Bill aims to deter heroin rehab clinics near VA schools - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Bill aims to deter heroin rehab clinics near VA schools

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Richmond legislators are pushing to fix a law that allowed a heroin rehab clinic to open down the street from an elementary school. The Richmond Treatment Center, a methadone clinic, relocated less than two blocks from Bellevue Elementary in Church Hill. Recovering heroin addicts visit the clinic to receive treatment, methadone, to kick their addiction.

However, parents say people using the clinic often loiter outside the building, during school hours. They fear an uptick in crime, possibly drug dealers targeting those who are trying to stay clean.

"I don't feel like it's safe," said mom Tiara Hill, who has a son who attends Bellevue. "I feel like [rehab clinics] should be in an area that is not close to young children, because apparently they are drug addicts. They're unpredictable."

The Virginia General Assembly passed a law in 2004 to avoid a situation like this. However, the wording only applied to new clinics. The Richmond Treatment Center already had its permit, but in a different location in the city.

The clinic re-opened near Bellevue this past September.

Delegate Jennifer McClellan wants to make certain this can't happen again. She's introduced legislation to modify the law, eliminating the loophole.

"I've heard a lot from the people in that neighborhood… They want to make sure we tighten up any loopholes we have," said McClellan.

NBC12 reached out to the clinic, and hasn't heard back.

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