The holiday season can be a hectic and frustrating time of year. Especially for people struggling with opiate addiction and/or recovery. The fact of the matter is that while many methadone clinics typically operate 7 days a week, almost all of them close on federally recognized holidays. However, this does not mean that there are no options. Whether you are seeking out methadone treatment for the first time, or are already on a methadone maintenance schedule, there are a number of things you can do to get the help you need.
Advice for Individuals Seeking Methadone Treatment
If you are considering starting methadone treatment during the holidays, it can sometimes be difficult. While it is true that most methadone centers are closed on federally recognized holidays, they are typically only closed on that day. This means that the rest of the days around the holiday, they are open. There are also a number of resources available that can help you find a methadone center that is open. These are:
- your primary care doctor
- your health insurance provider
- your local and state health agencies
- the federal treatment center database
All of these resources can provide you the information you need in order to find a methadone center.
Options for Those Already Taking Methadone
The options are much greater for people already on a methadone treatment program when it comes to finding treatment over the holidays. Whether your methadone center is planning to close, or you are travelling to see family and friends, there are a number of options available. These include:
Take-home or “carry” dosages, which typically require the patient to meet certain criteria such as:
- having no recent relapses
- having a prolonged period of negative drug-screens
- not being on parole or probation
- not being involved in an active criminal case
- being considered trustworthy and responsible
Referrals to hospitals, along with a verification of treatment letter that will allow the hospital to provide your recommended dose.
Requesting a verification of treatment letter that confirms your treatment protocol and proper dosage, to be used to seek treatment elsewhere.
Referrals to other methadone centers that are open, whether these centers are affiliated with the one you use or not (note that additional fees and other paperwork may be necessary).
Special circumstance dosing, that is typically administered to current patients, at specific times, even though the center is officially closed.
Your counselor or doctor can better advise you of the best options for your specific circumstances.
If you are unable to find any methadone centers that are open during the holidays, there are still a few options. One is to go to your local hospital. The hospital may, or may not, provide a dose of methadone without being able to verify your treatment schedule. Even if they cannot provide methadone, they may be able to prescribe something to lessen the withdrawal symptoms until you can get back into a methadone center. While this method is not pleasant, and generally not recommended, it is much preferred to seeking out methadone or another opiate illegally.
For more information on finding an open methadone center during the holidays, you can call us at 800-530-0431. We are happy to help.