Nix Methadone Clinic

The Carrollton neighborhood suffered through a heroin epidemic in the 1970s. Heroin use would decline throughout the U.S. in the 1980s as cocaine and crack use increased.

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.