Methadone Clinics in Charleston

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Charleston Center of Charleston Cnty5 Charleston Center Drive, Charleston, South Carolina, 29401(843) 9583-300

Rules and regulations

Charleston adheres to strict regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). All clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state.

Certification procedures

To operate legally in South Carolina, a methadone clinic must:

  • Be certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Obtain a state license from DHEC by submitting proper applications and fees
  • Pass inspections of the facility and staff credentials

Benefits of medication-assisted treatment

Methadone and other medication-assisted treatments for opioid addiction can:

  • Reduce illicit opioid use and overdose deaths
  • Help patients regain stability and improve social functioning
  • Lower the transmission risk of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis

How clinics operate and their purpose

Methadone clinics provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to people diagnosed with an opioid use disorder. Patients are assessed by a doctor and prescribed methadone or other medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings. The goal is to stabilize patients so they can focus on recovery.

Insurance Coverage

Many clinics accept Medicaid and private insurance. Some also offer sliding-scale fees or patient assistance programs.

Drug Use in Charleston

Charleston has been impacted by the national opioid crisis that was declared a public health emergency in 2017. According to data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources:

  • There were 883 drug overdose deaths statewide in 2020
  • Over 75% of those deaths involved an opioid
  • Charleston County had one of the highest rates of overdose deaths per 100,000 residents

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

  • Patients reside at a treatment facility for 30-90 days typically
  • Services include medical detoxification, individual and group counseling, medication management, aftercare planning

Outpatient Treatment

  • Patients attend structured programming at a facility for 10 or more hours per week
  • Services provided on evenings and weekends to accommodate work schedules

Treatment Level Unreported

  • An estimated 65% of individuals with a substance abuse disorder in Charleston receive some type of treatment according to SAMHSA
  • However, many opt for non-professional services such as AA or other community-based support groups
Treatment MetricCharlestonNeighbouring City
Treatment Facilities128
Inpatient Beds210178
Cost of Treatment$15,000/month$10,000/month

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 the euphoric effects of other opioids. Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programs provide methadone doses daily for patients, allowing them to function normally without the negative effects of substance use. MMT follows the opioid treatment program (OTP) model with strict federal and state regulations to prevent misuse.

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed – some see it as merely replacing one addiction with another, while others recognize its effectiveness as medication-assisted treatment. Explained simply, methadone occupies opioid receptors so other opioids have less effect, allowing patients to focus on recovery without constantly seeking drugs to avoid withdrawal.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is carefully controlled with several monitoring requirements:

  • Urine Testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight random drug tests in the first year of treatment to detect any unauthorized substance use.
  • Take-Home Requirements: During the first 14 days of treatment, the take-home supply of methadone is limited to a one-day (24-hour) supply that must be ingested on-site with provider supervision. After meeting certain criteria, take-home supplies can gradually increase to a month’s supply.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs should have an expert interprofessional team including physicians, nurses, counselors, social workers, etc. to provide comprehensive care.
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring: Clinicians should review their state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data regularly to carefully manage methadone dosage, as it has a narrow therapeutic window and overdose risk.

The state of Charleston categorizes methadone as a Schedule II controlled prescription substance with a high potential for abuse and dependence. The Charleston PDMP helps providers coordinate care and deter “doctor shopping” for multiple opioid prescriptions.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone is an effective medication for treating opioid use disorder that has been used since 1947. Studies show methadone treatment reduces opioid use, disease transmission through injection, and drug-related crime. Patients had 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests and were 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment. Retention in methadone treatment reduces overdose and disease transmission risk while increasing employment opportunities.

However, methadone does carry risks including potential for misuse/diversion, severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly, possible QTc prolongation or cardiac issues, and respiratory depression/overdose danger when combined with other substances. It is equally as effective as buprenorphine for reducing opioid use but requires careful patient selection and management by a specialty provider.

In conclusion, methadone offers clear benefits but also significant risks requiring vigilant monitoring and responsible patient participation for successful outcomes.

About Charleston

Charleston is located in Charleston County on the coast of South Carolina. The state borders North Carolina, Georgia, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Location, county & list of neighboring states

  • North Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Atlantic Ocean

Charleston is the capital and largest city of Charleston County.

The land area of Charleston is 127.5 square miles.

Infrastructure

Charleston’s infrastructure includes an international airport, seaport, highways, public transportation, and utilities. Key industries include tourism, port operations, manufacturing, technology, and healthcare.

Population Statistics

The total population of Charleston is over 137,000 residents.

Demographics

Gender

  • Male: 47%
  • Female: 53%

Age brackets

  • Under 18 years: 15%
  • 18 to 65 years: 69%
  • Over 65 years: 16%

Occupations

Most common occupations in Charleston:

  • Management, business, science and arts: 47%
  • Sales and office: 24%
  • Service: 17%
  • Production, transportation, material moving: 12%