Methadone Treatment Across America

methadoneclient4A 2008 study, funded through SAMHSA, examined the characteristics of 1,056 Opioid Treatment Programs across the United States. At that time, there were 270,881 opioid treatment clients enrolled in an OTP clinic and receiving either methadone or buprenorphine for maintenance therapy.

Of the 270,881 OTP clients, 98.5% were receiving methadone with the remainder receiving buprenorphine. The study also looked at payment methods used for services in the various OTP clinics and found that self-payment, private insurance, and Medicaid were the three most prevalent forms of payment.

Approximately 33% to 53% of Opioid Treatment Clinics had contracts with LME's (Local Management Entities that use state funds to subsidize treatment). Clinics which offered mixed substance abuse & mental health services were more apt to receive LME state funding support for low income clients.

In closing, an updated 2009 SAMHSA study estimated there were 399,000 individuals in the U.S. who were dependent on or abused heroin, and 1,900,000 persons who were dependent on or abused prescription pain medication. With over 2 million Americans "at risk" and suffering with an opioid problem, methadone treatment programs are providing a valuable intervention on both a personal and societal level.