Finding the best methadone maintenance program is all about evaluating your needs and choosing the program that fits them the most. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Matching treatment settings, interventions, and services to an individual’s particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society.” Consider your own needs before searching for a methadone maintenance program, and then use the tips below to find the best facility for you.
Step One: Evaluate Your Needs
Every individual has specialized needs when it comes to their addiction treatment. In fact, effective treatment must attend to many needs of the patient, even those that are not directly related to the individual’s addiction. Some needs you may want to consider before searching out a treatment program include:
Also, gender, age, culture, sexuality, and/or ethnicity-based needs are also important. Patients must be able to feel comfortable and well cared for when they decide to attend a treatment program for addiction, or it will be very difficult for them to recover the way the program intends.
Therefore, consider some of the most important needs you may have and whether or not they will apply to your treatment, living situation, etc. for the duration of your methadone maintenance program. In addition, you must of course consider the intensity of your addiction as well as any other addictions or substance abuse issues you may have in order to find the right program.
Step Two: Choose Your Program Type
There are many different types of methadone maintenance programs and different facilities where you can receive treatment. Perhaps you need 24-hour care because you’re suffering from other psychological disorders or you need physical care from a doctor. In this instance, you may want to choose to attend a program at an inpatient treatment center. If instead you do not feel that you’re in need of a controlled environment and 24-hour care, you can receive treatment at an outpatient center and still live your life while recovering from your addiction.
There are also other programs that provide treatment specifically to certain groups of people. Some groups, like women and adolescents, have been proven to benefit from addiction treatment that specifically caters to their needs and only allows individuals in that group to attend.
In addition, you will also need to consider your budget and to know how much you will be able to pay for treatment. Methadone maintenance programs, like other addiction treatment programs, can sometimes be free of charge for those individuals who cannot pay, while other facilities may provide luxury accommodations and treatments for a particular price. Once you know the type of program you’re looking for, it will be easier for you to narrow down your search and find the best methadone maintenance program for you.
Step Three: Search for Available Methadone Clinics
Methadone needs to be dispensed from a government-certified treatment clinic. There are many different types of clinics like these, and finding the right one can take some time. Use these tips to find available methadone clinics in your area.
- Use the MethadoneCenters.com directory. You can search for facilities by state and city in order to find the clinics closest to you. Once you have found several in a good location, use the information provided to call the facility and ask questions.
- Discuss your need for methadone treatment with your personal physician. Your doctor is an excellent resource because they know your personal history, they know clinics in your area, and they will likely be able to recommend a possible facility that would be beneficial to you.
- Ask about local facilities from knowledgeable sources in your area like nurses and doctors at a free clinic, volunteers at an outreach or community center, employees in your city government office, etc. These individuals will likely have been asked to recommend local methadone clinics before, and they will often have the kind of information you are seeking.
- Enlist your friends and family members to help you find a treatment facility. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “The process of recovery is supported through relationships and social networks.”
For the most part, local facilities that provide methadone treatment are the best types of programs for patients. In some cases, however, a patient may need to attend treatment at a facility in a completely different city or state, in order to get distance from the places and people involved in their drug abuse or to feel more safe. If you are dealing with these types of circumstances, it may be better to search for a more remote facility, but most individuals benefit from local programs.
Step Four: Ask Questions
Once you’ve found a handful of programs that seem to fit your needs, call each before you decide on one. This way, you can ask any questions you may have and find out more about the facilities. Some important questions to ask include:
- What type of payment plan do you provide?
- What is the success rate for your program?
- How long does treatment with your program generally last?
- What other treatments besides methadone do you provide?
- What are the main rules of your facility?
- Do you have any restrictions on whom can become a patient at your facility?
If the answers to these questions still coincide with your needs and your treatment requirements, the program may be the best one for you. But it is important to take one more step before agreeing to attend the program.
Step Five: Tour the Facility
Touring the facility can allow you to know for sure that you have found the best methadone maintenance program for your specific needs. It is important for patients to feel comfortable in their treatment facilities, and visiting before you decide to start the program will help you determine whether or not you will feel comfortable there.
Finding the methadone maintenance program that best fits your needs can be difficult and time-consuming. This is why it is important to enlist the help of friends, family members, your personal physician, and any others who may be able to aid you in finding the perfect program for you.