Methadone Clinics in Mississippi

Rules and regulations

Mississippi adheres to strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Mississippi State Department of Health. All clinics must be certified and meet standards of care.

Certification procedures

To open a new opioid treatment program in Mississippi:

  • Complete an application with the MS State Methadone Authority
  • Undergo inspections and surveys
  • Demonstrate capacity to provide required services
  • Have a licensed physician medical director
  • Employ certified counselors
  • Meet security requirements

Benefits of medication-assisted treatment

Medication-assisted treatment with methadone can:

  • Reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms
  • Allow people to focus on recovery and rehabilitation
  • Greatly reduce the risk of overdose
  • Improve overall health and social functioning

How clinics operate and their purpose

Methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone dosing, counselling, and case management to support people in treatment and recovery from opioid addiction. The goal is harm reduction and improved wellbeing.

Insurance Coverage

Mississippi Medicaid covers methadone treatment to some extent. Some private insurers may also provide coverage, but this varies by plan. Uninsured individuals may seek treatment at reduced cost through income-based state funding.

Drug Use in Mississippi

  • Over 1,600 opioid-involved overdose deaths in 2020, a 45% increase from 2019, prompting a public health emergency declaration
  • Over 300,000 people reported misusing prescription opioids between 2015-2019
  • Alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine, and cannabis also widely used

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

  • Focuses on medical stabilization, intensive counseling, group therapy, etc. in a residential facility
  • Typical stay 30-90 days

Outpatient Treatment

  • Services while living at home – individual & group counseling, medication management
  • 1-5 days a week for several hours per day

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 18% of those needing addiction treatment in Mississippi did not specify treatment level

Comparison of Availability

CityTreatment CentersInpatient BedsCost of Treatment
Jackson, MS112~500 beds$15,000+/month
Memphis, TN123~900 beds$10,000+/month

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is an opioid agonist medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and opioid treatment programs (OTPs) to treat opioid use disorder. It binds to opioid receptors and reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Society has conflicting views on methadone—some see it as merely replacing one addiction with another, while supporters emphasize its efficacy as a harm reduction treatment. Simply put, methadone stabilizes patients and allows them to function normally.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is strictly regulated with monitoring requirements:

  1. Urine testing: Patients must undergo at least eight random drug tests in the first year of treatment to ensure compliance.
  2. Take-home doses: Patients can only take home a 24-hour methadone supply for the first 14 days of treatment, with more take-homes allowed over time if patients meet certain criteria.
  3. Monitoring: Methadone clinics should have an interprofessional team overseeing treatment, including counseling, case management, and coordination with outside providers.
  4. Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians should review the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data to carefully cross-reference methadone dosage with patients’ other medications, as methadone has a narrow therapeutic window and interactions can be dangerous.

Mississippi categorizes methadone as a Schedule II controlled substance, reflecting its potential for abuse and dependence with severe psychological or physical dependence.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone has been used effectively since 1947 to treat opioid addiction.

Evidence for Effectiveness: Studies show participation in a methadone program is associated with reduced opioid use, lower rates of disease transmission, and less criminal behavior:

  • 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests
  • 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment

Retention in methadone treatment reduces the risk of overdose and disease transmission while increasing employment opportunities.

Major Drawbacks:

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

Comparison to Other Medications: Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective for reducing illicit opioid use.

Benefits of methadone must be weighed against risks requiring careful patient selection, dosing, and monitoring.

About Mississippi

Mississippi is located in the southern United States, bordering Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, and the Gulf of Mexico. The capital and largest city is Jackson. Mississippi covers 46,923 square miles of land. Infrastructure includes interstate highways, airports, inland waterways, railroads, and ports along the Gulf Coast.

Population Statistics

The total Mississippi population is approximately 2.9 million residents.


  • Gender: 51% female, 49% male
  • Age brackets: 17% under 18 years, 60% between 18-64 years, 23% over 65 years


  • Healthcare and social assistance (17% of jobs)
  • Manufacturing (13%)
  • Retail trade (11%)
  • Accommodation and food services (10%)