Methadone Clinics in Desert Hot Springs

Desert Hot Springs, Riverside County, California, United States adheres to 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 be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state.
  • Staff must meet educational and licensing requirements.
  • Regular facility inspections are conducted.

Benefits of medication-assisted treatment:

  • Methadone and other medications help reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Medication-assisted treatment has been shown to:
  • Reduce illicit opioid use
  • Decrease risk of overdose
  • Lower transmission rates of infectious diseases
  • Improve social functioning and quality of life
  • Methadone clinics provide medication-assisted treatment to those with opioid use disorder. Patients receive methadone doses daily under medical supervision. The goal is to help patients achieve sobriety and avoid the negative effects of substance abuse.

Insurance Coverage

  • Many clinics accept Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. Some clinics offer treatment on a sliding fee scale based on income for those without insurance
  • Some limited free or low-cost treatment resources may be available through county and non-profit organizations.

Drug Use in Desert Hot Springs

The opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency in the United States. In California:

  • There were 4,868 opioid-related deaths in 2020, a 33% increase from 2019.
  • Fentanyl is involved in over 70% of opioid overdoses.
  • Methamphetamine is the most commonly used illicit drug after cannabis.

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

  • Inpatient treatment involves staying at a facility 24/7 for 1-3 months typically.
  • It includes medical detox, counseling, group therapy, medication management, and aftercare planning.

Outpatient Treatment

  • Outpatient treatment involves periodic services for 1-2 hours 1-5 days per week.
  • It may include therapy, group counseling, medication management, and recovery meetings.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 10% of treatment facilities do not report their treatment level. Unreported programs may offer a mix of inpatient and outpatient services.

Comparison of Treatment in Desert Hot Springs vs. Palm Springs


Treatment Facilities

Inpatient Beds

Cost per Month

Desert Hot Springs




Palm Springs




Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. It is taken orally once daily and binds to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is dispensed through opioid treatment programs (OTPs) that provide counseling and require frequent monitoring and drug testing.

  • Methadone Distribution: Methadone distribution is highly regulated to prevent misuse and diversion. Patients must meet DSM criteria for opioid use disorder and informed consent guidelines.
  1. Urine drug testing is required at least 8 times in the first year to ensure compliance.
  2. During the first 14 days, take-home doses are limited to 24 hours’ supply. After 90 days of compliance, take-homes can gradually increase to a 1-month supply.
  3. An interprofessional team provides counseling and monitors progress.
  4. Clinicians review prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data to verify other opioid prescriptions and carefully titrate dosage due to methadone’s narrow therapeutic window.
  • California state drug classifications. Methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance requiring a prescription and OTP enrollment. In Riverside County, OTPs dispense methadone to around 5,000 patients. Methadone diversion and misuse remain issues requiring vigilance.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

  • Methadone is an effective medication for treating opioid use disorder used since 1947.
  • Studies show methadone reduces opioid use, disease transmission, and crime. Patients on methadone have 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests. They are 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment, which reduces overdose and disease transmission risk while increasing employment.

However, methadone does have risks.

  • It has potential for misuse and diversion.
  • Sudden discontinuation can cause severe withdrawal symptoms.
  • It can prolong the QTc interval on ECGs, increasing cardiac issues.
  • Respiratory depression and overdose occur when combined with other substances like benzodiazepines.

Methadone is equally effective as buprenorphine in reducing illicit opioid use. But it requires more intensive monitoring to manage risks. With careful oversight, methadone’s benefits outweigh risks for many opioid use disorder patients.

About Desert Hot Spring

  • Desert Hot Springs is located in Riverside County in southern California. It is surrounded by the states of Arizona, Nevada, and the Pacific Ocean.
  • The capital and largest city in California is Sacramento.
  • Desert Hot Springs has a total area of 23.9 square miles.
  • Infrastructure:
  •  The main roads are Palm Drive and Pierson Boulevard. Interstate 10 runs near the city.
  • Public transportation: SunLine Transit Agency provides public bus services.

Population Statistics

  • The population of Desert Hot Springs is 28,887 as of 2021.
  • Demographics:
  • Male: 51%
  • Female: 49%
  • Age brackets
  • Under 18 years: 25%
  • 18 to 64 years: 59%
  • 65 years and over: 16%
  • Occupations
  • Management, business, science, and arts occupations: 30%
  • Service occupations: 26%
  • Sales and office occupations: 22%
  • Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations: 15%
  • Production, transportation, and material moving occupations: 7%