Tri-Cities Holdings, an opioid treatment program (OTP) that has been trying to get a certificate of need in Johnson City, Tennessee, is waiting to hear from the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) about an appeal it filed based on civil rights violations. Represented by attorney James A. Dunlap Jr. from Atlanta, Georgia, the OTP would serve the 500 to 1,000 people who live near Johnson City but have to drive more than 100 miles across the border to North Carolina to obtain their medication.
The complaint is asking the federal Department of Justice to intervene in the case of Tri-Cities Holdings and eight patients, who have the disability of opioid addiction. The OTP says that the certificate of need process instituted by the state and the ordinances imposed by the city violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Lisa Taylor, an attorney with the DOJ Civil Rights Division in Washington, has been investigating the case, which began in June 2013. The violations, according to Dunlap, have gone on for more than a decade, resulting in lost lives.