To be used as an apartment for healers, the drug doctor must purchase Clinic 554 Pi News

News Details

The contract is for the purchase of Clinic 554 and its conversion into an apartment building for drug addicts.

Dr. Sarah Davidson, director of the Riverstone Rescue Center in Fredericton, said the transaction was still ongoing, but that her plan was to buy the building at 554 Brunswick St. and convert it into a 16- to 24-story four-story building. Units.

Davidson opened the Riverstone Recovery Center in 2020 to treat people suffering from doping and opiate addiction. It is one of only five centers across Canada to be funded by Health Canada to pilot a treatment regimen that includes prescribing injectable medical-grade opioids for those who do not respond to oral treatment.

Patients responded well to treatment and said the center has been successful so far.

However, housing is an obstacle for some to successfully follow the treatment, Davidson said, and he hopes the apartments will provide a safer and more secure environment to help those recovering.

“I think someone can set their own life goals and meet them if they live somewhere,” he said.

“If people are not housed, it is impossible to imagine that anything really will change or get worse.

“Home is only a medicine, and then it helps to provide that consistency.”

Davidson, medical director of the Riverstone Recovery Center, says safe and secure homes provide the best opportunity for drug addicts to break free from addiction. (Gary Moore / CBC)

In addition to the apartments, the project will also include setting up a training and entrepreneurship center on the ground floor to help residents and others in the community re-engage with the community, he said.

Davidson said it was difficult to say when the deal would end, but hoped it would be done by next spring and construction begin.

He said he hopes to get funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and subsidize the apartments through the Department of Community Development.

He said he wanted to share information about the project as soon as possible to clear up rumors in the community that the purpose was to open a safe injection site.

He said the rumors were linked to residents’ concerns about the proximity of George Street Middle School.

“I know people get scared when they think of others with substance abuse disorders, but most of them are, unfortunately, based on fear rather than who the real individuals are,” he said.

A History for the Medical Service Clinic

For decades, the Brunswick Street building was used for medical services, including abortion, provided for a short time by the Dr. Henry Morkendler Clinic.

The hospital was forced to close in 2014 because the province did not fund the procedures.

Dr. Adrian Edgar took charge in 2015 and renamed it Clinic 554, focusing on abortion and transgender health care. In 2019, for the same reason, he announced that he would put the clinic up for sale due to a lack of funding from the province.

CBC News asked Edgar for an interview about what it means for the clinic and the services it provides, as Clinic 554 is pending sale.

Dr. Adrian Edgar, medical director of Clinic 554, said he would be happy if the space continued to be used to serve vulnerable people. (Hadil Ibrahim / CBC)

Edgar responded in an email that it would be “premature” for him to predict how abortion and sexual health care would affect access at this point.

“When the sale is over, I will be glad to know that another family doctor picked up the torch and will continue to use the space to care for those vulnerable. [New Brunswickers],” he said.

“There is a huge health risk when a person is stigmatized for their very difficult circumstances, and the main principle of family practice is to treat everyone with compassion by meeting them where they are.

“I tried to do it every day, and I knew Dr. Davidson would do the same.”