Methadone Clinics in Decatur

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Alliance Recovery Center209 Swanton Way Suite B Decatur, GA 30030(404) 377-7669
Newport Intergrated Behav Hlthcare Inc4540 Glenwood Road Decatur, GA 30032(404) 289-8223
Veterans Affairs Medical Center Substance Abuse Treatment Program1670 Clairmont Road, Decatur, GA 30033(404) 321-61116900
Veterans Affairs Medical Center Substance Abuse Section1670 Clairmont Road Decatur, GA 30033(404) 321-61116900

Rules and Regulations

Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia, United States adheres to strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Georgia Department of Community Health. These regulations cover certification, operating standards, quality assurance, and more.

Certification Procedures

Methadone clinics must:

  • Be certified by SAMHSA
  • Renew certification annually
  • Allow inspections by state officials
  • Employ authorized healthcare professionals to evaluate patients

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Research shows that medication-assisted treatment with methadone:

  • Reduces opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Allows people to focus on other areas of life like work and family
  • Lowers the risk of overdose death

How Clinics Operate and Their Purpose

Methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone doses and counseling to those recovering from opioid addiction. The goal is to stabilize patients and reduce illicit drug use and its associated harms.

Insurance Coverage

Some clinics offer free treatment based on patient needs.

Many private insurance plans and Medicaid cover methadone treatment. Coverage often includes both the medication and counseling portions of treatment. Deductibles, copay, or prior authorization may be required. Those without insurance may qualify for state funding.

Drug Use in Decatur

The opioid crisis has been declared a nationwide public health emergency. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, drug overdose deaths in Georgia increased 22% from 2018 to 2020. The substances most commonly associated with overdoses are:

  • Opioids including heroin, prescription opioids, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamine

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient or residential treatment programs provide 24/7 structured care including counseling, group therapy, medication management, and other services. Typical stays range from 30 to 90 days depending on individual needs.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs offer similar services but clients reside offsite. Appointments commonly occur 1-5 times weekly for several hours per visit. Many facilities have even more flexible partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs.

Treatment Level Unreported

Around 25% of facilities do not specify treatment level. Data estimates a portion offers medical detoxification, assessment, and specialized treatment tracks.

Comparison of Treatment Availability

CityFacilitiesInpatient BedsCost per Month
Decatur, GA12432 beds$6,000-$20,000
Atlanta, GA562,176 beds$5,000-$15,000

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is a long-acting opioid medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs, also known as opioid treatment programs (OTPs), to treat opioid use disorders. It binds to opioid receptors and reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms, allowing patients to focus on recovery.

Mechanism as medication-assisted treatment, OTP principle Methadone activates the opioid receptors in the brain like other opioids, but it does so more slowly and with lower euphoria, blocking the effects of illegal opioids. OTPs provide methadone doses daily for patients to avoid withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. The goal is recovery by stabilizing patients, reducing opioid use and its effects, and enabling patients to function better socially and psychologically.

While methadone treatment has been used effectively since the 1960s and is supported by research, there is sometimes stigma against MAT as “replacing one drug with another.” However, studies show MAT helps patients improve their health, relationships, employment, and more. Many medical groups support MAT as the gold standard for treating opioid addiction. Still, some argue resources should go toward drug-free rehabilitation models instead.

Explanation in layman terms Methadone activates the brain’s opioid receptors to prevent withdrawal and craving symptoms but it does so gradually, without the rush or high of other opioid drugs. OTPs provide structured daily methadone doses so the medication builds up to therapeutic levels, helping rebalance the brain to reduce the need to use other opioids.

Methadone Distribution

Description of monitoring and regulations:

  • Urine testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight tests in the first year of treatment to ensure compliance.
  • Take-home requirements: During the first 14 days of treatment, the take-home supply of methadone is limited to a 24-hour supply that is consumed on-site under observation to prevent misuse. Gradually, compliant patients can earn take-home doses allowing less frequent clinic visits.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs should have an expert team including doctors, nurses, counselors and social workers monitoring each patient’s progress in the program.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians should review prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data to carefully cross-reference other medications a patient is prescribed, as methadone has a narrow therapeutic index.

In Georgia, methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance requiring a prescription and OTP enrollment. The DeKalb County Opioid Task Force aims to increase OTP access.

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 MAT patients
  • 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 is equally effective as buprenorphine for reducing opioid use.

Methadone has demonstrated benefits but also risks requiring careful management.

About Decatur

Decatur is a city located in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States.

Location, County & Neighboring States

Decatur is located in the Atlanta metropolitan area. DeKalb County borders the following states:

  • Florida
  • Tennessee
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Alabama

Capital & Largest City

Atlanta is both the capital and largest city in the state of Georgia.

Land Area

Decatur has a total area of 4.2 square miles.

Infrastructure

Decatur has access to major highways and public transportation in metro Atlanta. The city has an active program of streets cape enhancements, sidewalk construction, bike lanes, and traffic calming measures.

Population Statistics

Total Population

According to the 2020 census, Decatur has a population of 23,252 people.

Demographics

Gender

  • Male: 47%
  • Female: 53%

Age Brackets

  • Under 18 years: 18%
  • 18 to 64 years: 69%
  • 65 years and over: 13%

Occupations

The top occupations in Decatur are:

  • Management, business, science, and arts: 71%
  • Sales and office: 14%
  • Service: 8%
  • Production, transportation, material moving: 7%