Mason methadone clinic makes settlement deal with U.S. attorney

The Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason, operated by UC Health, offers mental health services for patients throughout the region, including Butler and Warren counties. STAFF FILE

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The Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason, operated by UC Health, offers mental health services for patients throughout the region, including Butler and Warren counties. STAFF FILE

Lindner Center of Hope was cited for seven potential record-keeping violations at HOPE Center North

A Mason-based methadone clinic has agreed to pay the government $37,500 after a DEA inspection of the clinic.

“This settlement shows that companies operating methadone clinics have a duty to do so with diligence,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker. “While it is important work, sloppiness in this area can lead to the improper diversion of drugs onto the streets, which would defeat the very purpose of these clinics’ existence: to provide those with opioid addictions a safe way to heal and recover. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to ensure clinics operate appropriately; no one is above the law.”

The Craig and Frances Lindner Center of HOPE operated a methadone clinic in Mason, Ohio, known as HOPE Center North. Methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance.

According to the settlement, the DEA conducted an inspection of HOPE Center North on July 15, 2020. The inspection included a review of the methadone clinic’s physical and operational security measures, required controlled substance record-keeping, records of receipt and dispensation of methadone, and a record-keeping accountability audit of methadone.

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The settlement says the DEA noted seven potential record-keeping violations at HOPE Center North.

For example, the DEA noted that the clinic failed to provide the DEA with a biennial inventory of its controlled substances and did not keep complete and accurate inventory records. HOPE Center North also failed to keep accurate DEA forms evidencing the shipment and disposal of methadone from the facility.

As part of the settlement, HOPE Center North agrees to comply with all controlled substance record-keeping standards as required by law.

Representatives of the Lindner Center of HOPE issued a statement late Tuesday, saying the settlement allows the center to continue its focus on serving those who struggle with mental illness and addiction, while avoiding the costs of litigation.

“The Lindner Center of HOPE disputes the allegations made by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing or liability,” the statement reads. “The allegations relate only to record-keeping issues, and the Lindner Center of HOPE is proud of the critical and beneficial work performed by the HOPE Center North in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic.”

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