Methadone Clinics in Anchorage

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Providence Alaska Medical Center Providence Breakthrough2401 East 42nd Avenue Suite 103 Anchorage, AK 99508(907) 562-7325

Rules and Regulations

Anchorage, Anchorage County, Alaska, United States adheres to strict regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Certification Procedures

  • Clinics must meet SAMHSA standards for treatment approaches, staff credentials, patient services
  • On-site inspections are conducted before certification is granted

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

  • Reduces opioid withdrawal and cravings
  • Supports long-term recovery goals
  • Allows functioning day-to-day
  • Lowers risk of overdose or transmitting diseases

How Clinics Operate and Their Purpose

  • Provide methadone doses for addiction treatment
  • Offer counseling and behavioral therapies
  • Conduct drug testing
  • Help people reintegrate into society

Insurance Coverage

  • Medicaid covers methadone treatment
  • Private insurance often covers some treatment
  • Grants assist uninsured patients

Drug Use in Anchorage

Anchorage faces significant substance abuse issues. In 2017, Governor Walker declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Key statistics include:

  • Overdose deaths increased by over 250% from 2013-2017
  • Heroin is involved in more overdose deaths than prescription opioids
  • Alcohol and marijuana most commonly abused substances

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient facilities provide 24/7 supervised care including counseling, group therapy, medication management, and aftercare planning. Average stays range from 28-90 days.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs offer services for 4-8 hours a day, allowing clients to continue work or family obligations outside of treatment hours. Services take place at clinics, community health centers, and counselor offices.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 18% of Alaskans needing but not receiving treatment did not specify treatment level preferences in a recent study. SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health)

Comparison of Anchorage to Fairbanks

CategoryAnchorageFairbanks
Treatment Facilities155
Inpatient Beds18060
Cost of Treatment$15,000/mo$10,000/mo

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction and dependence. It works through medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs, also known as opioid treatment programs (OTPs). Patients are prescribed methadone to curb opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms without producing the same level of euphoria or high as other opioid drugs. This allows them to focus on recovery and rehabilitation.

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed. Some view it positively as an evidence-based treatment for a chronic disease. Others stereotype methadone patients as merely “trading one addiction for another.” Explained simply, methadone occupies the brain’s opioid receptors at stable doses over 24+ hours, blocking the effects of other opioids and reducing cravings/withdrawal.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is heavily regulated with required monitoring to prevent misuse:

  • Urine testing: Patients must pass at least 8 random urine tests in the first year to detect continued opioid or other drug use.
  • Take-home requirements: For the first 14 days, patients must take methadone doses on-site at the clinic. Take-home doses are restricted until patients meet certain stability criteria over months/years.
  • Monitoring: OTPs require an interprofessional team including physicians, nurses, and behavioral health staff to coordinate care.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians should review state prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data to ensure safe methadone dosage and compatibility with other medications.

In Anchorage, methadone is a Schedule II controlled medication, subject to strict federal and state regulations on distribution through authorized OTPs.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone is an effective medication for treating opioid use disorder used since 1947. Studies show methadone:

  • Reduces opioid use with 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests
  • Increases treatment retention by 4.44x; this reduces overdose and disease transmission risks
  • Lowers criminal behavior; retention in treatment also increases employment

However, methadone does carry risks:

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

Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective for reducing problematic opioid use. Overall, methadone provides benefits but requires careful management to minimize risks.

About Anchorage

Location, County & List of Neighboring States

Anchorage is located in south-central Alaska on the Cook Inlet and Anchorage County borders the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to the north and the Kenai Peninsula Borough to the south. Alaska shares borders with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the south and west.

Capital and Largest City

Anchorage is Alaska’s most populous city and has been the state capital since 1906 when the seat of government was moved from Sitka.

Land Area

Anchorage encompasses 1,706 square miles of land and water area.

Infrastructure

As Alaska’s primary economic hub, Anchorage features an international airport, marine port, rail service, and highway system.

Population Statistics

Total Population

The latest census data shows Anchorage has a population of 291,826 residents.

Demographics

  • Gender: Slightly more male (51.1%) than female (48.9%) residents
  • Age brackets: Median age is 33.6 years old
  • Occupations: Major industries are transportation, trade, utilities, education, healthcare, leisure/hospitality with government jobs accounting for about 17% of employment