Addiction Treatment Clinic Opens in South Burlington

South Burlington, Vt. (ap) — A new addiction treatment center opened in South Burlington even as the Vermont city continues to fight its presence at Dorset Street and San Remo Drive.

The new branch of Chittenden Clinic opened Friday, said its director, Bob Bick, who is director of mental health and substance abuse service at the HowardCenter.

Before the opening of the clinic, Bick said, about 600 people had been on a regional waiting list for methadone or buprenorphine-based treatments for opiate addiction and they require ongoing medical care.

“The reality is, these people are making a serious effort to address their illness,” Bick said.

Bick said HowardCenter settled on the clinic’s location in part because of its proximity to a bus route and because the building already housed a medical facility.

While the clinic is open, the South Burlington school district is continuing to pursue a lawsuit in Vermont Environmental Court that claims the medical center was improperly vetted for operations within a block of the high school and junior high school, as well as for its impact on traffic.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald, chairwoman of the South Burlington School Board, said the board “continues to be disappointed” by the location of the clinic. Fitzgerald said the schools have taken several precautionary measures.