Methadone Clinics in North Myrtle Beach

Rules and Regulations:

North Myrtle Beach, Horry County, South Carolina adheres to strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Certification Procedures:

All methadone clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state. Certification requires adhering to regulations on medication dispensing, counseling services, patient rights, and more. Clinics must renew licenses annually.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

MAT With Methadone Helps Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder By:

  • Preventing painful withdrawal symptoms
  • Reducing opioid cravings
  • Allowing patients to focus on counseling and recovery

How Clinics Operate and Their Purpose:

Methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone doses and counseling to support recovery from opioid addiction. Patients must visit clinics daily to receive medication. Over time, successful patients may receive take-home doses.

Insurance Coverage

  • Free clinics: Some nonprofit clinics offer free treatment based on patient needs.
  • Public and private insurance: Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurers typically cover methadone treatment. Details vary by plan.

Drug Use in North Myrtle Beach

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 1,926 drug overdose deaths in South Carolina, a 45% increase from 2015. Opioids were involved in 78% of these deaths.
  • Horry County had one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the state at 34.1 per 100,000 residents in 2020.

Data on the prevalence of different substances

  • Opioids like prescription pain relievers and heroin are the most commonly abused drugs in South Carolina.
  • Methamphetamine and cocaine are also widely used illicit drugs.
  • Alcohol and marijuana are the most commonly used legal substances.

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, medication management, and recovery support.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 9% of people with substance use disorders receive treatment in South Carolina based on national survey data. Many more go untreated.

Comparison of Treatment in North Myrtle Beach vs. Myrtle Beach

CityTreatment FacilitiesInpatient BedsCost of Treatment
North Myrtle Beach15200$10,000-20,000/month
Myrtle Beach25300$10,000-20,000/month

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

  • Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist medication used to treat opioid use disorder and prevent withdrawal symptoms. As medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone is dispensed through opioid treatment programs (OTPs) rather than prescribed, allowing for daily monitored dosage.
  • Methadone activates the opioid receptors in the brain like other opioids, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms from discontinuing problem opioid use. By providing stable opioid receptor activation without euphoria, methadone stabilization allows people to function normally and respond to behavioral therapy.
  • Methadone maintenance faces stigma as “substituting one drug for another” rather than a medical treatment, but research shows methadone’s effectiveness when properly monitored. Still, societal misperceptions persist. Clear communication of methadone’s stabilizing mechanism and supervision protocols is needed to improve public understanding.

Methadone Distribution

Description of Monitoring and Regulations

  • Urine Testing: Federal and state regulations require methadone maintenance patients receive random urine tests at least eight times in the first year to ensure appropriate use and detect any unsanctioned drug use.
  • Take-Home Requirements: Patients must attend the clinic daily to receive their dose on-site during the first 14 days of treatment before becoming eligible for limited take-home doses allowing fewer clinic visits.
  • Monitoring: Certified opioid treatment programs utilize an interprofessional team including physicians, nurses, counselors, social workers, and psychologists to monitor patient progress.
  • Prescription Drug Monitoring: Clinicians should review their state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data when determining dosage, as methadone has a narrow therapeutic window and interactions with other medications can lead to overdose.

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina drug classifications:

  •  Schedule I – heroin, LSD, marijuana, ecstasy
  •  Schedule II – Adderall, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl
  •  Schedule III – Tylenol with codeine, ketamine, and anabolic steroids
  •  Schedule IV – Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium
  •  Schedule V – Robitussin AC, Lomotil, Motofen

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone is an effective medication for treating opioid use disorder used since 1947. Studies show methadone reduces opioid use, disease transmission, and crime when properly monitored.

Evidence for Effectiveness

  • Research indicates that compared to no medication-assisted treatment, methadone maintenance leads to 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests and makes people 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment.
  • Retention in methadone treatment reduces overdose and disease transmission risk while increasing employment opportunities.

Major Drawbacks

  • Potential for misuse/diversion if not properly monitored
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms if the dosage stopped suddenly
  • Possible QTc prolongation/cardiac issues
  • Respiratory depression/overdose risk when combined with other substances

Comparison to Other Medications

Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective for reducing problem opioid use.

Conclusion

Methadone maintenance is beneficial but also carries risks requiring careful management under monitoring protocols.

About North Myrtle Beach

North Myrtle Beach is located in Horry County in the coastal region of South Carolina. Horry County borders North Carolina to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. The neighboring states of South Carolina are:

  • North Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Tennessee

The capital and largest city in South Carolina is Columbia.

The land area of North Myrtle Beach is 16.4 square miles. Horry County has a total area of 1,255 square miles.

Infrastructure:

As a popular tourist destination, North Myrtle Beach has an extensive infrastructure to support tourism and its residential population. This includes hotels, golf courses, shops, restaurants, roads, bridges, parks, marinas, and public transportation.

Population Statistics

The estimated population of North Myrtle Beach is 16,872 as of 2019. Horry County has a population of 354,081.

Demographics:

Gender:

North Myrtle Beach has a female population of 51.1% and a male population of 48.9%.

Age Brackets:

12.1% are under 18 years old, 7.3% are 18 to 24 years old, 58.1% are 25 to 64 years old, and 22.5% are over 65 years old.

Occupations:

The largest industries are hospitality, entertainment, recreation, retail, healthcare, and construction. Tourism drives much of the local economy.