How Is Methadone Used
If you need methadone for pain, your doctor will write a prescription for it. For an addiction, youll get it from a special treatment program. You can find programs through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association treatment locator or by calling 1-800-662-HELP .
Methadone comes in tablet, powder, and liquid forms. You have to have a prescription to get it. Your providers will give you the dose that should work best for you. They also might change your dose during treatment. Tell your doctor how you feel when you use it. Dont stop taking methadone without talking to them.
Follow the dosage instructions exactly. If your doctor prescribes tablets that are dispersible, dissolve all or part of the tablet in liquid and drink it all.
Experts say people who take methadone to treat an addiction should use it for at least a year while they work on recovery. When its time to stop, your doctor will help you do so slowly to prevent withdrawal.
Some people take methadone illegally, without a prescription. Most of them inject it, which can expose them to diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.
With short-term use, you may notice side effects like:
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Is There Really Free Methadone
When we hear the phrase free methadone clinic we tend to think that there is a no-cost option while unfortunately, most times, this is not entirely true. When we think of no-cost one would think that they can go to this clinic, participate in the program and not have to pay anything for the treatment or medications involved with recovery. It is important to note that most government entities list their options for methadone clinics using specific key terms such as all free, partial free and no free care options. According to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, private non-profit agencies operate the majority of free methadone clinics. These private nonprofit groups or agencies make up 73.8 percent of the clinics that are classified as all free. Agencies that are offering partial free care generally employ a sliding fee scale, which is based on a persons current income level therefore making the fees affordable as they work towards recovery.
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What Does The Cost Of Methadone Treatment Cover
Knowing what is included in the cost of treatment is crucial, especially when deciding which facility or program is best suited to the client. Generally, treatment costs in a medication-assisted treatment program cover:
- Medication: With any medication-assisted treatment, the cost of the medication itself whether its methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone is automatically included in the overall costs, so clients dont have to pay for the medicine separately.
- Counseling: Medication-assisted treatments mean prescription drugs are only a part of the treatment. Counseling or therapy is generally a necessary component of treatment and is included in the overall cost.
- Medical: Legally required drug testing and other medical evaluation services and examinations are included in the total cost of treatment, as well.
Before a person begins their treatment, they are required to go through admission and intake procedures. This allows the staff at the treatment facility to get a better idea of a persons health and medical history. BAART Programs has a comprehensive admission and intake process, which is included in methadone maintenance treatment costs. It can take a few hours to complete and consists of:
BAART Programs also provides ongoing education on addiction, treatment, relapse and medical issues, such as HIV. Random drug screenings and breathalyzers are also administered to keep in line with federal regulations.
What Does The Cost Methadone Treatments Cover
In addition to the medically prescribed and distributed methadone treatments at the outpatient clinics, patients get comprehensive medical services and individual and group counseling sessions.
Trenton Healthcare Clinic focuses on a continuum of care and provides valuable community-based services including educational assistance and vocational support to help those recovering from opioid addiction to reenter the workforce.
No matter what the financial situation, Trenton opens its doors to whoever needs help.
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How Is Methadone Taken
Methadone is taken orally and is diluted with orange juice. When you first start the program, you will be asked to drink your medication at the pharmacy daily.
As you stabilize your dose, and your treatment program, you may be eligible for some carries, or take home doses.
Carries should be refrigerated. It is your responsibility to store them safely to make sure the medication is not taken by anyone else, especially a child, or a non-opiate dependent person, for whom it may be lethal.
Who Is Most Likely To Visit A Methadone Clinic
There are many methadone clinics throughout the United States. SAMHSAs 2011 OTP Survey found nearly 245,000 people were admitted into opiate treatment programs in 2010. More than half of those admitted required maintenance and detoxification services. About 22 percent were individuals seeking only maintenance treatment.Methadone was the primary medication given to those in treatment the survey reported nearly 270,000 people receiving methadone in March 2011.
Anyone who is addicted to opiates may visit a methadone clinic under a doctors supervision. More than half who do are male, although a significant percentage of visits are by female clients as well.
SAMHSAs 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that 435,000 people used heroin, accounting for those aged 12 and up. People in the 18-25 age range were most likely to abuse heroin, although the study reflected an increase in use by adults 26 and older.About 2.9 million adults 26 years and older were using pain relief drugs for nonmedical use, according to the study. In the 2011 edition of the study, just over 11 percent of people overall who abused drugs or alcohol received the medical treatment they needed.
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Methadone Itself Is Cheap But Treatment Is Not
Despite coming from different backgrounds and parts of the country, Tony, James, and King share similar stories of opioid addiction: They each began mostly on painkillers King doctor shopped and bought pills from others, Tony borrowed them from his wife after she got back surgery, and James got them from doctors after a liver transplant. In King and Tonys cases, misusing opioid painkillers eventually led to heroin. King also used benzos on the side.
But before their addictions got too bad, all three of them found methadone clinics. They all described the treatment as a lifesaver.
Methadone itself, widely available in generic form, is cheap: potentially less than $1 a dose. It can be used not just for addiction but also for pain treatment, where its low price has made it attractive to some health plans, including Medicaid. But in addiction care, methadone treatment costs much more, largely due to legal requirements for staffing, storage, security, and other services.
They all described methadone treatment as a lifesaver
There are also special rules for patients themselves. For at least the first 90 days of treatment, patients must travel to the clinic at least six days each week to pick up their methadone dose, with few exceptions. Only after several months or years of methadone treatment, and testing negative for other drugs, can someone get enough take-home doses to cover weekends, a week, or sometimes more.
What If I Miss My Dose
If you take methadone at home
Take it as soon as you remember, unless its nearly time for your next dose. In this case, skip the missed dose and take your next one at the usual time. Do not take a double dose to make up for a forgotten dose.
Tell your key worker or your doctor that you missed a dose. They may ask you to return the leftover liquid.
If you have supervised doses
Go to your pharmacy or drug treatment centre as soon as you remember, as long as its during opening hours.
If you cannot get to your pharmacy or drug treatment centre until the next day, they may not be able to give you any methadone. They may need to speak to your prescriber first.
Its important to take your methadone or collect your doses on the right day. Always check your treatment plan.
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Looking For A Place To Start
Reach out to a treatment provider for free today.
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Theresa is a Certified Addiction Professional , a Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager by The Florida Certification Board, and a Certified International Alcohol and Drug Counselor by The International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium . Theresa is also a Certified Professional Life Coach and volunteers at a local mental health facility helping individuals who struggle with homelessness and addiction.Theresa is a well-rounded clinician with experience working as a Primary Addiction Counselor, Case Manager and Director of Utilization Review in various treatment centers for addiction and mental health in Florida, Minnesota, and Colorado. She also has experience with admissions, marketing, and outreach. Eager to learn, Theresa is currently working on her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. As a proud recovering addict herself, Theresa understands first-hand the struggles of addiction. There is no limit to what Theresa is willing to do to make a difference in the field of Addiction!
Goal Of Methadone Use In Drug Addiction Treatment
Ultimately, the goal for the person who chooses methadone maintenance is to return to a more normal life. Once they begin taking methadone under medical supervision, they may be able to benefit from substance abuse treatment, vocational counseling and educational assistance. As they begin feeling more healthy, they may self-refer to social service agencies so they can get back on their feet.
According to Harvard Medical School, approximately 25 percent of persons admitted to a methadone maintenance program will, over time, become abstinent from methadone if they choose to have themselves weaned. Another 25 percent will continue using methadone while the remainder will stop using methadone and resume its use when they enter another substance abuse treatment program.
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Principles Of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research
Individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various rates, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length. Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes. For methadone maintenance, 12 months is considered the minimum, and some opioid-addicted individuals continue to benefit from methadone maintenance for many years.
How To Find Free And Low
Methadone can be a life-changing addiction treatment for people addicted to prescription or illicit opioids.
Call our helpline today to find free or low-cost methadone treatment options near you.
Written by the Addiction Resource Editorial Staff
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Understanding the Epidemic
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Good Outcomes Are Contingent On Adequate Treatment Length
Treatment dropout is one of the major problems encountered by treatment programs therefore, motivational techniques that can keep patients engaged will also improve outcomes. By viewing addiction as a chronic disease and offering continuing care and monitoring, programs can succeed, but this will often require multiple episodes of treatment and readily readmitting patients that have relapsed.
What Is Methadone And How Does It Work
Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist, meaning that it is a human-made medication that works on opioid receptors in the brain. Its effects are similar to other opioids like prescription painkillers, but they are less pronounced and last for a longer period.
Methadone fills opioid receptors, helping the brain maintain its chemical equilibrium and preventing people from experiencing the pain of withdrawals. It also helps reduce drug cravings. When taken as directed by someone who is already dependent on opioids, methadone does not result in a person getting high it keeps them feeling healthy enough to live their lives without abusing opioids.
Only opioid treatment programs certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can dispense these medications. These programs must offer some form of counseling or therapy alongside the medication.
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How Can A Patient Receive Methadone
By law, only a SAMHSA-certified treatment program can dispense methadone for the treatment of OUD. Patients taking methadone to treat OUD must receive the medication under the supervision of a practitioner. After a period of stability , patients may be allowed to take methadone at home between program visits.
The length of time a person receives methadone treatment varies. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse publication Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide 2012 , the length of methadone treatment should be a minimum of 12 months. Some patients may require long-term maintenance. Patients must work with their MAT practitioner to gradually reduce their methadone dosage to prevent withdrawal.
Common Questions About Methadone
Methadone is a man-made opioid, similar to morphine or heroin.
Methadone will cause feelings of relaxation and reduce pain, but it will not give you the same high or euphoric feeling as heroin.
It works in treating heroin addiction by reducing the withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It is long acting and this means it stays in your body a lot longer than morphine and heroin.
Methadone reaches its peak effect after 2 hours. When you first start your treatment, and youre on a low dose, the effects may only last for a few hours.
Your starting dose will be increased gradually each day, as needed, until you no longer have withdrawal symptoms. Once your dose is stabilised, a single methadone dose will work for 24 to 36 hours.
You will stay on methadone until you decide to come off it. When you are ready to do this, your key worker will help you do this reduce your dose of methadone gradually.
Weaning off heroin and methadone completely, as part of a detox programme, normally takes at least 12 weeks.
If you are taking methadone for maintenance therapy, you will keep taking methadone long term, as a substitute for heroin.
Yes. If you have a maintenance therapy treatment plan, you can take methadone long term as a substitute for heroin.
Methadone slows down your body functions and reduces physical pain as well as feelings of anxiety.
It does not give you the same high or feeling of euphoria that you get with heroin.
Its best to avoid alcohol while taking methadone.
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Why The Methadone Doesn’t Work
The first task of the day in the pharmacy is to prepare the methadone, a little over a gallon this morning. Its supervised daily consumption has been the mainstay of the harm reduction philosophy that has largely driven heroin addiction treatment for the past 20 years. Not all pharmacies supply methadone, but in those that do, the pharmacist sees addicts more regularly than any other health professional.
George, employed and drug-free for almost 10 years with her commitment to Narcotics Anonymous, still tells me of the conflicting emotions she felt as each day she stood in my busy pharmacy with her daughter in the pram, and consumed the sticky green methadone mixture, followed by a glass of water to help stop her teeth rotting from it, gradually reducing the dose. Today, pharmacies have private rooms for such activities, but the daily grind continues. One inner-city pharmacy has even relocated to a former bank, and the walk-in vault is now the “drug cupboard” accommodating the quantity of methadone required.
Methadone is a highly addictive synthetic opiate, more addictive than heroin and harder to withdraw from, but it survives the digestive system and so does not need to be injected. Most addicts loathe it. They call it green gunk and grimace as they swallow. All of today’s addicts have been coming to the pharmacy for months, some for years. And that’s the problem.
Peter Dawson is a locum pharmacist in West Yorkshire.
Do Insurance Companies Cover Methadone
Methadone may be covered in full or part by health insurance. Copays, out-of-pocket costs, and deductible requirements may apply.
Factors that can affect insurance coverage for methadone include:
- your insurance provider
- type of insurance
- where you live
- where youre getting the methadone
- whether youre taking it alone or with other treatment services
Not all opioid treatment programs are eligible for the same level of coverage.
Insurance coverage for methadone may vary depending on the type of treatment setting and the type of treatment program.
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Are Methadone Clinics Free
Unless a person has good health care coverage, it can be all but impossible to pay methadone clinic costs out-of-pocket and get the necessary treatment for an opiate addiction. According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services, the costs involved with drug treatment account for why so many people forego seeking needed help. Even in cases where a person does carry health insurance, not all plans offer coverage for substance abuse treatment.
All things considered, data collected in 2007 shows as much as 60 percent of drug treatment admissions had no form of health insurance coverage whatsoever. Fortunately, federal and state governments recognize the growing problem of substance abuse in the United States. While finding free methadone clinic treatment may take some research, low-cost, government-subsidized programs try to make methadone clinic treatment costs easier to bear.