Methadone Clinics in Augusta

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Augusta Metro Treatment Center525 Ellis Street Augusta, GA 30901(706) 722-3855

Rules and Regulations

Augusta, Richmond County adheres to the strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics, as outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Georgia Department of Community Health.

Certification Procedures

All methadone clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state. Clinics must meet standards for quality patient care, proper dosing, and administration of medication, counseling requirements, and continuous review of treatment plans. Staff must complete regular training.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Methadone and other medications used in treatment have been shown to:

  • Reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Allow people to focus on their health and participate in positive activities
  • Greatly reduces the risk of overdose and death
  • Support long-term recovery when combined with counseling

How Clinics Operate

Certified methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone dosing, counseling, drug testing, and case management to support patients in treatment and recovery. The ultimate purpose is to mitigate withdrawal symptoms and reduce illicit opioid use while improving quality of life.

Insurance Coverage

Most private insurance plans and Medicaid cover methadone treatment. Some clinics offer treatment on a sliding scale based on income for those without coverage. Low-cost treatment may also be available from state-funded programs.

Drug Use in Augusta

The opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency in Augusta. Key statistics on drug use and its impacts include:

  • Overdose deaths increased by 20% from 2019 to 2020

Top 3 substances involved in overdoses:

  • Opioids – 65%
  • Methamphetamine – 15%
  • Cocaine – 10%

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment involves staying at a facility 24/7 for detox and recovery programs. Typical stays range from 30-90 days. Services include medical care, counseling, group therapy, and life skills training.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment allows individuals to live at home and attend treatment sessions 1-5 times per week. Sessions are held at clinics, hospitals, or community centers. Services include therapy, support groups, and medication management.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 15-20% of those seeking treatment do not report the treatment level. Reasons may include privacy concerns or a lack of proper intake procedures.

Comparison to Atlanta, GA

CategoryAugustaAtlanta
Treatment Facilities1535
Inpatient Beds250850
Avg. Monthly Cost$10,000$15,000

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, preventing withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with discontinuing problem opioid use. Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) follows the opioid treatment program (OTP) model, providing methadone along with counseling and behavioral therapies.

Methadone has been used to treat opioid addiction since 1947. However, it remains controversial, with some viewing it as merely substituting one opioid for another. Proponents argue methadone allows stabilization and improved functioning when properly monitored. Critics raise concerns about diversion and argue that abstinence-based models are preferable. Overall, evidence shows MMT improves outcomes, but stigma persists. Clear communication of benefits and risks is needed.

In layman’s terms, methadone prevents the extreme highs and lows caused by other opioids. This allows patients to function normally and focus on recovery. However, methadone must be taken properly and has risks if misused or combined with other substances. It should not be viewed as a “quick fix” but rather part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Methadone Distribution

MMT has strict regulations to prevent misuse:

  • Urine testing: Patients must undergo at least eight urine tests for illicit drugs in the first year.
  • Take-home requirements: For the first 14 days, only a 24-hour methadone supply is allowed. More take-homes are permitted over time if patients follow program rules.
  • Monitoring: A team including a doctor, nurses, and counselors provides oversight.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Providers should check the state’s PDMP to ensure safe opioid dosing.

In Georgia, methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance, meaning it has accepted medical use but also potential for abuse. Distribution occurs only through certified OTPs.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

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

Evidence for Effectiveness

Studies show MMT reduces opioid use, disease transmission, and criminal activity:

  • 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests for patients in MMT
  • 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment compared to non-medication models
  • Retention in treatment reduces overdose risk and increases employment

Major Drawbacks

However, methadone does carry risks:

  • Potential for misuse/diversion if not properly monitored
  • Severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly
  • Possible QTc prolongation or cardiac arrhythmias
  • Respiratory depression or overdose if combined with other substances

Comparison to Other Medications

Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective in reducing illicit opioid use.
Methadone has demonstrated benefits but also substantial risks requiring careful management.

About Augusta

Location, County & List of Neighboring States

Augusta is located in Richmond County in eastern Georgia near the South Carolina border. Richmond County does not border any other Georgia counties, but neighbors the following states:

  • South Carolina – north and east
  • Burke County, Georgia – south
  • Columbia County, Georgia – west

Capital and Largest City

Augusta is the county seat of Richmond County and is the second-largest city in Georgia after Atlanta.

Land Area

The land area of Augusta-Richmond County is 564 square miles.

Population Statistics

Total Population

According to the 2020 census, the population of Augusta-Richmond County is 202,081 residents.

Demographics:

Gender

  • Male: 47%
  • Female: 53%

Age Brackets

  • Under 18 years: 22%
  • 18 to 64 years: 63%
  • 65 years and over: 15%

Occupations

Top occupations in Augusta include:

  • Management, business, science, and arts: 31%
  • Sales and office: 27%
  • Service: 18%
  • Production, transportation, and material moving: 16%
  • Natural resources, construction, maintenance: 8%