Methadone Clinics in Dorchester Center

Rules and Regulations:

Dorchester Center, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, 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). All clinics must be certified and meet standards for dispensing methadone as medication-assisted treatment.

Certification Procedures

Methadone clinics must register with the DEA and acquire a certification from SAMHSA to dispense methadone for opioid addiction treatment. Staff must undergo training and continuing education. Clinics must meet security and record-keeping standards. Patients must provide identification and undergo an intake evaluation.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Methadone Treatment Has Been Shown To:

  • Reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Allow normalization of brain function
  • Allow patients to focus on counseling and behavioral therapies
  • Reduce the risk of HIV and hepatitis C infection
  • Reduce the risk of overdose death

How Clinics Operate and Their Purpose

Methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone dosing and counseling to those recovering from opioid addiction. The goal is to help patients gain control over addiction and work toward recovery. Clinics offer case management, group therapy, individual counseling, and other services.

Insurance Coverage

  • Public and private insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, typically cover methadone treatment. Some clinics offer treatment on a sliding fee scale for low-income patients.
  • Grants help fund free clinics to expand access. Patients are advised to check with their insurance provider for specific coverage details for methadone maintenance.

Drug Use in Dorchester Center

The opioid epidemic has hit Massachusetts hard, with the Governor declaring a public health emergency in response to rising overdose deaths.

Statistics on drug overdoses and deaths:

  • In 2020, there were 2,104 confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts, a 5% increase from 2019.
  • Over 75% of these deaths involved fentanyl.
  • Heroin, prescription opioids, and cocaine were also common substances involved.

Data on the prevalence of different substances:

  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana and prescription pain relievers are the most commonly used illicit drugs in Massachusetts.
  • An estimated 15.41% of Massachusetts residents have used marijuana in the past year.
  • 4.77% have misused prescription pain relievers.

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

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

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment provides services for several hours a day, several days a week, allowing the person to live at home. It includes counseling, group therapy, and medication management.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 38% of treatment facilities did not report their treatment level in Massachusetts, so the actual number of inpatient beds may be higher.

Comparison of Treatment in Dorchester Center vs. Boston

CategoryDorchester CenterBoston
Treatment Facilities15123
Inpatient Beds501,200 est.
Cost of Treatment$10,000+/month$15,000+/month

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

  • Methadone is an 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. It allows patients to avoid disruptive highs and lows and focus on recovery.
  • Societal perspectives on methadone treatment vary. Some see it as merely replacing one opioid with another. However, research shows MAT with methadone or buprenorphine helps patients stay in treatment, reduces opioid use, and lowers the risk of overdose death and disease transmission. Most experts consider MAT the gold standard for treating opioid addiction.

Methadone Distribution

MAT programs follow strict federal and state regulations on dispensing methadone:

  • Urine Testing: Patients must undergo at least eight random urine tests in the first year to detect any unauthorized substance use.
  • Take-Home Doses: For the first 14 days, the take-home methadone supply is limited to a single 24-hour dose. More take-homes are allowed over time for patients who follow program rules.
  • Monitoring: MAT programs have an interprofessional team including physicians, nurses, and counselors to monitor patient progress.
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring: Clinicians should review state PDMP data to carefully manage methadone dosage, as it has a narrow therapeutic window.

The Dorchester Center classifies methadone as a Schedule II controlled substance under Massachusetts law and U.S. federal law.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone has been used to treat opioid addiction since 1947. Studies show it is highly effective for this purpose. Specifically:

Evidence for Effectiveness

  • 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests for MAT patients
  • 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment long-term
  • Retention in treatment reduces overdose risk and disease transmission while improving employment outcomes

Major Drawbacks

  • Potential for misuse and diversion
  • Severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly
  • Risk of QTc prolongation and cardiac issues
  • Respiratory depression/overdose when combined with other substances

Comparison to Other Medications

Methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective for reducing illicit opioid use.


Methadone has demonstrated benefits but also risks requiring careful management.

About Dorchester Center

Dorchester Center is located in Norfolk County in the state of Massachusetts, United States. Norfolk County borders the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut.

The capital and largest city in Massachusetts is Boston. Dorchester Center has a total land area of 3.14 square miles (8.13 square kilometers).


Road Network: Dorchester Center has an established network of surface roads and highways that connect it regionally. This includes Interstate 93 and Massachusetts Route 203.

Population Statistics

The total population of Dorchester Center is around 36,000 residents according to recent census estimates.


  • Male: 47%
  • Female: 53%

Age Brackets

  • Under 18 years: 19%
  • 18 to 65 years: 67%
  • Over 65 years: 14%

Top Occupations Include:

  • Education, healthcare & social services: 34%
  • Professional, scientific & management: 22%
  • Retail trade: 11%
  • Arts, entertainment & recreation: 9%