Methadone Clinics in Saint Johnsbury

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Northeast Kingdom Human Services Inc2225 Portland Street, Saint Johnsbury, Vermont, 05819+18027483181

Saint Johnsbury adheres to strict state and federal regulations regarding methadone clinics, as outlined by the Vermont Department of Health and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Rules and Regulations

  • Methadone clinics must register with the DEA and acquire a license
  • Clinics must follow protocols for dispensing and storage of methadone
  • Patients must meet eligibility criteria and undergo screening/evaluations

Certification Procedures

Methadone clinics must meet certification standards related to administration, patient services, quality assurance, and more. Key requirements include:

  • Employing a program sponsor, medical director, and certified counselors
  • Urine drug screening and annual physical exams for patients
  • Documented treatment plans updated quarterly

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

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

  • Reduce illicit opioid use and overdose deaths
  • Lower transmission rates of HIV and hepatitis
  • Enable patients to improve health, relationships, and work/school participation

How Clinics Operate and Their Purpose

Methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone dosing and counseling to those with an opioid use disorder. The structured environment helps patients gain stability so they can work on life priorities.

Insurance Coverage

Vermont Medicaid covers methadone treatment. Some private insurers offer coverage as well. Those without insurance may seek assistance through state-funded treatment slots reserved for low-income residents. There are also some free nonprofit clinics, but spaces are very limited.

Drug Use in Saint Johnsbury

Opioid crisis declared public health emergency

In 2017, the opioid crisis was declared a nationwide public health emergency. Since then, states and local communities have scrambled to address the devastating impacts of widespread addiction.

Statistics on drug overdoses and deaths

In Vermont, there were drug overdose deaths in 2018. The drugs most commonly involved in overdoses are:

  • Opioids: 55%
  • Heroin: 35%
  • Cocaine: 15%

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

  • Typically lasts 28 days up to 6 months
  • Provides 24/7 medical monitoring, counseling, group therapy, medication

Outpatient Treatment

  • Sessions range from 1-5 days per week depending on need
  • Provided at clinics, private practices, community health centers

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 20% of Saint Johnsbury residents receive some form of untreated addiction treatment per year

Comparison of Treatment in Saint Johnsbury vs. Burlington

CategorySaint JohnsburyBurlington
Number of treatment facilities2018
Inpatient beds available150140
Cost of 30 days inpatient treatment$18,000/month$14,000/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 euphoric effects if other opioids are used. Methadone is taken orally once daily in opioid treatment programs (OTPs).

Mechanism as medication assisted treatment, OTP principle

Methadone maintenance treatment provides a legal, monitored dose of methadone as an alternative to misusing other opioids. This allows patients to function normally without euphoric highs or debilitating cravings/withdrawal. Methadone is only provided through regulated OTPs requiring counseling and urine drug screening.

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment

Methadone treatment has faced stigma as “substituting one drug for another.” However, research shows methadone helps patients recover functioning lives. With structure/support from OTPs, methadone relieves withdrawal and craving allowing patients to focus on health, relationships and employment.

In layman’s terms, methadone tricks the brain into thinking it is still getting other opioids. This stops withdrawal and cravings. The patient takes an oral dose once daily and can live a normal life.

Methadone Distribution

Description of monitoring and regulations:

  • Urine testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight tests in the first year of treatment to ensure no illicit drug use.
  • Take-home requirements: During the first 14 days of treatment, the take-home supply of methadone is limited to a 24-hour supply. More take-home doses are allowed over time if patients have negative drug tests.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs should have an interprofessional team of medical, counseling and administrative staff to coordinate care.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians should review prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data to carefully cross-reference other opioid medications a patient receives, as methadone has a narrow therapeutic window and overdose risk.

Saint Johnsbury state drug classifications

Methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance in Saint Johnsbury. Schedule II drugs have accepted medical use but also potential for abuse/dependence. Other Schedule II opioids include morphine, fentanyl and oxycodone.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone is an effective medication for treating opioid use disorder used since 1947.

Evidence for Effectiveness

Studies show methadone treatment reduces opioid use, disease transmission, and crime:

  • Patients on methadone maintenance had 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests
  • Methadone patients were 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment
  • Retention in methadone treatment reduces overdose risk, HIV/Hep C transmission and increases employment

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

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

Conclusion

Methadone has demonstrated benefits but also risks requiring careful management.

About Saint Johnsbury

Saint Johnsbury is located in Caledonia County in northeastern Vermont, bordering New Hampshire to the east.

Location, county & list of neighbouring states

  • Caledonia County
  • Borders New Hampshire to the east

Capital and largest city

  • Montpelier is the capital of Vermont
  • Burlington is the largest city

Land area

Saint Johnsbury has a total area of 17.3 square miles

Infrastructure

Population Statistics:

Saint Johnsbury has a population of 7,603 people as of the 2020 census.

Demographics:

Gender

  • Male: 50.1%
  • Female: 49.9%

Age brackets

  • Under 18 years: 19.2%
  • 18 to 64 years: 59.5%
  • 65 years and over: 21.3%

Occupations

  • Management, business, science, and arts occupations: 32.2%
  • Sales and office occupations: 27.3%
  • Service occupations: 16.8%
  • Production, transportation, and material moving occupations: 14.1%
  • Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations: 9.5%