First of all, let’s commend you for making the brave decision to get rid of your opioid dependence. It takes a lot of courage to admit to one’s addictions and even more to seek help.
But having the courage to seek help is one thing; knowing where to find the help is another. If you don’t know how to find the right methadone clinic, you may soon find yourself tumbling down the hill you just surmounted.
Choosing a methadone clinic is a huge decision, and it’ll have a significant impact on the rest of your life. Your choice of methadone clinic will determine how you recover from your addiction.
You’ll be relying on this establishment to help you beat your drug dependence. Therefore, you must know how to choose a methadone clinic that’ll provide you all the necessary support you need.
Because there are many methadone clinics in Toronto, it can be confusing to find the right one. Of course, the main goal of every clinic is to help patients get rid of their addictions. But clinics differ in their approach to methadone treatment.
If you know what to look for, you can sort through the maze and find the right methadone clinic. Keep reading to see what we mean.
What is a Methadone Clinic?
A methadone clinic is a medical facility where patients with addictions to opioids receive medication-assisted treatment. During the treatment, the caregivers administer healthy doses of methadone to the patients to reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone is a medically prescribed drug that helps to decrease opioid cravings and the discomfort associated with opioid withdrawal.
Methadone itself stands as a form of substitute for opioids for patients in the withdrawal stage. The drug works by counteracting the euphoric effects of opioids to prevent the patient from relapsing.
Methadone is also an opioid; however, it’s not strong enough to provide the euphoric effects of other opioids. The comfort methadone offers can be addictive. Methadone dependence often happens when you do not properly monitor the dosage administration. This is why you need to find the right methadone clinic for your treatment, and we’re going to show you how to do that.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Because methadone is also an opiate, many people disapprove of its use in treating opioid addiction. These people also disapprove of methadone clinics and their activities. Therefore, there’s already a stigma on the treatment, which extends to the people undergoing it. It’s important to be aware and prepare yourself ahead in case you come across such influences.
Related Article: Methadone: Uses, Side Effects and Risks
How to Find the Right Methadone Clinic — What to Look for in a Methadone Clinic
Like we implied before, not all methadone clinics are equal. Certain key features highlight these differences between the clinics.
Location and time of treatment
You want to pick a methadone clinic located within Toronto to avoid any inconvenience. However, even while within Toronto, you want to consider a clinic that’s closest to you.
Many methadone programmes don’t feature inpatient treatments. i.e., you’ll have to visit the clinic every day for your treatment. Therefore, you want to avoid clinics that are far from your place.
Methadone clinics also offer different hours, so you want to find the best time that fits your schedule. While considering how to find the right methadone clinic, make a list of clinics close to you. Then, determine the ones offering hours that fit your schedule. Factor these features into your consideration and see which clinic can give you the most benefits.
Cost of treatment
The cost charged by the clinic is as significant as the location of the clinic. It doesn’t matter if the clinic is right next door to your apartment; it makes things difficult if they charge above what you can afford. The good news is, methadone treatments are often affordable; what determines the cost is usually the level of facility available at the clinic.
While looking for the best methadone clinic in Toronto, you need to keep in mind that other factors may influence their cost too. For example, if they offer in-patient treatment, that may result in higher costs.
The good thing is; methadone clinics will allow you to use insurance to cover the cost of your treatment. So, if you have insurance, you have very little to worry about in terms of cost.
The best treatment programmes for opioid addiction are personalized plans tailored to individual patients. While the object of addiction may be the same, addiction is different for each individual.
That’s why you should opt for a personalized treatment strategy for your recovery. In other words, you should put more consideration into methadone clinics that offer individualized treatment plans.
The methadone clinic must customize a treatment plan for you, taking into consideration your circumstances and medical history. While we’re not disregarding clinics that provide one-size-fits-all services, it’s best to have a case manager. They can supervise your care plan and be in charge of its execution.
The competency of their staff
You need to have full confidence in your caregivers to get the most out of your methadone addiction treatment. In other words, trust is an important aspect of your addiction treatment.
The following are some of the characteristics of the best methadone clinics. These are factors that show you can trust your caregivers and entrust your recovery in their hands.
Experienced compassionate staff
The people around you are significant to your recovery. This is because your recovery consists of two main aspects, which we’ll call mind recovery and body recovery. The drugs help to reduce withdrawal symptoms while your body recovers by itself.
However, your mind may not recover without certain external inputs. Qualified and experienced caregivers know how to help your mind recover from the addiction.
Hands-on recovery supervision
Methadone itself can be addictive if you use it without proper supervision. It’s not ideal to recover from opioid addiction and then develop methadone dependence. As such, you need medical personnel who’ll prescribe your doses and monitor their effects.
Accommodating, non-judgmental counsellors
The last thing you want is a therapist who doesn’t understand you and what led to your addiction. You don’t want a counsellor who shows no compassion and makes you feel bad about your choices.
You probably already feel bad enough about yourself, which is why you’re seeking help. Don’t go to a therapist who’ll knowingly or unintentionally aggravate your pains.
Therapy is an important aspect of methadone treatment, and effective communication is a must. Therapy lies in communication, expressing your feelings to someone who advises you on dealing with them. Without effective communication, therapy doesn’t work.,
It can be frustrating when you have to repeat the same information to the caregivers repeatedly. This is what happens when the caregivers don’t or can’t understand you. You also want to avoid situations when you’ll find it difficult to understand the caregivers.
Research the clinics’ accreditation and certifications
Any methadone treatment clinic you’ll choose should have the appropriate accreditation and certification. The Canadian government does not impose any restriction on the provision or administration of methadone. However, it helps when health practitioners have such certifications. Such licenses help to differentiate between qualified counsellors and quacks.
Accreditation also establishes a culture of excellence among the staff and increases the credibility of the clinic. You can also look at the reputation of the company.
Reputable companies have a track record and a reputation to maintain; therefore, they’ll give you the best treatment. You can determine the reputation of a company by asking the following questions.
- For how long has the clinic been in operation?
- Does the clinic have any form of accreditation or certification allowing them to administer methadone treatment?
- What is the capacity of the treatment center and the level of their facilities?
- What’s the minimum academic, experience or equivalent qualification the clinic providers request from their employees?
- Does the clinic have a specific culture or identity which sets them apart from other clinics?
Low patient-to-caregiver count
When considering how to find the right methadone clinic, note the number of patients to each caregiver in prospective facilities. Even the best caregivers can only manage as many patients at a time. When each counsellor has too many patients to attend to, it may be too overwhelming. This makes it difficult for the caregiver to provide the best treatment possible for each patient.
It’s best to look for methadone clinics that don’t accept too many patients at a time. The fewer patients they have, the fewer people their counsellors will have to attend to per time. Then you can be certain you’ll get a good deal of attention and support during your treatment there.
The kind of treatment the clinic provides
While the goal is the same and the method may be similar, the treatment approach and philosophy of methadone clinics differ. Some clinics offer outpatient treatment, while others prefer to keep their patients at the facilities during treatment. Some clinics offer both levels of care. Such clinics will determine the best type of treatment for you after proper examination.
If you’d like to receive constant support and monitoring during methadone treatment, you may want to consider inpatient facilities. However, sign up for outpatient treatment if you think you can manage just fine without constant 24 hours monitoring.
Note that inpatient services will probably cost you more than outpatient treatment. But feel free to opt for it if money is not your problem.
Who can Participate in Methadone Treatment?
Naturally, the primary requirement for undergoing methadone treatment is opioid addiction. However, not everybody who has an opioid addiction can participate in methadone treatment.
Only people who meet specific requirements can undergo methadone treatment. Individuals below the age of 18 are not eligible for methadone clinic treatment programs.
There are exceptions for special cases, such as a recommendation from a certified practitioner. In some cases, the guardian’s or parent’s written consent will be enough for some clinics to accept underage patients.
The addiction has to be at least one year old to be eligible for methadone treatment. But, some groups of individuals can go for methadone treatment without the one-year addiction period requirement. Pregnant women are the most notable group in this category.
Individuals who recently got out of prison are also eligible to take methadone treatment without the 1-year requirement. Lastly, people who were previously patients at a methadone clinic may also bypass this requirement.
Related Article: How to Get Off Methadone
Knowing how to find the right methadone clinic is a crucial step towards your complete recovery from opioid addiction. Consider this as a guide to choosing methadone clinics.
When researching methadone clinics, look for one that offers an extensive all-around treatment. You want to treat the addiction right from its root cause and get rid of the source of the problem.
Here at Inspire Change Wellness Centre, we offer comprehensive treatment in the best facilities. In other words, we tick all of the boxes. Call us today to discover how our methadone clinic can help you!