Methadone Clinics in Pahoa

Rules and Regulations:

Pahoa, Hawaii, United States adheres to strict regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Clinics must be certified and accredited to prescribe methadone for opioid addiction treatment.

Certification procedures:

Methadone clinics must register with SAMHSA and obtain DEA approval to dispense methadone. Staff must complete comprehensive training and clinics must meet facility standards. Regular inspections ensure compliance.

Methadone Maintenance Therapy Provides:

  • Reduced opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Decreased risk of overdose and death
  • Improved social functioning and quality of life
  • Lower risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis

How clinics operate and their purpose:

Methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone doses and counseling to treat opioid addiction. The goal is to help individuals achieve sobriety and become productive members of society.

Insurance Coverage

  • Many insurance plans cover methadone treatment including:
  • Uninsured individuals may qualify for free or low-cost treatment through state and federally funded programs.

Public and private insurance coverage details:

Medicaid, Medicare, and many private insurers provide at least partial coverage for methadone treatment. Contact your insurance provider for specific coverage details. Discounts or sliding fee scales may be available at some clinics.

Drug Use in Pahoa

The opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency in the United States. In Hawaii, drug overdose deaths increased 82% from 2011 to 2015. The most commonly used substances in Hawaii are alcohol, marijuana, prescription opioids, and methamphetamine.

Statistics on Drug Use and Overdoses:

  • In 2016, there were 158 opioid-related overdose deaths in Hawaii
  • Alcohol and marijuana are the most commonly used substances, with binge drinking rates over 15%
  • Prescription opioid misuse affects 3-4% of Hawaii residents
  • Methamphetamine use increased from 2.2% in 2011 to 2.9% in 2016

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

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

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment provides services for 4-8 hours a day, 3-5 days a week. It includes counseling, group therapy, medication management, and recovery support.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 10-20% of addicts in Pahoa receive unofficial, unreported treatment from family, friends, or religious organizations.

Comparison of Treatment in Pahoa vs. Hilo

CityTreatment FacilitiesInpatient BedsCost of Treatment

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

  • Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs, also known as opioid treatment programs (OTPs), to treat opioid use disorder. It binds to opioid receptors and reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Patients take methadone orally once daily under medical supervision.
  • Methadone activates the opioid receptors in the brain like other opioids, but it does so more slowly and steadily, preventing euphoria and feelings of sedation. This allows patients to function normally without the negative effects of shorter-acting opioids. Regular dosing helps stabilize patients, allowing them to focus on other areas of their life like work, relationships, and health.
  • Methadone treatment is controversial, with some viewing it as merely replacing one addiction with another. However, research shows it is an effective harm-reduction strategy. It improves patient health and social functioning. Still, stigma remains an issue. Clear communication of its medical utility as MAT is important.
  • Simply put, methadone tricks the brain into thinking it is still getting the problem opioid by activating the same receptors, but in a safer, more stable way. This stops cravings and withdrawal symptoms so patients can work on rebuilding their lives.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance. Distribution is highly regulated with required licensing and record-keeping. Patients must meet strict criteria to enter treatment and follow program rules to remain eligible.

Description of monitoring and regulations:

  • Urine testing: Patients undergo frequent random urine drug tests, especially early in treatment. This ensures compliance and identifies additional substance use.
  • Take-home requirements: Patients must follow program rules to earn take-home doses. New patients dose daily on-site. With time and progress, take-homes increase.
  • Monitoring: A team including doctors, nurses, and counselors monitor patient progress and methadone use.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Providers check the state prescription drug monitoring program to ensure safe methadone dosing and prevent dangerous drug interactions.

Pahoa, Hawaii, United States state drug classifications

Controlled Substances:

  • Hawaii has 5 schedules for classifying controlled substances based on accepted medical use and abuse potential.
  • Substances are placed into schedules I through V with schedule I having the highest potential for abuse and no medical use.

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. 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 risks while increasing employment opportunities.

Major Drawbacks

Methadone does carry risks including potential for misuse and diversion, severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly, QTc prolongation and cardiac issues, respiratory depression, and overdose when combined with other substances. Careful patient monitoring is critical.

Comparison to Other Medications

Methadone is equally effective as buprenorphine for reducing opioid use.


Methadone provides benefits but also has risks requiring careful management.

About Pahoa

Pahoa is located in the District of Puna on the island of Hawaiʻi, in Hawaii County, Hawaii, United States. Hawaii County is comprised of the Island of Hawaiʻi and has no neighboring states, as it is an island county in the state of Hawaii. The capital and largest city in Hawaii County is Hilo. The land area of Pahoa is estimated to be 3.4 square miles.

Pahoa has a small-town infrastructure, with a main street area containing small shops, restaurants, and businesses.

Population Statistics

The population of Pahoa is approximately 962 people as of 2010.


  • Male: 50%
  • Female: 50%

Age brackets:

  • Under 18 years: 21.4%
  • 18 to 64 years: 59.3%
  • 65 years and over: 19.3%


The primary occupations in Pahoa are in agriculture, retail trade, construction, education, healthcare, and hospitality services related to tourism.