Can a Rehab Facility Help Me Find a Methadone Clinic?

Finding Methadone clinic

Can a Rehab Facility Help Me Find a Methadone Clinic?

Table of Contents


Methadone is an essential part of the recovery from opioid addiction for many individuals. The appropriate use of methadone can ease withdrawals and allow a successful move to recovery. However, individuals in opioid treatment might not be aware of all their options. Knowing what kind of support is available can ensure the appropriate decisions for opioid treatment are made. One of those options is methadone clinics.

What is a Methadone Clinic?

A methadone clinic is an opioid addiction treatment facility registered and approved by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to dispense methadone for treatment. These clinics must also receive certification by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), making them a safe and effective way to transition into a sober lifestyle.1

What is Methadone?

Meth addiction is not related to methadone. The two substances are not the same, though one is sometimes confused with the other. Meth abuse stems from the drug crystal meth.

Methadone is classified by the FDA as a Schedule II drug and is, by definition, an opioid. However, although it’s in the same class of drugs as heroin, fentanyl, and oxycodone, methadone remains in the body longer. The extra time in the body makes methadone suitable for reducing the cravings for stronger — and more lethal — opioids.2

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment, more well known as MAT, utilizes medication alongside counseling and behavioral services to treat addiction. According to SAMHSA, MAT is an effective method to treat opioid addiction and can maintain long-term recovery.

MAT is primarily used for substance addiction such as opiate painkillers and heroin. However, MAT also utilizes other medications approved to treat alcohol addiction. For opioid dependency, MAT centers utilize the following medications:3

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone

These medications reduce opioid cravings and blunt the effects of opioids. Methadone, for example, blocks the euphoric effects of opioids, taking the draw away from the drugs. MAT medications are controversial because they’re substances used to treat other substances. For people who risk their lives with addiction, however, MAT medications can offer a level of safety. These medications are safe to use for the long-term — even a lifetime if necessary.

How is Treatment Administered in a Methadone Clinic?

Methadone clinics dispense medications used in MAT and make every attempt to prevent methadone abuse or diversion. Individuals on methadone treatment, also known as methadone maintenance therapy (MMT), are administered daily doses and closely assessed for the first week or more.

After the first introduction of methadone treatment, individuals must visit the methadone clinic for the first six months to obtain their daily medication. After 6 months and a good track record of treatment, individuals may take home medication for set days or weeks.

Methadone clinics are tightly regulated and organized, and adherence to treatment and rules of the program is imperative. It is also essential that participants participate in other addiction interventions like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and make lifestyle changes to ensure a long-lasting recovery and continued participation in methadone treatment.

Why Go to a Methadone Clinic?

Because methadone is still an opiate, some people frown upon methadone clinics as not a “true recovery.” Some people may be able to achieve long-term recovery without methadone treatment. There is a stigma surrounds methadone clinics that prevents people from choosing them as an option. However, opiates are a notoriously difficult and dangerous class of drugs to recover from.

Who is Most Likely to Visit a Methadone Clinic?

Those most likely to visit a methadone clinic are people currently addicted to opioids or those who are in early recovery. Individuals who have tried addiction treatment without methadone unsuccessfully, and are looking for a safe path to recovery may also try a methadone clinic. People interested in this treatment method may visit a clinic and evaluate whether it’s the right treatment for them.

Methadone clinics are welcoming to everyone who needs treatment, but they do have limitations as to who can qualify and who they can treat. A clinic will first assess an individual to see if they are an appropriate candidate for methadone maintenance therapy.

The Opioid Epidemic

According to the Department of Health and Human Service, since 1999 over 760,000 people have died from a drug overdose. Two-thirds of those deaths involved an opioid like heroin or oxycodone.4 In 2019 alone, over 70, 000 people died from an opioid overdose.5 Those deaths reflect the immensity of the opioid crisis in the U.S., with an estimated 10.1 million people aged 12 or older having misused opioids in 2019. The path to long-term recovery without methadone, for some individuals, can be a dangerous choice. The possibility of relapse can result in significant medical problems or death. The effects of opiates like heroin, fentanyl, and oxycodone are difficult to predict. Additionally, drugs obtained from the black market do not have the quality control that methadone clinics have to maintain, making black market opiates potentially fatal. According to SAMHSA, one of the goals of methadone treatment is to improve a client’s survival. Following the disease model of addiction, methadone treatment can be akin to the medication used to treat diabetes or heart disease. If methadone treatment allows a person to live a healthy, satisfying, and productive life, then MAT is a success.

Signs and Symptoms of an Opioid Addiction

People experiencing an opioid addiction may not display signs right away. Over time, however, these symptoms can become apparent:6

  • Unable to control their opioid use
  • Have uncontrollable cravings
  • Grogginess or drowsiness
  • Changes in sleep
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of interest in hygiene
  • Lack of interest in personal appearance
  • Isolation from peers and family
  • Stealing from family, work, and friends
  • New financial issues

Risks of Drug Treatment

Because methadone is an opioid medication, there are still risks involved in treatment. Participants in methadone clinics are closely monitored for side effects:

Anyone with a history of seizures, psychiatric conditions, or heart conditions should avoid methadone treatment or be closely monitored during treatment. The risks for pregnant and breastfeeding women are not clear. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with their physician and pediatrician.

How to Find a Methadone Clinic Near Me?

Some rehabilitation treatment centers, if they don’t already participate in an MAT program, can assist clients in finding methadone treatment. Other rehab programs do not refer clients to methadone clinics. People who are interested in methadone clinics can find further information through SAMHSA’s Opioid Treatment Program Directory or Methadone.US.



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