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Methadone is a medication, that according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is “approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT), as well as for pain management.”

Medication-assisted treatment is the use of medication in conjunction with various behavioral therapies to make up a treatment plan for substance abuse and/ or addiction. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classifies methadone as a Schedule II controlled substance, which is denoted as substances that have a high potential for abuse, “with use potentially leading to severe psychological or physical dependence.” Hence, the use of methadone as treatment for opioid use disorder is only done under the direct supervision of a medical professional and is generally only available as a form of treatment in certified opioid treatment programs and methadone maintenance clinics.

Tips

It is important to note that by law, methadone can only be dispensed through an opioid treatment program (OTP) certified by SAMHSA. While there are many options available, finding a methadone clinic can be challenging. Consider the following tips:

    • Speak to your PCP (primary care provider): many PCPs will be able to provide a list of reputable methadone clinics available. 
  • Search the Internet: many certified opioid treatment programs have an online presence, such as Methadone.us.
  • Location, location, location: narrow down your options by excluding methadone clinics that are geographically infeasible. 
  • Aftercare services and accessibility: the duration of one’s methadone treatment will vary from person to person. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse publication Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide – 2012, the length of methadone treatment should be a minimum of 12 months. In some situations, it is possible for the prescribing medical professional to allow his or her patient to take methadone doses between visits, but only after the physician deems the individual is stable with his or her methadone treatment.

Reputable methadone treatment programs provide their participants with customized treatment plans. Depending on one’s needs, these treatment plans may include methadone as well as various psychotherapeutic treatment modalities, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychodynamic psychotherapy, interpersonal therapy (IPT), mindfulness-based therapy, expressive arts therapies, and more. Methadone clinics are often sought after because in most cases integrating a combination of both psychotherapy and medication into one’s treatment plan for opioid use disorder yields the most successful long-term results.

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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