Category Archives: Drug Rehab Programs

Canadian Press Publishes Article on Benefits of Methadone

canadian-methadone-clinicsFurther validating the merits of opioid treatment using methadone is a recent article by The Canadian Press outlining the findings of Canada’s Medical Health Officer in British Columbia, Dr. Perry Kendall.

Dr. Kendall’s report documents that individuals in opioid substitution therapy are twice as likely to survive compared to those who obtain opioids illegally on the street. Those in opioid addiction therapy were also found to be much more cost effective to society (about $4200 per year for treatment) compared to those with untreated addictions whose costs are estimated to be $45,000 per year collectively in health complications, law enforcement involvement, and other social problems such as loss of income.

The province of British Columbia is currently treating over 15,000 residents for opioid addiction. Their health minister, Terry Lake, is quoted as saying that he was encouraged by the findings in the report and that he knows opioid substitution therapy is not only saving lives, but equates to significant savings for the Canadian healthcare system and society.

In a related story, youth struggling with opioid addiction are being helped in Canada by the increased availability of suboxone. Sean Morrison of the Strengths youth addiction services discussed the benefit that suboxone offers in eliminating opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings so that young people can stabilize and focus more quickly on addiction recovery goals.

While opposition is still present in the USA from certain groups regarding the establishment of methadone treatment services near their community, the medical community and various treatment providers are increasingly able to demonstrate good outcomes with methadone and suboxone supported services. The science of addiction treatment using methadone and suboxone is powerful & compelling – thus legitimizing its increased availability to people who need it. Simply put, opioid substitution therapy saves lives and produces irrefutable medical and psychological benefits for those people struggling in addiction.

New Opioid Treatment Facility in Philadelphia

TheHealingWay2The Healing Way is a newly opened opioid treatment facility in Philadelphia, PA offering methadone maintenance and outpatient therapy for opioid addicted individuals. They treat other substance addictions as well.

The clinic dispenses medication every day of the week and provides both individual and group counseling to its patients.

Located at 7900 Frankford Avenue, The Healing Way is conveniently accessed in the northeast Philly area. As their clinic is new, its official website is not yet active but residents of Philadelphia may want to bookmark their site for future reference at www.TheHealingWay.net.

Also recently added to Methadone.US is BHG Recovery’s facility listing in Humble, Texas. BHG is a leading provider of opioid addiction treatment services in eight states. Their Humble treatment facility also serves residents in the Kingwood community and other areas of north Houston, Texas. Note that BHG provide a video overview of their services specific to each of their treatment locations. Viewers can browse more information on BHG’s programs by visiting our San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and Wichita Falls methadone clinic pages. BHG offer buprenorphine (Suboxone) in addition to methadone maintenance services.

Opioid Addiction Treatment in Chesapeake, VA

affinity-healthcare-groupFor residents of the Chesapeake, Virginia area there are two opioid addiction treatment centers that provide opioid replacement medication including methadone and buprenorphine. Methadone.US lists both methadone clinics and independent buprenorphine doctors on each of our city pages. We also feature providers who opt to showcase their particular treatment centers to our online audience by offering an enhanced listing with additional program details.

Affinity Healthcare Group is one such provider. Affinity have outpatient clinics in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Virginia and make available to their patients methadone or suboxone to eradicate painful opioid withdrawal symptoms. Affinity Healthcare Group maintain an excellent, informative website for patients and the public which offers enlightening descriptions of how methadone and suboxone work to facilitate recovery from addiction. The organization operates with a working philosophy to treat all patients with dignity and respect.

The Chesapeake Treatment Center is another local clinic that helps those addicted to opiates. Chesapeake Treatment Center utilizes methadone and incorporates some other additional services into their program such as case management, addiction education, and aftercare.

chesapeake-treatment

Methadone.US aims to educate the general public on the value of medication-assisted therapies and to help promote recovery from opioid addiction. Addiction is a potentially fatal illness, but treatment works and treatment allows those stuck in a cycle of chaos to finally reclaim hope and the opportunity to make a new start. Medication assistance, such as methadone, is the highest standard of care and is an approved medical intervention for moderate to severe opioid addiction. It is fully endorsed by SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration).

If you would like to feature your opioid addiction treatment services on Methadone.US, contact us today!

Methadone Programs and Prohibited Medications

rx-medication-abuseMany clients in methadone programs have co-occurring disorders like depression, anxiety, or adult attention deficit disorder (ADD). Historically, clinics have attempted to treat psychiatric symptoms with established, FDA-approved psychotropic medications which have proven useful across many settings in managing symptoms.

In the past decade, it became very apparent that benzodiazepines (commonly prescribed to treat anxiety) had become a popular alternative drug of abuse for individuals with an opioid addiction. “Benzos” are a particularly dangerous medication when used in conjunction with methadone, and the combination of these two contributed to a number of overdose deaths in recent years.

For this reason, many safety-oriented, reputable methadone clinics (and independent physicians) either discontinued or noticeably restricted their use of benzodiazepine medications with patients on methadone. Common benzodiazepines include prescription meds like klonopin, valium, xanax, and ativan. As an alternative to these high risk medications, non-addictive options like Buspar are utilized to help clients better manage their anxiety symptoms as well as cognitive therapies for teaching stress reduction and anxiety management skills.

Stimulant therapy is the use of stimulant-based medications to aid adults struggling with attention deficit disorder. Popular medications in this class include adderall, ritalin, and concerta. Unfortunately, these medicines are also widely abused and often illegally sold by patients thus forcing treatment providers to reconsider the use of these medications in their programs.

Positively, there are several medications which can help ADD and which have a low abuse potential. Some psychotropic medications can also be used off label to help reduce attention deficit problems. Off label means the drug was not designed specifically to treat a symptom, but has been found to have a beneficial effect on reducing that symptom.

In the end, methadone programs must employ the safest protocols to insure that clients receive treatment that genuinely helps them and will not place them at risk. There are instances in which benzodiazepines and stimulant therapies are appropriate and in the best interest of the client. However, medical and clinical staff must utilize a careful sense of discretion and evaluate the merits of a particular high risk medication against its potential for harm.

Clients can help this process by being open, honest, and direct with their treatment staff. Clients should report to management any person who is known to sell prescription medications to other clients. While this type of behavior typically occurs among a minority, it can have an extremely negative impact on other clients and the clinic itself.

Choosing To Face Reality

woman-12To be curious is a basic part of human nature. We live each day naturally drawn to things which interest us, which feel good physically or emotionally, or which might incite some curious inclination down inside of us. It is literally wired into the human DNA to be inquisitive and to seek new experiences.

We live in an information age in which most anything one wants to know is available via the internet. We know that drugs are dangerous. Yet, we naturally assume substance problems are something that happens to someone else. We know that addiction is real and can wreck one’s life, but we look past the potential danger and conclude that these risks don’t really apply to us at this time, or in this particular situation.

There is an old saying in recovery circles that no addict started out with the intention to become addicted. This is, of course, true. No one starts out intending to become an addict. So what is it that we tell ourselves when we face the potential dangers of addiction? Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Well, just this one time. One time won’t hurt.
  • I’ll stop before things get out of control.
  • Well, she did it and she doesn’t have a problem.
  • I don’t have to have it. It’s just something I like doing from time to time.
  • I’ve had a terrible day. I deserve a break. It’s not like I’m addicted!

Addiction is a complex problem. Drug use alters brain chemistry. For some people, these neurological changes are rapid and dramatic leaving the individual with an addiction that builds quickly before they are even aware of it. And denial keeps people from facing the truth even longer.

The door to addiction is often wide open and one only needs to take a small step to pass through to that other side where addiction becomes a harsh reality. Facing the truth is always the first step. No one gets well until they admit they are sick. The journey of recovery does not begin until a first step is taken.

If you have an ongoing opioid addiction and have honestly tried to get well, then medication-assisted treatment may be the next step that you take. Addiction progresses. Inevitably, addiction will make your life worse if left untreated. This downhill slide only stops when you make the decision to get into treatment or obtain effective help through some other proven means.

The message is this: Choose to face your own reality! Whatever it is, it can likely be changed. It can likely be improved. But it can only happen with your cooperation and your good intentions. Move in the direction of a solution. Commit yourself to getting help.

Time Limits on Methadone Programs

methadone-servicesThere is growing interest from a number of entities in regard to America’s opioid addiction problem, methadone treatment, suboxone treatment, and the always important funding considerations that accompany these subjects.

This interest is coming from hospitals & the larger medical establishment across the country, your local community, the Federal government’s Medicaid services division, your State’s Division of Health and Human Services who allocate state dollars for opioid treatment, private insurance companies, employers, and the list goes on and on.

The nationwide costs and consequences of addiction are enormous. The cost of treating addiction is also very large. However, research has proven repeatedly that addiction treatment produces undeniable cost benefits. In other words, treating addiction saves money in the long run by helping addicted individuals arrest their disease and become functional again. For many of the entities listed above, it’s all about the dollars. And more specifically, saving dollars when it comes to treating addiction.

The U.S. economy has been hit hard and we have a growing number of people depending on entitlements and public assistance. This, of course, creates a scenario in which more and more people are relying on a “government pie” whose slices keep getting cut smaller and smaller. The recent reductions in funding for public addiction programs have caused some agencies to close their doors … while other agencies simply had to cut back on the services they are able to offer their addicted clients.

An important consideration, which may become a hot topic soon, is how much counseling a methadone or suboxone patient can receive. Or, how long he or she can remain on their opioid replacement medication before public assistance funding begins to stop. Medicaid and State dollars presently help to fund the treatment for many opioid addicted clients in programs. There are currently more people in need of opioid treatment than there are funds available to pay for that treatment. So inevitably, patients may find themselves needing to help pay for their treatment.

I would not like to see patients be pressured to taper off of methadone before they are ready. Experience has shown us that gradual tapering, initiated & paced by the client, is the most successful means of coming off of methadone or suboxone successfully. Government public assistance is becoming more like private “Managed Care Organizations” with every passing day. As this paradigm continues to evolve, we may possibly see time limits of some sort imposed on methadone & suboxone maintenance clients. Some may view this as reasonable and necessary since such limits and caps are already applied to recipients of other health care services.

If time limits are ever applied to one’s length of time on methadone or suboxone, we will likely see clients increasingly picking up the funding for their opioid treatment. This happens everyday around the country in private, self-pay methadone clinics. In the end, we know that opioid replacement therapy works. It’s been proven! The availability of Medicaid and State funding is a great benefit to many people across the country. How this might change in the years ahead will bear close observation.