Nix Methadone Clinic

An addiction treatment pioneer who was ahead of his time, Dr. James T. Nix operated a methadone clinic on S. Carrollton Avenue in the early 1970s before it was raided and shut down by federal agents in 1971. Dr. Nix was one of the first Louisiana physicians to treat heroin addiction with methadone, and his methods were not fully accepted.

Dr. Nix was running clinical trials, and some neighbors complained about the presence of addicts, whom the police regularly arrested at the clinic. Federal law enforcement officials believed that Dr. Nix did not maintain proper records for such medical trials. Dr. Nix argued that they had been open for three years and had not been informed about record-keeping rules until two weeks before being shut down.

"The rules were told to us after the game was played," Dr. Nix said regarding his outpatient treatment program. He argued that Methadone had an 85% success rate, which contrasted with a 6% success rate connected to a much more lucrative federal program. Eventually, outpatient methadone treatment would become an accepted and commonly used method to overcome heroin addiction.

Images

Revolver Found in Purse

Revolver Found in Purse

Police would frequently stop by the methadone clinic to pick up drug offenders and other criminals the clinic attracted. This article details the arrest of a man and a woman at the Nix clinic in 1971 for carrying a concealed pistol. Image Courtesy of The Times-Picayune. View File Details Page

Views of Neighbors

Views of Neighbors

Some citizens in Carrollton, like this concerned resident, were unhappy with the number of criminals the clinic attracted to their neighborhood. Carrolltonians would not wait long for resolution. Dr. Nix's methadone clinic would be closed by the end of the year. Image Courtesy of The Times-Picayune. View File Details Page

2 Drug Clinics Are Shut Here

2 Drug Clinics Are Shut Here

Federal agents raided the Nix methadone clinic in July 1971 and forced it to shut down. "If equal standards were applied to all clinics in New Orleans, all the clinics would be closed," Dr. Nix argued. Image Courtesy of The Times-Picayune. View File Details Page

Methadone Pioneer Nix Ends Program, Hits Raids

Methadone Pioneer Nix Ends Program, Hits Raids

Dr. James T. Nix, Jr. gave up his work with methadone after the July 1971 raid. The Nix clinic never reopened. "The reason we were closed -- I feel -- was we were too successful. We were closed by the Food and Drug Administration that believes a drug of 25 years' use is a new investigational drug," Dr. Nix noted. Image Courtesy of the Times-Picayune. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Kyle Willshire, “Nix Methadone Clinic,” New Orleans Historical, accessed March 30, 2017, http://neworleanshistorical.org/items/show/392.
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