10 Questions Answered About Methadone Centers
Methadone is a mainstay of treating addictions to opioids such as prescription pain medications and heroin. Methadone maintenance programs are available through licensed and regulated methadone treatment centers throughout the country, yet many people are hesitant about starting treatment. Here are answers to 10 common questions about methadone treatment centers and how they work.
1. What happens at a methadone treatment center?
Methadone centers provide methadone treatment as part of a comprehensive set of services to help people addicted to opioid drugs return to normal life. These centers include not only the methadone clinic itself, but also a variety of other resources that can include:
2. Are treatment centers safe?
The picture many people have of methadone centers is a dingy storefront in a run down part of town, with long lines of rough people waiting to receive their dose. But methadone centers can be found in all kinds of locations, serving all kinds of people. Though anyone can get treatment at a center, some are designed to serve a particular segment of the population and help them feel safe during recovery.
3. Do you have to go to the clinic every day?
A dose of methadone generally lasts between 24 and 36 hours, so a once-daily dose is the standard protocol. Because methadone is a regulated substance that must be taken only under medical supervision, most people on methadone maintenance will need to go to the clinic every day to get their dose. Not all do, though. Some users can arrange with the clinic to take methadone at home, especially if getting to the clinic poses a hardship.
4. How do you start treatment at a methadone center?
Methadone maintenance treatment starts with a physician’s referral. At the first clinic appointment, a complete health history is taken, along with blood and urine tests. Doctors use this information to determine whether methadone is the right treatment, and to calibrate each individual’s dose of methadone.
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5. How long does treatment last?
Methadone treatment programs are tailored to fit each client, so treatment lasts as long as a person needs it to. Some individuals use methadone for less than a year, while some continue to take it indefinitely for maintenance.
6. How is methadone given?
Methadone can be given in liquid or pill form. Some clinics also offer methadone in the form of wafers to be placed under the tongue. At the clinic, clients typically take their dose in the presence of a clinic staffer, who logs it in every day.
7. Can anyone start methadone treatment at a center?
Methadone treatment is available to anyone who has an addiction to opioids, but it may not be appropriate for everyone. People taking certain prescription medications or those with health conditions that affect the brain and central nervous system may not be able to take methadone.
8. How much does treatment at a center cost?
Methadone maintenance is one of the least expensive and most cost-effective treatments for opioid addiction, and many clinics offer sliding fee or payment plans to make it accessible to most people. For some, health insurance may cover all or a portion of the costs.
9. Are services confidential?
Methadone centers are obliged to maintain the same patient confidentiality regulations that are required of other medical facilities, so people can get treatment without worrying about employers, family members or others finding out.
10. Do methadone centers provide detox?
Methadone can be used in dedicated detox programs to help minimize withdrawal symptoms, but the goal of methadone centers is to provide successful methadone maintenance, not manage detox and withdrawal. Some people start methadone treatment after going through detox, but detox isn’t a requirement for starting methadone maintenance at a center.
Methadone centers provide the treatment and support that people struggling with opioid addictions need to reclaim their lives. Are you wondering if treatment at a methadone center is right for you? We can help you make the best decision for your recovery. Call 800-530-0431Who Answers? for the answers you need right now.