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Methadone Treatment

Our clinicians use methadone to treat individuals struggling with opioid addiction. It targets addictions to prescription pain medications and illicit drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. As the gold standard of care, methadone has over 50 years of positive results. Evidence shows that methadone works best when combined with counseling and personalized care. At Health Care Resource Centers (HCRC), our methadone treatment provides a well-rounded approach to recovery. We address the physical symptoms of opioid use disorders as well as the unique causes and consequences of addiction for each patient we serve.

Methadone success rates range from 60 to 90 percent, with outcomes improving the longer a patient remains in treatment. Compared to the reported 5 to 10 percent long-term success rate for abstinence-based, non-medical treatments, methadone’s value becomes clear.

- The Fix: 7 Things You Need to Know About Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone?

Methadone is a long-acting, full opioid agonist medication often used for the management of opioid use disorder. When used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), it complements counseling and behavioral therapies. It fully activates the same mu-opioid receptors in the brain that are activated by other opioids. In other words, it triggers the same part of the brain that opioids do without the harmful effects.

As a result, methadone reduces withdrawal and cravings so that a patient can stop using illicit opioids. It can also help restore chemical balance to the brain which allows patients to feel “normal” again and focus on their recovery. In combination with counseling, it becomes a powerful tool in recovery. Methadone maintenance programs aim to train the patient’s brain to function as it did before addiction.

A single daily dose of methadone taken by mouth can prevent withdrawal and cravings for 24-36 hours. When someone receives methadone treatment, a trained medical professional supervises their dosage amounts. A therapeutic, stabilizing methadone dose is different for each patient and is determined by many factors. The duration of time that each patient remains on methadone treatment is also individually determined. The clinician bases treatment on discussions with the patient and the treatment team.

Advantages of Methadone Maintenance Programs:

MAT with methadone involves daily visits to the treatment program in initial program stages. This provides much-needed structure for individuals early in recovery.
Methadone fully activates the mu-opioid receptors in the brain with no "ceiling" effect. This quality makes it effective for managing withdrawal even in patients with very high tolerances.
Federal and state laws let patients earn take-home medication by following state and federal guidelines. This change means less frequent trips to the program as patients progress in treatment.
Methadone is approved for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It acts as a safer option for mothers who wish to participate in a treatment program.
Methadone can block other opioids' effects. As a result, it discourages patients from using illicit opioids while in treatment.
Methadone is safe for long-term use when taken as directed by a doctor.

Accreditation

Health Care Resource Centers have certifications from:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • State health services departments
  • The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)

What to Expect During Methadone Maintenance Treatment

HCRC accepts patients over 18 who misuse opioids as their drug of choice. Here is what you can expect when beginning opioid addiction treatment:

  • Complete intake appointments: Patients at HCRC have two admissions appointments. One features the clinical intake, while the other involves the medical intake. A doctor will conduct a drug screen and a physical exam, and one of our intake counselors will talk to you about your drug and social histories. If necessary, our team can also refer patients to medical providers or other resources as needed.
  • Set treatment goals: We understand that not every recovery journey is the same during methadone maintenance treatment. A counselor will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan.
  • Receive educational and medical resources: The program staff will teach you about the treatment process and help you learn coping skills. We give every patient access to a physician and nurse practitioner who can address your medical concerns.
  • Pursue treatment in a respectful environment: HCRC provides a judgment-free environment where patients can feel comfortable. We believe that every individual who commits themselves to recovery deserves our respect for having the courage to take the difficult first step of asking for help.

We charge a daily medication fee that your insurance provider may cover. Methadone is an affordable option compared to other treatments. If you don’t have coverage, you could be eligible for payment grants and programs.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT programs such as methadone maintenance programs help patients by:

  • Addressing both the physical addiction and underlying mental and emotional health causes
  • Providing a safe environment that reduces the risks associated with using illicit opioids
  • Reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings in the absence of illicit opioids
  • Reintegrating the patient into their support systems
  • Providing coping strategies and tools

By law, only licensed Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) may dispense methadone. SAMHSA grants OTP licenses to programs that follow federal guidelines. For more information about methadone treatment, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

New England Methadone Clinics in the HCRC Network

Health Care Resource Centers serve patients in the New England area. We have more than 16 locations in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Our patients benefit from:

  • 25 years of experience providing outpatient medication-assisted treatment
  • Top-quality, evidence-based approaches to MAT
  • Our commitment to improving every patient’s quality of life while promoting dignity and respect
  • Individualized and comprehensive treatment plans centered on comprehensive approaches

We also educate our surrounding communities about opioid use disorders. To learn more about our services and values, contact us today using the form below.

Treatment Locations

LEGEND

  • HCRC
  • BAARTAffiliate Location
  • MedMarkAffiliate Location

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