Methadone Clinics in Des Moines

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Center for Behavioral Health Iowa Inc1200 University Street Suite 106 Des Moines, IA 50314(515) 244-9500
Covert Action, LLC1223 Center Street Suite 22 Des Moines, IA 50309(515) 244-0073
First Step Mercy Recovery Center Mercy Franklin Center1818 48th Street Des Moines, IA 50310(515) 271-6075
United Community Services401 SW 8th Street, Des Moines, IA 50309(515) 280-3860

Rules and Regulations

Des Moines adheres to strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Certification Procedures

  • Clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state health department
  • Staff must meet educational and licensing requirements
  • Regular facility inspections enforce safety and treatment standards

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment with methadone helps individuals with opioid use disorder by:

  • Reducing opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Allowing people to focus on counseling and recovery
  • Lowering the risk of overdose and transmitting infections

How Clinics Operate and Their Purpose

Methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone doses and counseling to those recovering from opioid addiction. The structured environment helps patients stabilize their lives and develop healthy behaviors.

Insurance Coverage

Public and private insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, typically cover methadone treatment. Uninsured patients may qualify for state funding or clinic payment assistance programs.

Free Clinics

Some clinics offer free treatment funded by grants, public health programs, or nonprofit organizations. Eligibility requirements are based on income, insurance status, and other factors.

Drug Use in Des Moines

The opioid crisis has been declared a nationwide public health emergency. In Iowa, opioid-related deaths have increased sixfold from 2005 to 2017.

  • 6,406 Iowans died from drug poisoning from 2008-2017
  • Prescription opioids are involved in most Iowa drug deaths

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

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

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment provides services for 4-8 hours a week while living at home. Services include counseling, group therapy, medication management, and recovery coaching.

Treatment Level Unreported

Over 9,000 Iowans received treatment in 2017 at certified SUD treatment facilities, but did not specify treatment level. Cost, stigma, and availability limit access to adequate addiction treatment.

Comparison to Cedar Rapids

CategoryDes MoinesCedar Rapids
Number of treatment facilities158
Inpatient beds available300150
Cost of treatment$15,000/month$10,000/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 opioid withdrawal and reduces drug cravings by activating opioid receptors in the brain similarly to other opioids. However, it does not provide the associated euphoria or high of misused opioids. Methadone is taken orally once daily in supervised opioid treatment programs (OTPs) that provide counseling and urine drug screening.

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed. While it does help treat addiction, some view it as merely replacing one opioid with another. However, research shows methadone helps patients stay in treatment and reduce opioid misuse when properly regulated.

Methadone Distribution

OTPs providing methadone must follow strict federal and state monitoring and regulations including:

  • Urine testing: Patients must undergo at least eight random drug tests in the first year to detect any unsanctioned drug use.
  • Take-home requirements: For the first 14 days, patients must take their daily methadone dose on-site at the clinic. After meeting certain criteria, take-home doses can then be allowed but are limited based on time in treatment.
  • Interprofessional monitoring: OTPs must have teams including physicians, nurses, and counselors to coordinate care.
  • 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 in Iowa and at the federal level, methadone has a high potential for abuse and dependence. However, it remains legal only as part of regulated MAT treatment.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone has been used to treat opioid addiction since 1947. Many studies demonstrate its effectiveness when properly regulated.

Evidence for Effectiveness

Studies show participation in methadone treatment reduces opioid use based on drug tests. Patients in methadone treatment have 33% fewer opioid-positive urine tests. They are also 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment, which reduces mortality risk and transmission of HIV and hepatitis.

Major Drawbacks

Potential for misuse and diversion exists. Suddenly stopping methadone can cause severe withdrawal. It can also prolong the QT interval on electrocardiograms in some patients, posing cardiac risks. Like other opioids, it also carries risks of overdose when combined with other central nervous system depressants.

Comparison to Other Medications

Research finds methadone and buprenorphine equally effective for reducing illicit opioid use and retaining patients in treatment.

In conclusion, while not without risks, methadone is a well-established treatment for opioid addiction that can be effective if properly regulated.

About Des Moines

Location, County & List of Neighboring States

Des Moines is the capital and largest city in the U.S. state of Iowa. It is located in Polk County in central Iowa. The states bordering Iowa are:

  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota

Capital and Largest City

Des Moines has been the capital of Iowa since 1857 and is the largest city in the state.

Land Area

The land area of Des Moines is 82.62 sq miles.


Des Moines has an international airport, public transit system, interstate highways, fiber internet access, municipal water supply, and wastewater treatment supporting its role as Iowa’s largest city and state capital.

Population Statistics

Total Population

The population of Des Moines is 214,237 as per the 2020 census.



  • Male: 50.7%
  • Female: 49.3%

Age Brackets

  • Under 18 years: 22.4%
  • 18 to 65 years: 63.9%
  • Over 65 years: 13.7%


Top occupations in Des Moines include education, training, library, arts, design, entertainment, sports, media; office and administrative support; sales related; healthcare practitioners, technical, and support.