the West Memphis Police Department.

Captain Baker said they had five overdose deaths in 2017 that they know of and countless more that were not fatal.

He said the new building on Avalon Street will be a new support for the entire Arkansas community.

“It provides to our local residents. If they’re trying to maintain a job or have a normal lifestyle, a 15-minute drive to and from Memphis could provide an interruption,” Captain Baker said.

But methadone is not the only treatment available for addiction and LeMay cautioned families about the risks.

“If they still work the 12-step program, I think methadone can work as a maintenance drug, but there has to be a plan of getting off it also,” LeMay said.

Still, she said if it will save a life, it’s worth it.