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Why is it so HARD to get methadone?

by Julie
(Arkansas)

I'm also looking for answers as to why it's so hard to find a doctor who prescribes methadone for addiction treatment. Apparently if you don't have money, you can't get treatment or see a doc. I live in Arkansas. I've been to one methadone clinic, but didn't like it because they couldn't get my dose right and also they insisted on making me quit smoking marijuana. Rules are rules, they said. Any advice?

I'm a college graduate, not a criminal. I'd like to get my life under control. I have very, very good intentions. I am bipolar and have finally gotten that under control with the right medications. Now I need to get control of my addiction. Any help would be appreciated. I have an appt. with a pain management doc coming up, which scares me because..., I'll just be honest with you, I plan on just telling them I have back problems, which I do, to get the methadone. Otherwise, they won't give it to me. If I say I have addiction problems, they'll never give me anything. Help!!!!!!!

Comments for Why is it so HARD to get methadone?

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Methadone clinics may be stuck in the 60's
by: Debbie Wicker

Dear Julie,

Methadone clinics were established during the 1960's and don't seem to have been updated since then. Many doctors don't want to deal with Methadone because generally the patients have no money and also are still opiate addicted and likely to abuse methadone if they get a chance. Few doctors have the time needed to properly monitor the exact usage of a methadone patient.

How would you administer something that needs to be taken daily in small dosages? It is a difficult problem.

Now that you're getting treatment for your bi-polar disorder you may find you can wean yourself off of all opiates. I would recommend you begin a 12 step program immediately and have your goal be to get totally off of all opiates. Go to 90 meetings in 90 days and you'll be amazed how beneficial it will be for you.

Methadone can be a good long term option for opiate addiction but abstinence from all opiates is a much better choice in the long run.

Many people have recovered from opiate addiction by working a 12 step program. If you're not in some kind of long term recovery program the statistics say that you will have difficulty avoiding relapse and taking to much methadone is often the first step on the path back to addiction.

Hope that answers your question:)

Debbie




Doctors in a private practice cannot prescribe methadone for addiction treatment
by: Anonymous

Julie answered her own question when she talked about having to tell the doctor she has back problems to get a prescription. Methadone for addiction treatment can only be dispensed in the United States in clinics that are inspected by the DEA as well as other state and possibly local agencies.

It is likely that the "rules" issue Julie described may be a state regulation that is geared to have patient's stop all illicit drugs. With the change in marijuana laws that may change. In some states it is not a problem to stay in treatment but can be if a client is wanting to earn or have take home doses.

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