Methadone Clinic

Opiate addicts who seek addiction treatment at methadone clinics typically have a long history of opioid addiction and primarily heroin addiction. The irony is that methadone is a full agonist opioid. That means it’s an addictive opioid drug the same as any other opioid drug. However, because there is no injection involved, methadone lowers the risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.

Being a patient at a methadone clinic is unlike being a patient at any other type of medical center. Methadone patients not only feel the shame of opioid addiction but also the stigma of being a methadone patient. Many in society consider methadone clinics modern day leper colonies.

Consider the following. A patient goes to the methadone clinic at 5 a.m. because hours of operation are often between 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. He or she receives a single dose of methadone from behind bulletproof glass. For the most part, patients are not trusted to manage even a days worth of medication, i.e. the clinics manage it for them.

What message does that send?

The shame that weighs upon the psyche of a methadone patient is reinforced by the treatment he or she receives at the clinic. Methadone clinic policies and procedures are often harmful to the patient’s self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence. Patients are easily manipulated by the fear of having methadone treatment withheld. To make matters worse, patients are rarely in any position to complain.