Highland Park methadone clinic patient says clinic has lack of safeguards amidst coronavirus crisis

A woman addicted to heroin comes to the Rainbow Center of Michigan to keep from relapsing. But her battle to stay clean has been complicated amidst the coronavirus crisis.

"So they line us up together, we're so close to each other we can give each other a hug," she said. "Some people have masks on some people don't." 

A patient at the rehab clinic, Rainbow Center of Michigan in Highland Park, is raising concerns about what she calls a lack of safeguards to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

She says social distancing is not enforced-people are cramped together when they line up outside the building and cramped inside as well, where some staffers wear masks and gloves, but others don't.

"All it takes is for me to go in there and stand there with these 50 people, come home and not know I have it and my 90-year-old grandma or my dad gets sick and dies." 

The state of Michigan advised opioid treatment centers to allow patients to receive take-home medication during the coronavirus outbreak to limit the spread of COVID-19, the woman we spoke with says that's not happening at the rainbow center.

FOX 2: "Do you feel like you're risking your life and possibly your health just to stay clean?"

"Every day. every day I do," she said.

"I have health problems and I’m not going to tolerate it shut it down and get it out of my neighborhood," said Rosemarie White, a resident who lives nearby.

Patients aren't the only ones raising a fuss. A woman lives on the same street as the rehab clinic and says people who go there for treatment are putting her health at risk by throwing out their used gloves and masks right in front of her house.

"That's all germs and when I go out of my house I put my mask on," White said. "They come out of that clinic, throw that mask, those gloves right in front of my door."

The woman battling addiction said it is not easy to simply leave for another methadone clinic. She said many are not accepting new patients during the COVID-19 crisis while many health insurance companies won't pay for treatment at other locations.