Methadone Clinics in Edmonton

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Lifeskills Inc Metcalfe County Office112 Sartin Drive, Edmonton, Kentucky, 42129(270) 4324-951

Rules and regulations

Edmonton adheres to strict regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta. These regulations cover certification, operating procedures, and insurance coverage.

Certification procedures

  • Clinics must be certified by Alberta Health Services
  • Physicians must have a methadone exemption to prescribe methadone
  • Clinics must follow specific guidelines around dosing, counseling, urine drug screening, etc.

Benefits of medication-assisted treatment

Medication-assisted treatment with methadone helps individuals with opioid addiction by:

  • Preventing withdrawal symptoms
  • Reducing cravings for opioids
  • Allowing normalization of brain function
  • Enabling engagement in counseling and behavioral therapies

How clinics operate and their purpose

Methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone doses and counseling to those with an opioid addiction. Their purpose is harm reduction and improved quality of life.

Insurance Coverage

Both public and private insurance provide coverage for methadone treatment:

  • Alberta Health Care covers the cost of methadone and counseling
  • Private insurance plans may cover all or part of the dispensing fees

Free clinics

Some clinics offer services at no cost to uninsured patients who meet eligibility criteria.

Drug Use in Edmonton

Opioid crisis declared public health emergency:

In 2016, Alberta declared an opioid crisis due to rising overdose deaths. Over 1,200 Albertans have died from opioids since then.

Statistics on drug overdoses and deaths:

In 2020, there were 1,139 apparent opioid-related deaths in Alberta. This translates to a rate of 26.1 deaths per 100,000 population.

The 3 most common drugs involved in apparent opioid-related deaths:

  • Fentanyl – 83%
  • Methamphetamine – 29%
  • Cocaine – 21%

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Description: Treatment in a residential facility for typically 30-90 days. Includes medical monitoring, counseling, group therapy, etc.

Outpatient Treatment

Description: Treatment at a facility less than 9 hours a week. Includes counseling, therapy, peer support groups, etc. Located in community settings.

Treatment Level Unreported

Approximately 18% of Albertans receiving treatment did not specify treatment level.

Comparison of Treatment in Edmonton vs. Calgary

CategoryEdmontonCalgary
# of Treatment Facilities2532
Inpatient Beds Available150210
Cost of 30-day Inpatient Treatment$15,000$18,000

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist medication used to treat opioid use disorder and prevent withdrawal symptoms. It binds to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing cravings and block euphoric effects if other opioids are used. Methadone is taken orally once daily in liquid form under medical supervision at opioid treatment programs (OTPs).

As medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone suppresses withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings without inducing euphoria. This allows patients to focus on recovery without disruptive symptoms. OTPs provide counseling and support services alongside dosing.

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 MAT with methadone is an evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction.

Methadone Distribution

  • Methadone distribution is highly regulated with strict federal and state guidelines:
  • Urine Testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight random drug tests in the first year of treatment to detect any unsanctioned drug use.
  • Take-Home Requirements: During the first 14 days of treatment, the take-home methadone supply is limited to a single 24-hour dose. More take-home doses are allowed over time for stable patients.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs have an interprofessional team including physicians, nurses, and counselors monitoring patient progress.

Prescription Drug Monitoring

Clinicians should review PDMP data to carefully cross-reference other opioid prescriptions with methadone, which has a narrow therapeutic window.

Edmonton Methadone Regulations

In Edmonton, methadone is a Schedule I drug, indicating high potential for abuse but accepted medical use in treatment. Special authority is required for prescribing.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone has been used to treat opioid addiction since 1947. Studies show it is an effective MAT option that reduces opioid use, disease transmission through injection, and drug-related crime.

Evidence for Effectiveness

Studies show patients on a stable methadone dose have 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests versus untreated individuals. Methadone patients are also 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment long-term. Retention in treatment is vital, as it reduces overdose risk, HIV and hepatitis C transmission through shared needles, and criminal behavior to obtain drugs. Methadone maintenance is also associated with higher employment rates for those with opioid use disorder.

Major Drawbacks

While effective, methadone does carry risks. There is potential for misuse and diversion of the medication. Suddenly stopping methadone after long-term use can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. Some patients develop QTc prolongation or other cardiac issues. Respiratory depression and overdose can occur if methadone is combined with alcohol, benzodiazepines, or other sedatives.

Comparison to Other Medications

Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective for reducing illicit opioid use in patients with opioid use disorder.

Conclusion

Methadone is a well-established treatment for opioid addiction but requires careful administration and monitoring to manage risks.

About Edmonton

Edmonton is the capital and largest city of the Canadian province of Alberta.

Location, County & Neighbouring Areas

Edmonton is located in central Alberta along the North Saskatchewan River

Part of the Census Division No. 11

Borders Strathcona County to the east and south

Other neighbouring municipalities include:

  • Sturgeon County
  • Parkland County
  • Leduc County
  • Devon
  • Beaumont
  • St. Albert
  • Fort Saskatchewan

Capital & Largest City

  • Became Alberta’s capital in 1905
  • Land area of 767.85 km2 as of 2021

Infrastructure

Edmonton has an international airport, public transportation networks, and major roadways like Highway 2 and Anthony Henday Drive that connects the city.

Population Statistics

Total population is 1,010,426 as of 2021

Demographics:

Gender:

  • 49.7% male
  • 50.3% female

Age brackets:

  • 17.2% under 18
  • 63.8% between 18-64
  • 19% over 65

Major occupations:

  • sales & service
  • business/finance/admin
  • trades/transport/equipment operators