REDDING, Calif. - Opiate treatment clinic Aegis has opened their Redding location for two weeks and opened its doors for a tour.
When word first came that the clinic was going to open, people were concerned that it might turn the area into a crime magnet.
However, business owners said the loitering problem has actually gotten better.
The clinic looked like any doctor's office, with a waiting room, complimentary treats and coffee.
The clients of the clinic are there to get help with their drug addiction.
Chico Clinic Manager Michelle Saldana said so far, there have been no complaints.
"We have gotten good reports from our neighbors. We still have a clinic concierge on site, and he's monitoring the parking lot, as well as helping patients get acquainted with the area," Saldana said.
However, some are skeptical about using methadone to treat opioid addiction, concerned with treating one addiction with another drug.
"Methadone doesn't drop the dopamines into the pleasure hormone system, like heroin, or even Vicodin. It doesn't give that euphoria, so the individual doesn't get that high," said assistant clinic manager Daniel Moore.
Methadone is used to help those addicted to opiates manage withdrawal symptoms.
The process at the clinic is quick. Patients are usually in and out in five minutes.
"Our patients will come in, and check in at the front desk. We do take random urine analysis. Patients would go to the dispensing window here, and they would put their fingerprint on their fingerprint reader to ensure that we're giving the right medication to the right patient. They're given their medication, our dosing nurse checks in with them, make sure they're good for the day," Saldana said.
Patients also have to travel to the Aegis clinic in Chico once a week for counseling.
"Addiction isn't just the medical component, it takes a lot of counseling as well, and that's where majority of the recovery happens," Saldana said.
They are hoping to expand the clinic in Redding to include counseling services, so patients in Shasta County won't have to make that weekly trip to Chico.