Is Methadone Dispensed By Doctors?
Methadone is a medication that can only legally be obtained through a doctor’s prescription. Sometimes, the drug is prescribed to treat pain, but it is most often used as treatment for opioid addiction through methadone clinics. These highly regulated centers provide the medication to patients daily, which is prescribed and dispensed by doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.
How is Methadone Dispensed?
According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, “Methadone is dispensed primarily in oral forms, including tablets, powder, and liquid for the treatment of narcotics addiction.” Because the drug itself can also be habit-forming, it can only be dispensed by doctors at a registered clinic. Usually, the patient who begins their methadone regimen will need to be given certain tests and exams first as well as asked about their previous drug abuse history and their needs concerning treatment.
Once this is done, the individual can be treated daily and continue visiting the clinic for as long as they and the doctor both agree it is necessary. Sometimes, the individual may also be asked to take a drug test to ensure they are avoiding the abuse of narcotics while on the medication.
Why is It Necessary for a Doctor to Dispense Methadone?
Methadone is a prescription medication. Unlike drugs you can buy easily at a convenience or retail store, you will require a doctor’s permission to begin a methadone treatment regimen. However, doctors do not prescribe the drug to be filled in a pharmacy for those who are attending methadone maintenance because, in most cases, these individuals are not ready to administer the correct dosage themselves. Cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and the temptation of relapse can make it hard for them to do so, which is why doctors dispense methadone at the facility.
In some cases, a registered nurse may actually administer the medication, but you will be able to discuss your treatment needs with them and with your doctor who will ultimately decide your dosage amount and your treatment length. Essentially, no one should administer or dispense the medication to you unless they are trained to do so, and in a methadone clinic, only trained medical professionals will perform these tasks.
How Else Will My Physician Be Involved in My Methadone Maintenance Treatment?
Doctors don’t just dispense the drug at the facility. They will also be an essential part of your recovery, discussing your needs with you and helping you determine when it will be best to move to a different phase of your recovery. Your doctor can also recommend you to other facilities or programs in the area that can help with employment, housing, education, medical treatment, or other necessities their particular clinic may not be able to provide.
Professional Care at Your Methadone Clinic
Methadone clinics are operated by doctors, nurses, counselors, and other professionals who are licensed to treat your opioid addiction. If you have more questions about the regulations or the essential staff of a clinic, or if you would like to find a treatment center in your area, call 800-891-9360.