Methadone Clinics in San Francisco

Name rehabsAddressPhone
BAART Behavioral Health Services Inc Market Street Clinic1111 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103(415) 863-3883
BAART Behavioral Health Services Inc Market Street Clinic1111 Market Street 1st Floor San Francisco, CA 94103(415) 863-3883
BAART FACET Geary Street Clinic and FACET433 Turk Street San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 928-7800
BAART Turk Street Clinic FACET433 Turk Street, San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 928-7800
Bayview Hunters Point Foundation Substance Abuse Programs1625 Carroll Street, San Francisco, CA 94124(415) 822-820012
Fort Help LLC915 Bryant Street, San Francisco, CA 94103(415) 777-9953
Haight Ashbury Free Clinics Inc1735 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94103(415) 552-2114
Harm Reduction Therapy Center423 Gough Street San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 863-42823
Joe Healy Medical Detoxification Project120 Page Street Floors 2 and 3 San Francisco, CA 94102(415) 553-4490
Ohlhoff Recovery Programs Ohlhoff Women’s Residential Program601 Steiner Street San Francisco, CA 94127(415) 621-438814

Rules and Regulations

San Francisco adheres to strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics, as outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the California Department of Health Care Services. All clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state.

Certification Procedures

To be certified, clinics must meet various requirements related to patient admission, treatment planning, counseling services, medication dispensing, and more. Certification is voluntary but needed to dispense methadone.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Methadone and other medication-assisted treatments for opioid addiction can:

  • Reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Allow people to focus on their health and recovery
  • Lower the risk of overdose death
  • Help people maintain employment and improve social relationships

How Clinics Operate

Methadone clinics provide medication, counseling, case management, and other services to treat opioid addiction. Patients must visit the clinic daily to receive their prescribed methadone dose on-site. Over time, patients may earn take-home doses as they progress in treatment.

Insurance Coverage

Many clinics accept various insurances including Medi-Cal and Medicare. Some clinics also offer treatment on a sliding fee scale based on income for those without insurance.

Drug Use in San Francisco

The opioid crisis has been declared a nationwide public health emergency. In San Francisco County specifically:

  • There were 279 opioid overdose deaths in 2020, a 70% increase from 2019 (CDPH)
  • Fentanyl and methamphetamine are increasingly involved in overdoses (CDPH)
  • The rate of opioid overdose ED visits per 100,000 SF residents has risen from 51.3 in 2019 to 100.4 in 2021 (CDPH)

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

  • Typically 28-30 days in an accredited facility
  • 24/7 medical monitoring and counseling
  • Group therapy, medication management, aftercare planning

Outpatient Treatment

  • Varies, typically meets 1-5 times weekly
  • Counseling, group/individual therapy, medication management
  • Community-based clinics or private practices

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 30-40% of people needing treatment do not report treatment level (SAMHSA)

Comparison of San Francisco Treatment Availability vs. Oakland

CategorySan FranciscoOakland
Treatment Facilities14532
Inpatient Beds1,150256
Cost of Treatment$15,000-$30,000$10,000-$25,000

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist medication used to treat opioid use disorder and dependence. As medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone helps prevent opioid withdrawal and reduces drug cravings by activating opioid receptors in the brain similarly to other opioid drugs. However, it does not provide the associated euphoria or high of misused opioids. Methadone is taken orally once daily in tapering doses under medical supervision in what are known as opioid treatment programs (OTPs).

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed. While it is an evidence-based treatment, some view it as merely replacing one addiction with another. However, methadone enables patients to function normally, improve health, reduce criminal behavior, and hold jobs. When taken as prescribed, it is safe and non-sedating.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is highly regulated with strict federal and state monitoring to prevent misuse and diversion:

  • Urine testing: Patients must undergo at least eight random urine drug tests in the first year to ensure appropriate use and detect additional substance use.
  • Take-home requirements: For the first 14 days, methadone is only dispensed as a daily dose on-site at the clinic. Over time, take-home doses can be earned for responsible use.
  • Monitoring: OTPs must have an interprofessional team including physicians, nurses, and counselors monitoring patient progress.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians should review the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data when determining dosage and potential drug interactions.

As a Schedule II controlled substance, methadone use and distribution are strictly regulated by federal and California state laws.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone is an effective medication for treating opioid use disorder that has been used since 1947. Studies show methadone treatment reduces opioid use, disease transmission through injection, and drug-related criminal behavior. Patients on MAT have 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests and are 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment. Retention in treatment reduces overdose risk, HIV and hepatitis C transmission through shared needles, and unemployment while increasing employment opportunities.

However, methadone does carry risks including the potential for misuse/diversion, severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly, QTc prolongation and cardiac issues, respiratory depression, and overdose when combined with other substances like benzodiazepines. It also requires daily clinic visits initially.

Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective for reducing illicit opioid use and retaining patients in treatment. However, careful patient monitoring and management of risks is required with either medication.

In conclusion, while not without risks, methadone’s benefits make it a well-established, effective treatment for opioid addiction that has helped countless individuals.

About San Francisco

Location, County & List of Neighboring States

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County in the U.S. state of California. It borders the Pacific Ocean to the west and San Francisco Bay to the east.

Neighboring states:

  • Oregon (north)
  • Nevada (east)
  • Arizona (southeast)

Capital and Largest City

  • Capital: Sacramento
  • Largest city: Los Angeles

Land Area

  • Total area: 231.89 sq mi
  • Land area: 46.87 sq mi
  • Water area: 185.02 sq mi

Infrastructure

  • The public transit system includes buses, light rail, historic streetcars, and cable cars run by SF Muni. BART provides regional rail service.
  • Major highways include US-101 and I-280 connecting to other parts of the Bay Area.
  • Three major bridges connect SF to East Bay and North Bay – Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, and San Rafael Bridge.
  • SF International Airport (SFO) is a major airport located 14 miles south of downtown.

Population Statistics

Total Population

874,961 (2020)

Demographics

Gender

  • Male: 50.2%
  • Female: 49.8%

Age Brackets

  • Under 18 years: 13.3%
  • 18 to 64 years: 69.3%
  • 65 years and over: 17.4%

Occupations

  • Management, business, science, and arts occupations: 63.2%
  • Service occupations: 14.3%
  • Sales and office occupations: 18.8%
  • Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations: 2.5%
  • Production, transportation, and material moving occupations: 1.2%