The Future of Methadone TreatmentMarch 7, 2011
The total number of U.S. private and publicly funded methadone clinics has risen substantially just in the last few years. Moreover, opioid addiction treatment is receiving increased attention across the country as organizations like SAMHSA, NIDA, ASAM, and CARF become familiar acronyms to everyone working in the addiction treatment field.
We now have various suboxone formulations with increased availability, in addition to methadone, and new products aimed at treating opioid addiction are being researched and periodically released (such as Vivitrol). A generic version of suboxone is said to be on the horizon too thus becoming a more accessible & affordable option for many. The message is out that opioid addiction is a disease which can be successfully treated & managed using a combination of medication and behavioral health counseling approaches.
Methadone programs received a quality boost in 1999 when the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services identified methadone as a useful "clinical tool" in the treatment of opioid dependency. Provisions were then drafted & implemented which required all methadone programs to become independently accredited in order to establish a clinical standard of care.
Leading medical and educational institutions, such as Duke University, have committed to researching effective addiction treatments and are consequently advancing our knowledge of ways to deal with addictive disease. Organizations like JoinTogether.org are bringing relevant news to America on a daily basis in regard to addiction problems and solutions.
If the last 20 years are any indication, then the future of opioid addiction treatment will only improve. What used to be regarded as a "heroin only" isolated problem contained in the big cities, is in reality a fairly widespread problem affecting many everyday families in every American town regardless of its size.
The good new is that people all around the country are getting well. They have tools available for coping with addiction. The power of the internet is helping people tap into useful addiction recovery resources. The future brings continued promise, and many possibilities.