Some in Hampden Tire of Methadone Clinic

Residents and merchants complain about the behavior of patients at Hampden Health Solutions at the Rail.

Benn Ray, owner of Atomic Books, usually starts his workday sweeping up in front of his store in the 3600 block of Falls Road.

But since Hampden Health Solutions at the Rail, a methadone clinic, opened just one door down, Ray said he finds himself sweeping more and more prescription pill bottles and other trash from in front of his store.

“It’s like the Wild West out here in the mornings,” Ray said.

He complained that patients streaming off the No. 27 bus at the corner of Falls Road and 36th Street hang around in the area being loud, and that other merchants have complained about increased shoplifting. 

The clinic opened its doors in early 2010 and operates from 5–10 a.m. Monday through Friday. On Tuesday, the clinic’s patients, many of them women with small children, came in and out without incident. A security guard occasionally reminded some patients they couldn’t hang around the building.

But many went a few blocks east on West 36th Street and hung around outside the Royal Farms Store near a bus stop.

Ray isn’t the only person who's had enough. Customers at the 7-Eleven across the street said they are tired of the antics of the clinic’s patients.

Ray Crumb, a Hampden resident, was at the store shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday getting a cup of coffee and checking his lotto tickets for winners. Crumb said because of the clinic’s patients, he thinks people should keep their kids away from the area.

“I don’t even want to bring my daughter around here because of that,” Crumb said.

Gary Fox, owner of GW Towing and Recovery, parks his truck in the 7-Eleven parking lot every morning. Fox, who is originally from Hampden but now lives in Carroll County, said the clinic’s patients go in and are the nicest people in the world, but “when they come out they’re monsters.”

“[Hampden Health Solutions] don’t care. They’re just there for the money,” Fox said. 

Scott Schenker, a Hampden resident, said he’s tired of the damage the clinic is doing to the neighborhood’s reputation.

“I say Hampden [and people] say, ‘Oh yeah, near the methadone clinic,’” Schenker said.

A call to Hampden Health Solutions seeking comment for this article was not returned.

Julie July 27, 2011 at 03:42 PM
I agree with the above, I drive through there every morning during the week at 6:00 a.m. and see nothing but people hanging out and being loud, crossing/standing in the street and I don'tlike even driving throught that mess. Let's keep our city safe and clean. Move the clinic to a medical park where it belongs.................
Sean Tully July 27, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Methadone Clinics in communities are another reality in this town. We have one in Violetville. Hamden can complain all they want but I don't think the city can move them out of the neighborhood as it is federal law they not be shunned.
paerki July 28, 2011 at 01:05 PM
There has to be a better way. These clinics are a menace to my community. They are bringing Baltimore down.
Roosevelt Recreation Council July 28, 2011 at 01:59 PM
@Sean- That is very true...but who protects the children This is 1 block from our Rec Center and 2 schools and soon another school will be directly across the street. It also is in our business district and is affecting business for our business owners. Who protects them from losing their business? It needs to be moved to somewhere else where our children do not see them selling/buying medication on our avenue.
Robert Savage October 24, 2011 at 12:01 PM
I'm on the program and it's a God send. Before this I was on the corner of Falls and 36 everyday with 60 other addicts TRYING to find ride to get drugs. So to all of you beatnecks who aren't from Hampden go back where you came from.
Daisy Smith January 29, 2013 at 11:37 PM
I believe that people will complain about anything! 99% of the businesses up their don't even open till after the program closes anyway! And also, first you complain about the junkies and prostitutes, and when they clean up you complain about them getting help! Oh, another thing! People are not dumb, you have 2 weed shops on the Avenue, but you have issue with the clinic???? What sense does that make? It is okay for one drug and not another? Double standards!!!
Daisy Smith January 29, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Also, if there is illegal activities going on with all those cops who sit in 711 why are they not arresting anyone???? Boggles the mind!!! People so need to get a life!!!
JERRY April 15, 2013 at 01:35 AM
JERRY April 15, 2013 at 01:38 AM
JERRY April 15, 2013 at 01:39 AM
Jesse Harris April 16, 2013 at 10:52 AM
I live in hampden on hickory avenue, right around the corner from this place and often pass it in the morning. I see an awful lot of these "patients" getting on and off of buses, so it seems to me that they are not all hampden residents, by a long shot. Methadone is bulllshit. It doesn't cure addiction, it just perpetuates it and the junkie lifestyle. The only real way to get clean is to make and affirm the decision to get clean. Get into a recovery program. Methadone is drug companies exploiting junkies and profiting from drug addiction legally. It exemplifies the corruption of our healthcare system and lawmakers, and the utter failure and nonsense of drug prohibition. Also, head shops are not weed stores, and weed is not heroin or methadone. This so called clinic just becomes a place for junkies and shady characters to congregate. If they really wanted to help, they would open a recovery center. But don't give people a place to get prescription dope every morning, right in the middle of our schools, youth centers, and businesses where they convene and obstruct traffic and sidewalks. It's just a bad for the community all around.


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