Methadone Clinics in Needham Heights

Rules and regulations: Needham Heights, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States adheres to strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics. These regulations cover areas such as patient eligibility, treatment protocols, facility security measures, and dispensing controls.

Certification Procedures

  • Clinics must be certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and licensed by the state.
  • Staff must meet educational and training requirements.
  • Regular facility inspections are conducted.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

  • Methadone and other medications relieve withdrawal symptoms and reduce opioid cravings.
  • Medication-assisted treatment allows people to focus on their health, family, and work while in recovery.
  • Studies show medication-assisted treatment is associated with lower rates of overdose deaths.

How Clinics Operate and Their Purpose

  • Clinics provide methadone doses for daily pickup or on-site administration under medical supervision. The goal is to support recovery from opioid use disorders.
  • Additional counseling and behavioral health services are offered.
  • Urine drug screens and other tests ensure treatment compliance.

Insurance Coverage

  • Public and private insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, typically cover methadone treatment to some extent. Coverage may depend on the specific plan and policy.
  • Some clinics offer treatment on a sliding fee scale for low-income patients.

Drug Use in Needham Heights

The opioid crisis has been declared a nationwide public health emergency. In Massachusetts, opioid-related deaths have increased exponentially since 2000. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:

  • There were 2,155 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts in 2021. This represents a 4% increase over 2020.
  • Over 76% of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2021 involved fentanyl.

To combat this crisis, a range of addiction treatment options exist for the residents of Needham and Norfolk County.

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient facilities provide 24/7 care and monitoring for patients staying overnight. Typical inpatient treatment involves medically-managed detox, counseling, group therapy, medication management, and discharge planning. The average length of stay is 30 days.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs provide addiction treatment services for patients who visit a facility but do not stay overnight. Services may include counseling, group therapy, medication management, and recovery support. Frequency of services ranges from weekly to daily visits.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 10-20% of addiction treatment facilities do not report their treatment level (inpatient vs. outpatient). Their services likely resemble standard outpatient programs with possible intensive outpatient options.

Comparison to Boston


Needham/Norfolk County


Treatment Facilities



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Cost of Treatment



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 provide the associated euphoria or high of misused opioids. Methadone is taken orally once daily in tapering doses under medical supervision in what are known as opioid treatment programs (OTPs).

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed. While it does help individuals with opioid addiction avoid painful withdrawal symptoms and reduce risk of overdose or disease transmission, some view it as merely replacing one addiction with another. However, research shows that methadone maintenance therapy increases retention in treatment and allows patients to function more normally in work and social contexts. Careful patient monitoring and dosage adjustments over time can lead to lasting recovery.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is highly regulated with strict federal and state laws around dispensing and use. Key aspects include:

  • Urine Testing: Patients must undergo at least eight random urine tests in the first year to detect any continued drug misuse.
  • Take-Home Doses: For the first 14 days, methadone doses can only be consumed on-site at the clinic. Over time and with demonstrated progress, take-home doses are allowed but still limited based on duration of treatment.
  • Interprofessional Teams: Methadone clinics employ doctors, nurses, counselors and social workers to monitor patient progress.
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring: Clinicians should review state PDMP data to carefully calibrate methadone doses and watch for potentially dangerous drug interactions.

As an example, in Needham, MA, methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance with strict regulations around prescribing and dispensing from registered OTPs.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone is an effective medication for treating opioid use disorder that has been used since 1947. Studies show methadone MAT reduces opioid use, disease transmission from injection drug use, and drug-related criminal behavior.

  • Specifically, research shows that methadone maintenance therapy delivers a 33% decrease in opioid-positive drug tests.
  • Patients on MAT are also 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment compared to placebo, which itself reduces overdose risk and infectious disease transmission while increasing rates of employment.

However, methadone does come with risks like potential for misuse and diversion, severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly, QTc prolongation raising cardiac issues, as well as respiratory depression and overdose when combined with alcohol or other medications. It can also be less effective than buprenorphine, another common MAT medication, in reducing opioid use based on some studies.

Careful patient screening, regular monitoring and dosage adjustments are critical to ensuring patient safety.

In conclusion, while not without risks requiring management, methadone’s benefits make it an important treatment option for certain patients battling opioid addiction.

About Needham Heights

Needham is located in Norfolk County in the state of Massachusetts, New England region. Norfolk County borders the following states:

  • New Hampshire to the north
  • Rhode Island to the south
  • Connecticut to the west

The capital and largest city in Massachusetts is Boston. The land area of Needham is approximately 12.7 square miles.

Population Statistics

The total population of Needham is approximately 31,000 residents.


  • Female: 52%
  • Male: 48%

Age Brackets:

  • Under 18 years: 24%
  • 18 to 65 years: 63%
  • Over 65 years: 13%


  • Management, business, science and arts: 61%
  • Sales and office occupations: 24%
  • Service occupations: 8%
  • Natural resources, construction, maintenance: 4%
  • Production and transportation: 3%