Choosing a Methadone Treatment Program for Yourself or a Loved One

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Calendar icon Last Updated: 09/16/2021

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When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction treatment, you want the best. And that’s why you shouldn’t choose just any methadone treatment program, whether it’s for you or a loved one.

In the US, methadone treatment programs are federally regulated and must meet certain standards. Yet, that doesn’t mean that all clinics and methadone maintenance programs are created equal. They’re not. If you’re in need of drug or alcohol addiction treatment, it’s time to get help.

When you’re choosing a methadone treatment program, here are the things you need to consider.

Who Are the Counselors?

Choosing a Methadone Treatment Program

Do your research to make sure you get the best treatment possible!

An integral part of any methadone treatment program is the treatment aspect, so who the counselors at the facility are can be a determining factor when picking a program.

Ask about the education and training of the staff. Must they hold certain certifications? Licenses?

Are they counselors with bachelors degrees, or psychologists and therapists with years of experience?

The patient to counselor ratio may also influence your decision, as the more patients a counselor has on his or her caseload, the less time each individual patient gets.

Who Are the Doctors?

Each methadone maintenance program has to have at least one medical doctor on staff. They’re who writes the prescription for the methadone and monitors the treatment progress. But who is this doctor? Is the methadone clinic the doctor’s only commitment, or does he or she also have a private practice or do rounds at a local hospital?

To gain the best chance of treatment success, you need to feel that you can be open and honest with each member of your treatment team, and the doctor is part of that team.

What’s the Environment?

Methadone treatment programs tend to get a bad reputation, and although it’s undeserved, one of the reasons for the biases is that there are people in every single clinic that are not committed to making change and living a life in recovery. These people continue to use and sometimes bring trouble to the clinics. While this may not impact the quality of treatment you or your loved one receives, it may cause complications.

When there are people around talking about drug use and others know that they’re still using, it easily becomes a relapse trigger. Or you may convince yourself you can have it both ways, continue on methadone, and still use on the side. Instead of taking that risk, find a methadone clinic with a good reputation in a decent area of town.

Are You Ready for Help?

If you’re ready to get clean and think a methadone treatment program is right for you, act now. If you don’t know of any clinics in your area, talk to your family doctor about a referral. You can also call your insurance company to see what providers are in your area. Most communities also have a drug and alcohol referral agency, so look in the yellow pages to see what’s available.