Who is Most Likely to Visit a Methadone Clinic?
If you are considering medication-assisted treatment using methadone, you know that you will receive your doses at a clinic. Unfortunately, the methadone clinic has an unsavory reputation. People imagine shuffling groups of junkies and homeless users. You might be somewhat nervous about receiving your dose if you find these sorts of people off putting.
It is natural to wonder about the targeted group at a methadone clinic. Who visits them. The reality is that visitors to methadone clinics vary. Methadone users, like opioid users, are a diverse bunch and you can expect to see a variety of people at the clinic. The core truth is that the people most likely to be at a clinic are people who are committed to ending their use of opioids and those people come from all over.
The following discussion will address methadone treatment and try to show who is most likely to visit a clinic. You will grow to understand why they have such a varied client base.
What Is a Methadone Clinic?
Given the stigma against drug users, particularly heroin users, it is no wonder that these locations of treatment are shrouded in mystery. Our culture rarely discusses drug use openly, and often when it happens the discussion is biased and uninformed. These attitudes contribute to the idea that methadone clinics and their clients are seedy and distasteful.
However, methadone clinics aren’t all that complicated and they certainly aren’t dangerous. In fact, going to a methadone clinic saves people’s lives.
There are two types of methadone clinic: private and public. Public clinics provide services at a lower cost and this makes them a very popular option. Because of this, they often have waiting lists. Private clinics lack waiting lists, cost a bit more, and typically have a more luxurious atmosphere. Private, for-profit organizations operate 33 percent of all substance abuse treatment facilities, and they operate 55 percent of all opioid treatment programs.
If you have insurance or a sizable amount of money to put toward treatment, you may feel more comfortable in a private facility, but you will be adequately treated in a public one should that be your choice.
It’s important to let go of the idea that the clinic will be depressing and unwelcoming. These treatment centers are state and federally regulated; they are obligated to uphold high standards of service and cleanliness.
Why Do People Visit a Methadone Clinic?
Obviously, the most common reason for visiting a clinic is to gain access to methadone as a treatment for addiction to heroin or narcotic pain relievers. People who are receiving methadone treatment go to the clinic in order to get their dose of the medication as part of an ongoing addiction treatment program.
But, methadone maintenance treatment is more than just dispensing methadone. There is also a counseling component. Visitors to the clinic may be there to work on relapse prevention, learn to deal with stress, and/or rebuild interpersonal relationships. They may be attending group sessions, family sessions, or working one-on-one with a counselor. The format being used will vary from client to client, as each person has an individualized treatment plan.
Other people may be at the clinic to learn about the program and to attend an intake session. These people will have their medical, psychological, and social situations examined closely, so that the treatment plan addresses all of their issues.
There may also be family and friends who attend sessions with a methadone patient, as well as all of the staff members who have reason to be there.
Who Is Most Likely to Visit a Methadone Clinic?
A report published by the CDC identified the highest rates of heroin use among:
- People age 18-25
- People with an annual household income of less than 20,000 dollars
- People in urban areas
- People without health insurance or with Medicaid
Although that doesn’t necessarily translate to this group having the highest rate of methadone treatment, it does show that this population is likely to be highly represented in the methadone clinic.
But, when it comes down to it, the people most likely to come to the methadone clinic will be people who are working to move past an opioid addiction with the help of methadone. And those people come from all walks of life.
To learn more about the methadone treatment programs in your area, call 800-891-9360(Who Answers?). Don’t put off your recovery. Get started now.