Methadone Clinics in Birmingham

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Birmingham Metro Treatment Center151 Industrial Drive Birmingham, AL 35211(205) 941-1799
Tri County Treatment Center1101 East Park Drive Birmingham, AL 35235(205) 836-3345

Rules and Regulations

Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama adheres to strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics, as outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

Certification Procedures

Methadone clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state. Certification requires adherence to strict federal guidelines on medication dispensing, counseling requirements, and more.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment with methadone helps individuals with opioid use disorder by:

  • Preventing painful withdrawal symptoms
  • Reducing opiate cravings
  • Allowing people to focus on their recovery and rebuilding their lives

How Clinics Operate

Methadone clinics provide daily monitored doses of methadone to treat opioid dependency. In addition to dispensing medications, clinics provide counseling and behavioral therapies to support recovery. The ultimate purpose is to help people achieve lasting sobriety and improved health.

Insurance Coverage

Many clinics accept Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance. Low-income individuals may qualify for free or reduced-cost treatment at certain non-profit clinics.

Drug Use in Birmingham

The opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency in Alabama. Key statistics on drug overdoses and deaths in the state include:

  • In 2017, there were 756 overdose deaths involving opioids in Alabama – a rate of 15.8 deaths per 100,000 persons compared to the national rate of 14.6.
  • Heroin overdose deaths more than doubled from 2013 to 2017.
  • Fentanyl was involved in 53% of opioid overdose deaths in 2017.
  • The most commonly cited drugs among primary treatment admissions in Alabama in 2017 were: alcohol (35%), methamphetamine (24%), marijuana (18%), and heroin (13%).

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Typically 28-30 days in length. Involves 24/7 care, counseling, group therapy, and medical monitoring.

Outpatient Treatment

Services are provided 2-3 times per week for several hours each visit. Provided at clinics, private practices, and community health centers.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 10-15% of those receiving addiction treatment in Alabama do so through unreported channels. May include support groups, religious organizations, and informal networks.

Comparison of Treatment in Birmingham vs. Nashville

CitiesTreatment FacilitiesInpatient BedsCost of Treatment
Birmingham, AL1121,345 beds$15,000-$20,000 for 30 days
Nashville, TN1521,890 beds$20,000-$30,000 for 30 days

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is an opioid agonist medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs, also known as opioid treatment programs (OTPs). It binds to opioid receptors and reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms, allowing people with opioid use disorder to function normally and engage in recovery.

Methadone is taken orally once daily and binds to opioid receptors in the brain, blocking the euphoric effects of other opioids and relieving withdrawal symptoms for 24-36 hours per dose. This allows people struggling with opioid addiction to avoid withdrawal and cravings without experiencing a high, breaking dependence so they can focus on counseling and skills training.

Opinions on methadone are mixed – some see it as just trading one addiction for another, while others recognize it helps stabilize people so they can work on recovery. Discrimination remains an issue. More education is still needed to understand addiction as a chronic medical disorder requiring compassion and multiple types of treatment.

In layman’s terms, methadone tricks the brain into thinking it’s still getting the problem opioid, stopping withdrawal and cravings without intoxication so someone can work on abstaining from problem use and changing behaviors and coping mechanisms.

Methadone Distribution

  • Urine testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight tests in the first year of treatment to ensure other opioids are not still being used.
  • Take-home requirements: During the first 14 days of treatment, the take-home supply of methadone is limited to a 24-hour supply dispensed daily on-site to avoid diversion risk early in treatment. After 90 days of compliance, gradual take-home increases are allowed.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs should have an interprofessional team including medical, counseling, psychiatric, and social work professionals collaborating to monitor patient progress.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians should review prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data to carefully cross-reference any other opioid medications a patient may be prescribed to prevent dangerous interactions. Methadone has a narrow therapeutic index so mixing substances increases overdose risk.

Birmingham, Jefferson County Drug Classifications

  • Opioids
  • Stimulants
  • Depressants
  • Hallucinogens

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone is an effective medication for treating opioid use disorder used since 1947.

Evidence for Effectiveness

Studies show methadone reduces opioid use, disease transmission, and crime:

  • 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests for methadone patients
  • Methadone patients were 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment
  • Retention in treatment reduces overdose/disease transmission risk and increases employment

Major Drawbacks

  • Potential for misuse/diversion
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms if stopped suddenly
  • Possible QTc prolongation/cardiac issues
  • Respiratory depression/overdose risk when combined with other substances

Comparison to Other Medications

Methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective in reducing opioid use.

Methadone has demonstrated benefits but also risks requiring careful management.

About Birmingham

Location, County & List of Neighboring States

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County in the central part of the state of Alabama, in the southeastern United States. It borders the U.S. states of:

  • Mississippi
  • Georgia
  • Florida

Capital and Largest City

Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and the county seat of Jefferson County.

Land Area

The land area of Birmingham spans approximately 151.9 square miles.

Population Statistics

Total Population

As of the 2020 census, the population of Birmingham was 200,733.

Demographics:

Gender

  • Male: 47.2%
  • Female: 52.8%

Age Brackets

  • Under 18 years: 22.1%
  • 18 to 65 years: 63.5%
  • Over 65 years: 14.4%

Occupations

The most common occupations in Birmingham and percentages of the workforce employed in those occupations are:

  • Management, business, science, and arts: 31.8%
  • Sales and office support: 24.2%
  • Service sector: 20.3%
  • Production, transportation, and material moving: 16.4%
  • Natural resources, construction, and maintenance: 7.2%