Finding the Right Methadone Doctor
Finding the right methadone doctor is not always an easy process. When you decide to attend treatment at a methadone center, make sure the doctor is the right one for you by testing the relationship with a few simple rules.
It is extremely important that you be comfortable enough with your doctor to allow them to care for you during your methadone maintenance treatment. If you are not in a comfortable place with your physician, it could become very difficult for you to trust them and even for you to stick with your treatment. If you feel that you have an ease with them, can speak to them freely about your needs as a patient and as a recovering addict, and that they are interested in making you feel safe during treatment, you have likely found your physician.
Methadone maintenance treatment is a long-standing option for opioid addicts and has been practiced since the 1960s. However, your physician’s experience with prescribing the medication and treating addicts in general is still very important. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that many of the “growing accounts of this medication’s adverse effects” may be accounted to “physician inexperience in prescribing it.” This possibility could increase your risk as a patient if you have an inexperienced doctor.
In addition, different doses of methadone are often more effective on different patients. A doctor who has worked with the medication for some time will likely know this and be better at gauging which dosage you need. Doctors who have worked with addicts for a long time often know how to provide the comfort level necessary for the relationship between physician and patient as well.
This may seem like an odd concern until you consider the fact that you will likely be seeing this doctor every day for a long time, especially if you are choosing methadone maintenance. A doctor with a personality that jells with your own could make the entire process flow more easily and allow you to feel comfortable when attending treatment. If you meet with a doctor who is curt with you, does not seem to listen to your concerns, or otherwise rubs you the wrong way, it may be more helpful to consult someone whose personality better compliments your own.
Finding a helpful and caring doctor is important, but their clinic should also make you feel comfortable and cared for. It could help to go on a tour of the facility before you decide to attend treatment with a specific methadone doctor. Once you’re there, try to envision yourself going every day. Will it be difficult to make the drive? Does the facility make you feel sad or uncomfortable? If you have these concerns a certain doctor––and their methadone center––may not be right for you.
Do You Want More Tips on Finding the Right Physician for Your Methadone Maintenance Treatment?
We can help. Call 800-994-1867Who Answers?, and we will help you learn how to select the best clinic and the best doctor as well as answer any other questions you may have about methadone maintenance.