Treatment Services

HCRC provides integrated medical and counseling approaches grounded in an individualized recovery-oriented philosophy that treats addiction as a bio-psychosocial disease. These services include pharmacological treatment with methadone and other medications in combination with individual, group and family counseling. Treatment is individualized and driven by objective goals. HIV/AIDS screening, education, and counseling services are provided for all patient/consumers. Patient/consumers are encouraged to participate in self-help programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, and the program utilizes self-help principles in treatment. The philosophy of care recognizes addiction as a primary disease, emphasizes the need for compassion, and encourages a drug-free lifestyle.


Current FDA approved medications for opioid use disorder include buprenorphine (Suboxone, which may have other brand or generic names), methadone and naltrexone, which can be taken by mouth or by a Vivitrol injection. Buprenorphine is a long-acting partial opioid agonist that acts on the receptor targets in the brain where opiates such as heroin and morphine attach and prevents cravings and withdrawal. An agonist is a substance that acts like another substance and therefore stimulates the same action on your receptor site in the brain. Methadone is a long-acting full opioid agonist that also acts on these receptor targets to prevent cravings and withdrawal. With therapeutic doses, both buprenorphine and methadone can block the "high" associated with opioid use. Naltrexone is an opiate antagonist that blocks cravings and the "high" or pleasurable effects of opioids and alcohol. For people who are not addicted to or dependent on opioids, the effects of partial (buprenorphine) and full (methadone) agonists are indistinguishable. However, at a certain point, the increasing effects of partial agonists reach maximum levels. For this reason, people who are dependent on high doses of opioids are better suited to treatment with a full agonist, such as methadone (AT Forum, 2/12/2013). Methadone is offered at all HCRC locations, with several locations also providing access to buprenorphine.

Medication Information

The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the National Institute for Drug Addiction (NIDA) have funded numerous studies on the disease of opioid addiction and the use of methadone for treatment over the past 50 years. Brain imaging, utilizing advanced technologies has mapped the biochemical and structural changes of the brain incurred by individuals as a result of dependency/addiction to the narcotic class of drugs referred to as opiates: these include heroin, morphine, codeine, Percocet, and others.
These changes in the brain are the reason the American Medical Association recognizes opioid addiction as a chronic brain disease, not simply a behavioral problem that people can merely choose to stop. Opioid addiction results in cravings to use opiates and symptoms of narcotic withdrawal that may include increased blood pressure and temperature, rapid heart rate, body aches, chills, fever, hot and cold flashes, tremors, headache, vomiting, abdominal cramping, weakness, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping. The lives of individuals addicted to opioids become focused on obtaining and using drugs to manage the cravings and to avoid the withdrawal symptoms, often to the exclusion of most other parts of their lives.

Medication assisted treatments are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in the treatment of opioid addiction. Counseling and education, provided alongside these medication treatment plans, allow patients the opportunity to address the impact that addiction has had on their physical, emotional, and social conditions. Patients are able to work toward positive, productive, drug-free lifestyles. Throughout the world, methadone-maintenance patients have been restored to productive lives; relations with families and children have been reestablished; many have furthered their educations, obtained employment, and improved their physical and mental health. The more than five decades of research confirm that methadone maintenance is currently the best available and most cost-effective treatment modality for opioid addiction. According to the World Health Organization, opioid agonist maintenance treatment is an effective treatment for opioid dependence since it results in better outcomes than repeated attempts at detoxification without maintenance.
Outpatient medication assisted treatment and counseling are less costly and less confining than inpatient treatment of the medical and psychiatric conditions caused by active addiction. Treatment is also less costly than incarceration of individuals who suffer from this disease. The need for medication assisted treatment is growing as the nation sees an increased use of both heroin and prescription narcotics, which has resulted in the national opioid epidemic.

Furthermore, research demonstrates that medication-assisted treatment:

Consider the following trends:

These alarming realities have resulted in a need for increased prevention and treatment services to respond to the challenging public health problems of narcotic addiction.

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