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How do I Choose the Best Methadone Program?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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In choosing the best methadone program for yourself or a loved one, it is important to consider whether the program has appropriate accreditation, approval, or licensure in the jurisdiction where it operates. The program should also offer good counseling and be open at hours convenient for the methadone patient. Cost is also a factor, with publicly funded clinics often costing the least, though they may not be as accessible as more expensive private methadone program clinics.

Methadone is a drug used both as a painkiller and as a therapy for opiate drug addicts. Dosing with methadone can help addicts avoid symptoms of withdrawal as they begin the process of recovering from their addiction. To facilitate their withdrawal from powerful drugs, many addicts take advantage of a methadone program that dispenses methadone to them on a daily basis in a supervised setting. As methadone itself can be addictive, it is typically dispensed as an addiction treatment in clinics. Clients must visit the clinic in order to receive methadone treatment, although in some cases clients who have demonstrated a history of responsible behavior may be permitted to take a supply of methadone home in order to dose themselves and avoid clinic visits.

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Many major cities host at least one methadone program, and usually there are several different clinics to choose from. Initially, you or your loved one must receive your daily dose of methadone at the clinic, so it is a good idea to find a methadone program that is close to where you live or work. Fortunately, many methadone treatment programs are located near public transportation stops. In some places, a methadone program must offer counseling in order to provide methadone maintenance treatment. You should find out how this counseling is provided and whether the counseling is any good, though if you are already receiving counseling from another source, quality of counseling available at a methadone program may not be as important to you.

Try to get referrals to a methadone program from your doctor, counselor, or individuals in an addiction treatment group. These people may be able to tell you whether a program is of high quality and whether they treat their clients with respect and dignity. You should also call ahead and find out the cost of participating in a particular methadone program. If cost is a factor, it is extremely important that you find a program that you can afford and stick with over time.

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