Methadone Clinics in Lawrence Township

Lawrence Township, New Jersey, adheres to strict regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Rules and Regulations:

  • Methadone clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and accredited by an independent body.
  • Clinics must comply with DEA regulations for dispensing methadone.
  • Patients must meet eligibility criteria and be evaluated by a doctor before starting treatment.

Certification Procedures:

  • Clinics must apply for certification from SAMHSA.
  • They must meet standards for patient care, staffing, and record keeping.
  • Clinics must renew certification every 3 years.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment:

  • Methadone reduces opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • It allows patients to focus on their recovery and rehabilitation.
  • Methadone is taken orally once daily, improving compliance.

How Clinics Operate:

  • Patients must visit the clinic daily to receive their methadone dose.
  • Counseling services are offered to support recovery.
  • Random drug tests determine if patients are taking other opioids.
  • Doses are gradually reduced until the patient is off methadone.

Insurance Coverage

  • Medicaid and Medicare may cover methadone treatment.
  • Private insurance often covers treatment.
  • Some clinics offer treatment on a sliding scale based on income.

Drug Use in Lawrence Township

Opioid Crisis Declared Public Health Emergency

  • In 2017, the opioid crisis was declared a nationwide public health emergency by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Statistics on Drug Overdoses and Deaths

  • In 2020, there were 3,034 drug overdose deaths involving opioids in New Jersey – a rate of 34.1 deaths per 100,000 persons compared to the national rate of 20.6 deaths per 100,000.
  • The greatest increase was seen in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids (mainly fentanyl) which increased by 60% from 2019 to 2020 in New Jersey.

Data on Prevalence of Different Substances

  • The most commonly used illicit drugs in New Jersey are:
  • Marijuana
  • Nonmedical use of prescription pain relievers
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

  • Inpatient treatment involves living at a treatment facility for 30 days or longer with 24/7 care and access to medical professionals. Programs provide detox, counseling, behavioral therapies, medication, and aftercare planning.

Outpatient Treatment

  • Outpatient treatment provides 9-12 hours per week of services including counseling, therapy, and medication management. Treatment is provided at various locations including hospitals, clinics, and recovery centers.

Treatment Level Unreported

  • An estimated 10-20% of addiction treatment in New Jersey is unreported. Reasons include payment through private insurance or self-pay.

Comparison of Treatment in Lawrence vs. Neighboring Major City

Category

Lawrence

Philadelphia

Treatment Facilities

15

223

Inpatient Beds

250

3,000

Cost of Treatment

$10,000/month

$15,000/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 opioid drugs. However, it does not produce the same level of euphoria or sedation, allowing those in treatment to function more normally. Methadone is taken orally once daily in tapering or maintenance doses in opioid treatment programs (OTPs).

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed. While it helps stabilize individuals and reduce illegal opioid use and associated crime when properly managed, some view it as merely replacing one addiction with another. However, research shows MAT with methadone is safe and effective when patients receive adequate monitoring and counseling.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is highly regulated with required monitoring to prevent misuse and diversion:

  • Urine testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight random drug tests in the first year of treatment to ensure compliance and prevent concurrent substance 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 meeting program requirements.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs should 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 dosage, as it has a narrow therapeutic window.

As a Schedule II controlled substance, methadone distribution and use is regulated by state and federal agencies. In Lawrence, Mercer County, New Jersey, methadone treatment programs must be certified by the state Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone has been used to treat opioid addiction since 1947. Studies show it is an effective MAT medication that:

  • Reduces opioid use based on 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests
  • Increases treatment retention 4.44 times more likely than non-medication approaches
  • Lowers overdose death risk and disease transmission through reduced injection opioid use
  • Increases employment opportunities for those who remain in treatment

However, methadone does carry risks including potential for misuse/diversion, severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly, QTc prolongation and cardiac issues, respiratory depression and overdose when combined with other substances like benzodiazepines.

Still, research suggests methadone is equally as effective as buprenorphine, another MAT medication, for reducing illicit opioid use when properly managed.

In conclusion, methadone maintenance therapy can provide substantial benefits for treating opioid addiction but also has risks requiring careful monitoring and management.

About Lawrence Township

Lawrence is located in Mercer County in central New Jersey, United States. It borders the following states:

  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware

Trenton is the capital and the largest city in Mercer County. The land area of Lawrence is approximately 3.899 square miles.

Population Statistics

The total population of Lawrence is about 33,000 (2020 census).

Demographics:

Gender

  • Male: 49%
  • Female: 51%

Age brackets

  • Under 18 years: 20%
  • 18 to 65 years: 63%
  • Over 65 years: 17%

The most common occupations in Lawrence are:

  • Management, business, science, and arts: 50%
  • Sales and office: 23%
  • Service: 15%
  • Production, transportation, material moving: 12%