Methadone Clinics in Ellijay

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Gateway Treatment Centers 37 Kiker Street Ellijay, GA 30540

Rules and Regulations

Ellijay 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 Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.

Certification Procedures

  • Methadone clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state.
  • Staff must meet educational and training requirements.
  • Regular facility inspections enforce safety and treatment standards.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

  • Improves patient survival.
  • Increases retention in treatment.
  • Decreases illicit opiate use and criminal activity.
  • Increases ability to gain and maintain employment.

How Clinics Operate and Their Purpose

Methadone clinics provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to those with opioid use disorder. This involves prescribing methadone or other medications to help ease withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and block the effects of illicit opioids while patients receive counseling and skills training. The ultimate purpose is to help patients achieve long-term recovery and improved quality of life.

Insurance Coverage

Both public and private insurance plans typically cover methadone treatment:

  • Medicaid programs in Georgia cover methadone clinic fees.
  • Many private plans cover treatment under state and federal parity laws.

Uninsured patients may be eligible for subsidized treatment at certain clinics.

Drug Use in Ellijay

Opioid Crisis Declared Public Health Emergency

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency.

Statistics on Drug Overdoses and Deaths

  • In 2020, over 93,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S., a 30% increase from 2019. Opioids were involved in 75% of those deaths.
  • In Georgia, over 2,000 opioid-involved overdose deaths occurred in 2020.
  • Heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioids are commonly abused substances. Methamphetamine and cocaine deaths have also increased in recent years.

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient facilities provide 24/7 supervision and intensive care. Typical stays last 28 days on average. Procedures include detoxification, behavioral counseling, group therapy, medication management, and aftercare planning.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs offer services for 4-8 hours per day, 3-5 days a week. Services are similar to inpatient but patients can live at home. Locations are available in local communities.

Treatment Level Unreported

Over 2 million Americans need but do not receive treatment for drug addiction each year according to SAMHSA. Stigma and lack of providers contribute to this gap.

Comparison of Treatment in Ellijay vs. Atlanta

Treatment Facilities336
Inpatient Beds18560
Cost of Treatment$15,000/month$25,000/month

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 withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings by activating opioid receptors in the brain like other opioid drugs. However, it does not produce the same level of euphoria or sedation, allowing people with addiction to stabilize, function normally, and focus on recovery.

Methadone is only provided through federally regulated opioid treatment programs (OTPs), with daily doses administered under supervision. This principle ensures patient monitoring and prevents diversion. Over time, stable patients can earn take-home doses as a privilege for treatment progress.

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed — while it does help treat addiction, some view it as merely replacing one opioid for another. However, research shows MAT with methadone or buprenorphine is more effective for opioid disorder than abstinence-only approaches. Most experts consider it an essential treatment option.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is highly monitored and regulated:

  • Urine testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight random drug tests in the first year of treatment to ensure appropriate use and identify any additional substance issues.
  • Take-home requirements: During the first 90 days of treatment, methadone doses must be consumed on-site at the clinic. After this induction period, take-home supplies can be earned for stable patients who meet certain criteria, beginning with a 1-day (24-hour) supply.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs should have an interprofessional team including physicians, nurses, counselors, social workers, etc. to coordinate care and monitoring.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians should review their state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data to carefully manage methadone dosage and avoid dangerous drug interactions, as it has a narrow therapeutic window.

The state of Georgia classifies methadone as a Schedule II controlled substance, allowing use only for FDA-approved medical treatment with strict oversight.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

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

Evidence for Effectiveness

Multiple studies validate methadone maintenance therapy:

  • 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests for patients in MAT versus no medication
  • 4.44 times more likely to stay in addiction treatment programs
  • Retention in treatment reduces the risk of overdose and disease transmission while increasing employment opportunities

Major Drawbacks

However, methadone does carry some risks:

  • Potential for misuse/diversion due to its opioid activity
  • Severe withdrawal if tapered too quickly
  • Possibility of QTc prolongation or cardiac arrhythmias
  • Respiratory depression or overdose when combined with alcohol or benzodiazepines

Comparison to Other Medications

Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective for reducing illicit opioid use.


Methadone has demonstrated benefits but also unique risks requiring careful management under federal and state regulations.

About Ellijay

Ellijay is a city in Gilmer County in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Georgia.

Location, county & list of neighboring states

Gilmer County borders the following states:

Capital and largest city

The capital and largest city in Georgia is Atlanta.

Land area

The land area of Ellijay is 4.4 square miles.


Ellijay has access to state routes 5, 515, and 52, as well as U.S. Route 76. The city has a municipal airport.

Population Statistics

The population of Ellijay was recorded as 1,619 people as of 2010.


There is a near equal split of males (49.3%) and females (50.7%) in Ellijay.

Age brackets

Over 60% of the population is 45 years of age or older. Nearly 18% of the population is over 65 years old.


Major occupations in Ellijay include sales, office support, transportation, construction, maintenance, production, and agriculture. Tourism also provides employment opportunities.