What to Look for in a Methadone Treatment Center
Many people who have struggled with long-term addictions to opioids find help in methadone treatment centers. One of these clinics can be very beneficial to someone who understands the rules of methadone treatment and one who truly hopes to recover from opioid addiction. Here are some important things to look for when choosing a methadone treatment center.
You Needs Must Be Met
Any kind of treatment available for drug addiction will only be effective if it is catered to the individual. As the NIDA states, “no single treatment is appropriate for everyone.” If someone you know has benefitted from methadone treatment for heroin addiction, that does not necessarily mean you will. The reverse is also true. The first question to ask is whether a facility’s treatments, options, and characteristics fit your needs.
The NIDA also states that “effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.” Because of this, you should consider all angles of your treatment. For example:
- Whether or not you can or wish to stay at the facility
- The proximity of the facility to your home, work, etc.
- The ability of your family and friends to provide a support system while you are working through your addiction
- Your other responsibilities and how they fit into your treatment
The location of the facility is very important. The CDC describes the process as methadone being “taken only once a day,” but especially in the beginning, the individual will need to go to the facility every day in order to receive the medication. He or she might not be allowed to take the medication home for a while, and it will be important that the facility’s location is centralized to the person’s routine. This should absolutely be considered when you choose a facility.
Outpatient vs. Inpatient
Outpatient facilities are usually better for those who have a strong support system of friends and family. Many methadone clinics are often outpatient facilities, but some are not. You should consider whether or not you might need to be in a more controlled environment before choosing a facility. If you do not, it can be beneficial as outpatient facilities are traditionally less expensive than inpatient ones.
Methadone treatment centers that offer other methods apart from the methadone maintenance treatment are often very beneficial to patients. Therapy is usually necessary for someone to work toward a full recovery, and if that is your goal, it would be in your best interest to choose a facility that provides multiple treatments.
Other possible treatments may include behavioral therapy, group therapy, mutual-help groups or MHGs, holistic treatments such as exercise classes or nature walks, vocational counseling, and nutritional classes. You should consider which of these other treatments may prove useful to you and whether or not a facility provides them.
“12 months of treatment is the minimum” for methadone maintenance programs so you will want to make sure that the facility you are using is right for you (CDC). You may want to change your treatment plan as your needs change. When looking for a methadone treatment facility, remember to focus on your needs.