Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Will the proposed MAT increase the number of resident drug addicts or homeless?
While predicting the actual impact on our local homeless or drug-addicted population is an imprecise science, it is not unreasonable to anticipate some changes. A responsible approach might be to look at other communities where MAT clinics have been installed as examples. Our researchers have not yet found a comparable example in the State of Washington where a similar sized town has had a similar sized MAT facility placed within the retail district or city limits. We do not speculate on the reasons for this, although community input may help us to locate a good example and anticipate such impact, if any. Until we have data to present to this question, we can only look to dissimilar site examples.
Most of the information I am told seems positive. Why do you oppose the MAT?
Some articles and studies attest that there is no negative impact while others claim there are. We cannot speculate as to the impact for Sequim. We do encourage a skeptical approach to researching the topic. At the risk of engaging in an information-based war of words, we feel a few guidelines and examples could be offered.
What are some examples of communities affected negatively by MAT?
Large city (Queens New York) MAT quietly placed within community: Click here
Do services such as MAT draw or attract people?
How will clients be limited to our region?
The clientele for this MAT clinic cannot be limited to a geographic area because of the mobile nature of this subset of society.
First, what is Save our Sequim all about?
Save Our Sequim is an organic grass roots organization fighting for the future of our town. Sequim, population 7,108, does not need a 25,000 square foot, regional scale opioid addiction treatment center/mental health facility in the heart of its economic core! Furthermore, Sequim does not have the resourses and infrastructure needed to support such a facility.
Sequim was targeted for this facility because of its proximity to the developers existing medical offices - which already offer opioid treatment. There are no recent studies to verify the need for additional opiod treatment facilities in Sequim, while existing facilities twelve miles away in nearby Port Angeles continue to operate below capacity. Furthermore, a new facility offering methadone treatment is expected to open in Port Angeles within the current year. Click Here For more information acess links in FAQs below.
What is being proposed?
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, Olympic Medical Center and Jefferson Healthcare (the Developers), in collaboration with city, county, state, and congressional leaders-have made plans to bring a regional scale, multi-phased opioid addiction rehabilitation center and mental health inpatient facility to tiny Sequim. Click Here
Despite having excess treatment capacity located within twelve miles of Sequim, and no current data to confirm additional need, the Developers have proposed:
- A 15,000 square foot opioid addiction and drug treatment facility in the retail core of Sequim
- Serving 300+ addicts utilizing the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) daily dosing protocol using Methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol
- Further expanding to include another 100 MAT treatment seats and a 10,000 square foot, 16 bed in-patient psychological Evaluate & Treat (E&T) involuntary commitment center, estimated to serve 350 lock-in patients per year
- The regional facility proposed in tiny Sequim is designed to serve hundreds of opioid addicts residing in Jefferson and Clallam Counties, despite a lack of current data indicating this level of opiate addiction in Sequim
The Developers have chosen to place this facility where there is no need or supporting infrastructure. Currently there are ample drug treatment facilities located in Jefferson and Clallam counties where the need has been established, and another treatment facility is scheduled to open in Port Angeles before the end of 2019. Click Here
Is Sequim the right location for a regional scale MAT treatment center?
The site location that was chosen for this facility has more to do with convenience than actual need. Comments from the Developer's website (October, 2019) state:
"Sequim is where we operate a 35,000 square foot primary care clinic and is also home to many other health service facilities. As such, it makes it easier to operate and manage. In addition, the site behind big box stores was chosen because it was zoned as an Opportunity Zone for healthcare clinics and services of which the MAT Clinic qualifies."
This statement reflects the Developer's self-serving interests; they appear more concerned with zoning and the ease of administering the proposed regional facility than with community impact or their clientele. The site selection does not consider the actual need for opioid treatment in this area. In fact, the site selection could not be more mismatched to the neighborhood where it is proposed.
The Developers have since polished their statement, apparently to present a more benevolent public image (November, 2019):
“Sequim is where we operate a 35,000 square foot primary care clinic and is also home to many other health service facilities. That makes it easier for patients who might be receiving care at one of our other locations and makes it more efficient to manage. In addition, the site behind big box stores was chosen because it was zoned as an Opportunity Zone for healthcare clinics and services.”
Additionally, the federal government had determined that Sequim is a "Non-Optimal Area for Opioid Treatment" even during the height of the opioid crisis in 2016. The map below shows the assessment made by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). The Developers, along with state and local officials appear to disregard the study below which is intended to inform policy makers:
"The maps are created with a methodology that seeks to include the highest potential need areas from individual counties so that county-level stakeholders are also informed." (Click Here)
Sequim is a poor site location for a regional scale opioid treatment facility/psychological inpatient E&T clinic.
What other factors make Sequim a bad choice? Check out the additional FAQ's.
What is the current need for treating opioid addiction in Clallam county?
How do we determine the appropriate level of care to meet the need for our area? The data that drives these decisions focuses on drug-related overdoses and deaths, and crime statistics. Here we will focus on the drug-related statistics.
What is the current success rate for MAT clinics and how is success defined?
In the field of MAT success is NOT the number of addicts that are clean and back on their feet. Success is retention rate, which is the number of patients that are still enrolled in a program after a certain amount of time.
13% of participants self- reported interactions with law enforcement, either arrests or pending charges
30% reported intravenous drug use
53% had stable housing
6 months after enrollment:
18% of the patients self-reported the continued use of illegal opioids
10% reported intravenous drug use
Job and school involvement increased 9%
Still only 55% had stable housing
At the 1 year follow up:
12% self-reported continuing criminal justice involvement within the past 30 days
The success rate claimed by the developers is much higher. Read on to find out why.
Why is the 80% success rate claimed by the developer so high?
The developer describes their success rate as an 80% retention rate over 2 years. This number is explained by the Jamestown S'Klallam Health Director as an average reached by combining data from the Jamestown Family Health Clinic MAT program and the Swinomish Wellness Center MAT clinic in Anacortes, WA.
How do clinics of this type impact real estate values? Any research?
The following study by the Journal of Sustainable Real Estate concluded that by using a dataset from central Virginia real estate markets an 8%-17% real estate value reduction radius can be shown to occur around these centers. Link here.