One of the chief hurdles clients face in considering methadone treatment is how convenient it will be to get to the methadone clinic for daily dosing. Metropolitan areas traditionally have a timely bus system and access to taxis, but those in rural areas can often find themselves stuck in the country with no way to get to the clinic.
Family members and close friends often become part of the equation providing a daily ride until a client can earn methadone take home privileges. Some clients have their own car, but the cost of gas can be a detrimental factor. Clients with children and limited income, or with a verifiable disability, may be eligible for Medicaid transportation. Any person can apply for Medicaid benefits through their county Department of Social Services.
Attending a clinic session to dose with methadone is a “medical appointment” and generally covered under approved Medicaid services. At our clinic in North Carolina, a number of clients are brought each day to the clinic by Medicaid transportation in order to participate in their treatment.
Another factor to consider in utilizing a methadone clinic is the clinic’s designated dosing time. Some clinics provide a wide window of time in which you can arrive to be dosed. Other smaller clinics may have more restricted hours of operation. Consequently, a person may have to observe time carefully to make sure they arrive before closing time in order to dose. Many clinics will accommodate a late client if that client has a legitimate reason for arriving late and calls ahead before closing time to inform the clinic nurse of their dilemma. However, it is always best to consult first with clinic staff to learn of their policy on arriving late and late dosing.
Interested in more information on methadone? Try our Q & A methadone information page!
Methadone.US launched in the first quarter of 2011 and has experienced substantial growth over the last 6 weeks. The website, just since February 1, has been visited by internet users in 1205 different cities who were searching for methadone clinics and opioid treatment services in their general vicinity. The extensive reach of the site has been truly remarkable.
The vast majority of Methadone.US visitors are from the United States. This is a natural result of the site’s .US (United States) web address, location & focus. Of the 1205 different locales, ten American cities emerged as especially noteworthy by producing the greatest number of visitors to the Methadone.US website. These top ten cities are listed below, in order:
- New York City
- Los Angeles
With the site having been visited by individuals in hundreds of American cities, it is a safe assumption that people are very interested in learning more about methadone as a potential treatment intervention for their opiate addiction. There are many people in America who have found themselves physically dependent on prescription pain medication. Finding an answer to this dilemma is their chief priority.
The availability of opioid replacement therapy (methadone or suboxone) is improving almost on a daily basis. Science and medicine are continually advancing for the benefit of those who want a healthier life. Fortunately, technology has made it much easier for people to obtain the critical information they need … anywhere and anytime. The internet, and website technology, are at the very center of tomorrow’s information superhighway. The value of bringing important information to millions of people needs no explanation.
Methadone clinic availability seems to follow states with high population numbers or with a substantial population growth curve. The most populated states, in order, are: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Accordingly, these six states also have the highest concentration of methadone clinics although New York has more clinics than Texas, and both Illinois and Pennsylvania provide more clinics than does Florida (even though Florida's population exceeds both states).
On the lower end of methadone clinic availability in the United States are South Dakota (population 819,261), North Dakota (pop. 646,086), and Wyoming (pop. 548,870). None of these states currently have a methadone clinic in operation. One might surmise that their state tax revenue is comparatively lower than most other states. Whether this is a contributing factor to the absence of methadone treatment is an interesting question. Also, might these states have a lower percentage of opioid addiction relative to states with larger metropolitan cities?
Somewhat oddly, Mississippi (the 31st ranked state with nearly 3 million residents) has only one methadone maintenance clinic in the entire state. Alaska (with only 697,228 residents) has two methadone clinics, one in each of its two largest cities: Anchorage and Fairbanks.
A trend has emerged in the past decade in which methadone treatment availability is spreading across America. Many smaller, rural towns now have a local methadone clinic to help those with an opioid addiction. No doubt, more clinics are needed, and will be built. Methadone treatment is like most any other valuable medical service in that it improves quality of life. And this is important … everywhere.
New York City has the highest concentration of methadone clinics and buprenorphine providers in the country. Not only is New York the most populated city in the United States, but it is also one of the most densely populated areas in the world with 8 million people living in an area just over 300 square miles.
With larger populations come larger numbers of people in addiction. Consequently, it stands to reason that New York City would be a leader in providing opioid addiction treatment. There are well over 100 New York methadone clinics and area physicians approved to write prescriptions for suboxone (containing buprenorphine).
At one time, methadone was a treatment of choice primarily used for heroin addiction. However, with the enormous increase in pain pill addiction (Oxycontin, Vicodin, Percocet, etc.), methadone clinics are now accessed by many clients who have never used heroin. Quite a number of individuals report beginning their use of oral opioids as a means of controlling pain. But tolerance & continued use over time developed into a long term opioid dependency.
The emergence of methadone clinics across America is a very positive development. Medication-assisted treatment prevents opioid related deaths, reduces crime, reduces risk of severe health problems, and allows individuals to restart their lives in an unprecedented manner. Not too many years ago, one had to live near a major metropolitan city in order to gain access to methadone treatment. This trend is changing rapidly as America comes to grips with the problem of addiction. Buprenorphine is also part of the answer, and has increased the number of viable options available to those seeking recovery.