Methadone Clinics in Alexandria

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Alexandria Community Services Board Substance Abuse Services2355-A Mill Road, Alexandria, VA 22314(703) 746-3600
Alexandria Community Services Board Substance Abuse Services2355-A Mill Road Alexandria, VA 22314(703) 838-4525

Rules and Regulations

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

Certification Procedures

  • Clinics must be licensed by the state
  • Staff must meet educational and licensing requirements
  • Medication dispensing and dosing must follow protocols

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with methadone helps individuals with opioid use disorder by:

  • Preventing painful withdrawal symptoms
  • Reducing opioid cravings
  • Allowing people to focus on their recovery

MAT has been shown to decrease illicit drug use, improve patient survival rates, increase employment, and reduce criminal behavior.

How Clinics Operate

Methadone clinics provide MAT services to people recovering from opioid use disorders. Clinics offer:

  • Methadone dosing daily under supervision
  • Counseling and behavioral therapy
  • Drug screening
  • Case management

Insurance Coverage

Methadone treatment coverage depends on the type of insurance:

  • Medicaid covers methadone treatment
  • Some private plans cover treatment; out-of-pocket fees may apply
  • Grants and public funding are available for uninsured individuals

Drug Use in Alexandria

The opioid crisis declared a public health emergency

  • In 2017, the opioid epidemic was declared a nationwide public health emergency by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • In Virginia in 2021, there were 2,656 overdose deaths involving opioids, a 10% increase from 2020

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

  • Inpatient treatment involves staying at a facility 24/7 for 1-3 months depending on medical recommendations
  • Services include detoxification, counseling, group therapy, medication management

Outpatient Treatment

  • Outpatient treatment allows the patient to live at home and attend counseling sessions 1-5 times per week
  • Sessions focus on counseling, support groups, life skills, and preventing relapse

Treatment Level Unreported

  • An estimated 10-30% of those with substance abuse disorders in Alexandria County receive some form of treatment per year
  • The remaining percentage struggle with lack of access, wait lists, cost, or not seeking treatment

Comparison of Treatment in Alexandria vs. Washington, D.C.

CategoryAlexandria, VAWashington, D.C.
Treatment facilities1525
Inpatient beds available500800
Cost of treatment$15,000/month$20,000/month

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is an opioid 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. Patients are prescribed methadone and must visit a clinic daily to receive their dose under supervision, which provides structure and monitoring.

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment vary. Some view it positively as an evidence-based treatment for opioid addiction. Others are concerned about its potential for misuse and diversion or believe opioid addiction should be treated without medication. Methadone must be explained carefully to avoid misconceptions; it is not trading one addiction for another when properly prescribed and monitored.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution in MAT is heavily regulated with required monitoring:

  • Urine testing: Patients must undergo at least eight urine drug tests in the first year to detect any unsanctioned drug use.
  • Take-home requirements: Patients must attend the clinic for dose administration for the first 14 days before becoming eligible for take-home doses.
  • Monitoring: A team including a doctor, nurses, and counselors monitor each patient’s progress.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Providers should check the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) to ensure safe methadone dosage based on patients’ other prescriptions.

In Alexandria, methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance, available only through approved OTPs with strict oversight.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone has been used to treat opioid addiction since 1947. Studies show it is an effective MAT medication. It reduces opioid use, disease transmission through injection, and criminal activity. Patients on methadone have 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests. They are also 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment, which reduces overdose risk and increases employment.

However, methadone does carry risks if misused. It can cause severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly. It can prolong the QTc interval and pose cardiac risks. It can cause respiratory depression and overdose when combined with other substances. It also has the potential for misuse and diversion.

Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective in reducing opioid use. In conclusion, methadone is beneficial but requires careful management because of its risks.

About Alexandria

Alexandria is located in Alexandria County in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. Alexandria County borders Arlington County to the northeast and Fairfax County to the northwest.

Location, County & Neighboring States

Alexandria is located in the Northern region of Virginia along the western bank of the Potomac River, approximately 6 miles south of downtown Washington, D.C.

Neighboring states:

  • Maryland to the northeast across the Potomac River
  • West Virginia to the northwest
  • Kentucky to the west
  • Tennessee to the southwest
  • North Carolina to the south

Capital and Largest City

Alexandria is an independent city and serves as the county seat of Alexandria County. With a total area of 15.5 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh-largest city in Virginia.

Land Area

Alexandria has a total area of 15.5 square miles, of which 15.2 square miles is land and 0.3 square miles is water.

Population Statistics

The population of Alexandria is 153,511 as of the 2020 census.

Total Population

The population density is 10,192 people per square mile.

Demographics

Gender

  • Male: 47.5%
  • Female: 52.5%

Age Brackets

  • Under 18 years: 15.6%
  • 18 to 65 years: 69.3%
  • Over 65 years: 15.1%

Occupations

The most common occupations in Alexandria are management, business, science, and arts occupations (55.4%), sales and office occupations (25.5%), and service occupations (13.9%).