Can I Bring Maintenance Medication to My Heroin Rehab Center?

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Calendar icon Last Updated: 06/25/2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whether or not you can bring medication to a heroin rehab center depends strongly on the facility itself, its rules for the items patients are allowed to have, and what type of program it actually is.

I Want to Bring a Maintenance Medication to Rehab: What’s Wrong With That?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Scientific research has established that pharmacological treatment of opioid addiction increases retention in treatment programs and decreases drug use, infectious disease transmission, and criminal activity.” Therefore, if you have begun your recovery from heroin abuse, you likely are or will want to be on some sort of medication.

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Methadone and buprenorphine usually work best for individuals addicted to heroin, and these are the two most popular maintenance drugs available for treating this disorder. If you are on one now, you may be wondering why you can’t just get a large supply of your medication and bring it to your rehab program with you. Unfortunately, there are some issues with this scenario.

  • It is not permitted for patients to bring drugs into a rehab center without the express permission of their doctor and the program itself.
    • This is because it is important that individuals are not bringing drugs into the facility without the staff’s knowledge, as these drugs could be abused, especially if they are maintenance drugs.
    • Buprenorphine and methadone can both create a high when taken in larger doses (buprenorphine’s effects often being milder, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), and this is why heroin rehab centers must be very careful about what they allow into their facilities.
  • A rehab center could offer its own maintenance medication program, causing it to be unnecessary to allow patients to bring drugs to the facility. This is something you should research and discuss with the staff before you choose a specific program.
  • Certain maintenance drugs cannot be taken anywhere but specific facilities. Methadone, for instance, must be distributed by a methadone maintenance center that has received special permission from the government to dispense this particular drug (National Institute on Justice). As such, you may not be allowed to receive large amounts of methadone or take it to certain places.

How Can I Find Out if I Can Bring a Medication to Heroin Rehab?

Rehabilitation is a very personal process; every individual needs to have their own program that works for them within the larger frame of specific heroin rehab centers.

Therefore, if you need to be able to bring a medication to your rehab facility, it may be possible, and it will likely be an important part of your decision-making process when choosing the best program for your needs. However, it is important to consider your entire rehab process as well as what a facility can offer you before choosing the best one for your recovery.

For example, you may find an inpatient heroin rehab facility that will allow you to make frequent, supervised trips to a methadone clinic. Another type of program may offer methadone or buprenorphine treatment as part of their overall rehab program.

If this can help you and allow you to receive the medication you need while still attending rehab, it could be easier and safer than bringing the drugs themselves with you. Still, you may need to do so for one reason or another, and you may also be able to find one of the many heroin rehab centers that will allow you to do so.

Rehab centers are not all alike, and many of them have their own rules and regulations. For the most part, they will be likely to work with you in order to provide you with a program that fits your needs, and if you cannot find this sort of compromise in one facility, chances are you will find it in another.