New drug treatment site in Amherst draws concern

Sisters Hospital's drug clinic is set to relocate
Posted at 9:46 PM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 07:41:11-04

Plans to move a drug treatment center in Amherst is drawing criticism from some area residents.

Several upset residents attended a town board meeting Monday evening to voice their concerns.

"This is not sitting well," one resident said.

Sisters of Charity Hospital is relocating its STAR Amherst outpatient chemical dependency treatment program from 3730 Sheridan Drive to 910 Millersport Highway.  The new center will be named Sisters Amherst Health Center, according to a news release sent Monday.

The new location is less than a half mile from the existing site.  Still, some residents fear the new site could pose safety issues in their neighborhood.

"Keep us safe, please," one community member begged Amherst officials.

Catholic Health, which operates Sisters Hospital's STAR program, says the new facility will provide improved care for patients battling opioid and drug addiction, including medication-assisted treatment such as Suboxone, Methadone, and Vivitrol.

"The serious opiate crisis, which has affected the Town of Amherst like every other community in Western New York, points to the growing need for these critical treatment services where our patients live," JoAnn Cavanaugh, Director Public Relations said in a statement.

This move is still pending approval from the state.  Once it's approved, the new location is expected to open this fall.  

The statement notes that Catholic Health plans to conduct an open house with neighbors to share its plans for the new site.