Category Archives: Methadone Treatment

Methadone Treatment and Recovery

methadone-recovery-2Recovery is for everyone and anyone with a genuine desire for change. Treatment in a methadone program offers the potential for change, and a new path which can lead to a much improved life.

In the field of addiction recovery, there are a multitude of methadone treatment programs all across the country. These programs vary considerably one to another, and this is a result of treatment philosophy, staff experience & qualifications, funding availability, and the underlying structure and operation of the methadone clinic itself.

Some methadone treatment programs are for profit and some are non-profit. Both can deliver high standards of client care and ethical treatment of their clients. "Good" treatment programs are generally identified as being so by their own clients. Conversely, if a particular methadone program is "not so good", their clients will recognize it immediately and the word will get out very quickly.

What makes a "good" methadone program? From most clients' perspectives, it is these things:

  • checking-in and receiving their medication in a timely fashion
  • being shown courtesy and respect by staff
  • feeling like the clinic is staffed by sincere, committed professionals
  • being treated as an individual instead of a number
  • paying reasonable fees for the service provided
  • rules, regulations, and expectations are clear and are enforced fairly
  • being heard & supported … when there is a problem

What is a "well run program" from a clinic perspective? These are important …

  • has clear policies and operating procedures
  • staff are professional, accountable, and self-motivated
  • there is a culture of respect & consideration shown for all staff and clients
  • costs & expenditures are carefully tracked and managed
  • the program of treatment is designed and delivered with integrity
  • documentation of services is consistently completed in accordance with standards
  • services are funded on a consistent basis (otherwise, the clinic will close)

Methadone treatment, and opioid addiction recovery, are not radically different from other substance abuse treatment programs or models of change. The underlying addictive disorder is fundamentally very similar. What separates opioid addiction from some other addictions is the overwhelming physical dependency that can develop with opioids and the associated withdrawal syndrome.

The cognitive-behavioral changes, and eventual psychological growth, that occur in opioid addiction recovery are exactly the same as in any other addiction recovery path. The essential difference is the utilization of opioid replacement medication to thwart the terrible physical withdrawal symptoms that derail recovery year after year. Methadone and suboxone, when used properly, are highly effective in helping addicted persons move forward with their personal recovery. Methadone treatment … and recovery! They go hand-in-hand, and are not mutually exclusive.

When Methadone Clients Get Stuck

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Clients across the country in methadone clinics and suboxone treatment programs are required to receive counseling while taking methadone or suboxone medication. Opioid replacement therapy specifically treats the painful opiate withdrawal, but counseling addresses the thinking, behaviors, and lifestyle that fed the addiction or that made individuals more vulnerable to developing addiction-related problems.

While in early recovery from opioid addiction, individuals begin to look at themselves and their lives through the process of counseling. It is during this time that clients face the truth about themselves and the effects that their addiction may have had on family and friends, finances, personal reputation, employment, and a host of other real world considerations.

It is easy to understand how some people can feel overwhelmed as they take their first sober look at the consequences of their recent addiction-based lives. However, change does occur … and change is a choice. A very personal and deliberate choice.

Many addicted individuals come to understand that one must face recovery one step at a time. No matter how much one wants to erase or repair past damage, there is only so much that he or she can do on any given day to start anew. What is required in this early phase of recovery is the simple desire to stay drug free and to try and make better decisions one-by-one with each new day. This sounds simplistic, but is a profound & powerful personal philosophy that leads the recovering person down a road to success. ACTION is a must. Action … is not optional.

Many suffering addicts are tired from fighting their addiction, but they also have an innate desire to move forward and to address their addiction problem. So many people become stuck in an active opioid addiction, spinning round and round, sometimes for years. They wonder if things will ever change. As the addiction becomes a familiar foe, addicts grow weary of the fight and settle for feeding the monster just to get through the day.

If you are opioid addicted, you do not have to be "stuck" in this addiction. You do not have to settle for a life of perpetual worry. It is important that you take action. You must take action. You must not wait for someone to come along and drop a miracle at your doorstep. Get into treatment immediately. Connect yourself with an addiction counseling center or detox or inpatient rehab. There is hope there. There are answers. There is support. There is real recovery going on everyday all over this country, and it is happening to people just like you. Believe that … because it is true! There are recovering people who have made the journey. There are treatment professionals with decades of experience. They have a clear road map and can offer you a new direction.

You can become unstuck! Methadone or suboxone treatment may be a part of the new solution for you. Or perhaps a medically supervised detox where they ease your withdrawal symptoms using safe medications. And you then follow that up with admission to an intensive outpatient counseling program (IOP) to learn the new coping tools you'll need in order to avoid relapse.

Maybe your first step is to go to a 12 Step meeting and ask for help, or a friend, or a pastor, or walk into the local mental health clinic and ask for a referral. Being "stuck" is a result of inaction, or taking the wrong action over and over. If you're serious about a new life and finally facing this opioid addiction, take the right action for yourself. So much is possible. You can do this. It can be done.

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.

Joining the Methadone.US Online Database

methadone-graphicGreetings and happy 2013 to our site’s visitors, U.S. methadone clinics, suboxone physicians, and addiction treatment providers across the country! Methadone.US was successfully launched in 2011 and quickly developed surprising traffic to our website as many hundreds of individuals searched online daily for local opioid treatment services and discovered Methadone.US.

Our goal was to humanize opioid addiction treatment and to help educate the public on the value of methadone and suboxone, and to further legitimize opioid replacement therapy. This goal is being achieved every day as evidenced by our hundreds of thousands of visitors, numerous emailed comments & stories, and people taking our online opioid addiction assessment.

Methadone.US features individual pages for cities across the United States, and we are now providing a showcase featured spot at the top of every city page for local methadone clinics & suboxone doctors to list their services. If you are a treatment professional looking to reach and serve clients, then feel free to join Methadone.US and have your clinic or practice clearly profiled at the top of your city page. As an example, you can view two of our new additions here: Matrix Center in Wichita, KS and American Treatment Center in Newport News, VA.

Opioid addiction treatment is going mainstream. This is a good thing because it simply helps those suffering with addiction find the help that they need, and to begin the process of recapturing their quality of life. As Methadone.US enters its third year, we would like to thank all those who believe that addiction recovery is possible, and that methadone & suboxone are beneficial tools in that process.

Many people in our society, from all walks of life, are struggling today with a debilitating opioid addiction. They deserve help. They are ready for change and they need only to connect locally with good treatment services. Fortunately, the internet is making that connection more possible with every passing day. Thank you for visiting, and for supporting, Methadone.US in reaching that worthwhile goal.

Suboxone Doctors

suboxone-doctorsMethadone.US has successfully educated and enlightened many thousands of online visitors over the last two years. Our goal has been to demystify & destigmatize opioid replacement therapy, and to highlight how methadone, suboxone, and other treatment interventions can give patients a new lease on life.

It is important to emphasize that methadone and suboxone are medically-approved treatments in wide use across the United States and the world. In the US, these medications are prescribed and administered under the supervision of a physician. A physician is at the core of every methadone clinic, and it is the physician who is authorized to prescribe suboxone for opioid addicted patients needing relief and hope.

On our city pages, Methadone.US lists local physicians who are certified to write prescriptions for buprenorphine (suboxone). Our lists are drawn from the United States government database at SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). Our city pages are fairly extensive and cover most of the continental United States. However, suboxone and methadone treatment have become so popular that even smaller towns now often have medical professionals providing some form of opioid addiction treatment.

Suboxone doctors and opioid treatment specialists are very much needed in response to the country’s growing opioid addiction problem. Suboxone doctors are in a unique position to not only offer much desired relief from opioid withdrawal, but they can also promote with patients the importance of committing themselves to a process of counseling, recovery, and long-term behavior change such that ongoing drug abstinence becomes possible.

Many suboxone-certified physicians are also board certified addictionologists. This means that they have received special training in identifying & treating addiction disorders of all varieties.

If living in the New York metropolitan area, you can obtain more information about local suboxone doctors at: NewYorkSuboxone.com

For those in the Los Angeles metro area, visit: LosAngelesSuboxone.com