Do Free Methadone Clinics Provide the Same Services?
Today methadone clinics that offer methadone treatment programs are available in most areas throughout the country. Some of the methadone clinics are privately funded however there are many that are state or federally funded. Being state or federally funded gives the programs specialized funds which can be available for a person who does not have the means to pay for the cost of the program themselves. Most addicts have fallen on such hard times due to their addiction that they are unable to fund the treatment themselves, there is no cash available, or they may not have any type of insurance due to a job loss and they desperately need some type assistance to begin a recovery program. The services provided at free methadone clinics would generally be the same as privately funded non-profit clinics.
Where would the money come from?
Funding for free methadone treatment programs are primarily subsidized through the following:
- A federally-sponsored Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment grant
- State block grants
- Medicaid program
- State or county and local grants
In the case of federal block grant money, it would be subsidized on a case-by-case basis if the state were a willing participant in supporting the methadone treatment program. This means, the availability of grant money would definitely vary from state to state and there may even be a chance the state would not be able to offer the program at all. In the end, block grants would enable the state to cover the costs of methadone treatment for an addict who might have no other means for payment.
The Services Provided at a Free Methadone Clinic
In 2001 recognizing the need for methadone treatment programs and the regulations of such, the responsibility shifted from US Food and Drug Administration to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for Substance Abuse treatment in an effort to develop some standards for best practices. CSAT as it is better known, now has oversight of all clinics and regularly evaluates and accredits them and their providers to be sure the best practice standards and guidelines are always met and adhered to.
As we shift into health care reform over the next few years, we can expect to see more of these services become available to a greater population. The Affordable Care Act will increase the awareness and move towards substance abuse treatment being seen as an essential service to a person. By doing this it will enhance the services that are provided and the health plan will be required to cover it. By doing this it may get the addict into treatment earlier and prevent some of the harmful effects a full-blown addiction can cause.