Beckley physician responds to complaints his new office will bri - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Beckley physician responds to complaints his new office will bring unwanted foot traffic

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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) A Beckley physician is setting the record straight after concerns were raised over his opening of a new office on South Kanawha Street. 

At Tuesday night's Common Council meeting, neighbors on the street claimed the Farhat Medical Clinic, which prescribes Suboxone as just one part o its practice, would bring in unwanted foot traffic to the area.

In an interview with WVVA News on Thursday, Dr. Saad Zafar responded to those complaints, saying he is simply opening a second internal medicine practice and that more physicians should consider prescribing Suboxone as part of their practice. 

There are a lot of misconceptions about the medicine that he believes is critical to fighting the region's war on drugs. 

"There's a blocker with a partial antagonist in the medicine. If they relapse, the blocker will result in the worst symptoms of withdrawal. Methadone does not have that. (With Suboxone) people can be sober, function, and go back to work." 

The internal medicine physician also points out the clinic was recently inhabited by another physician who was also prescribing Suboxone as part of his practice.

Dr. Zafar said Suboxone is not only approved by the State of West Virginia for drug treatment, but covered under insurance where as Methadone is not.  

"When someone comes to our clinic, we don't advertise Suboxone. It's just an additive medicine we offer for our patients who may need it. Addiction is a disease and we're treating it as a stigma."

Dr. Zafar points out the state of West Virginia requires those being prescribed Suboxone to also have counseling at the same time, a requirement his office honors by having a psychiatrist as part of the practice.

In coming weeks, the physician plans to bring in leading addiction experts from West Virginia University (WVU) to address misconceptions about the medicine.

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