Methadone Clinics in Chesapeake

Rules and Regulations

Chesapeake, Chesapeake County, Virginia, United States adheres to strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Certification Procedures

  • Methadone clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state. Staff must meet educational and training requirements.
  • Clinics must follow DEA security and storage standards for controlled substances like methadone.
  • Patients must provide identification and consent to treatment. Initial and periodic medical exams and lab tests are required.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Methadone and other medications coupled with counseling and behavioral therapies can facilitate recovery from opioid addiction. Benefits include reduced cravings and less chance of overdose or contracting infections like HIV or hepatitis.

How Clinics Operate and Their Purpose

Methadone clinics provide daily doses of methadone to treat opioid addiction. The medication blocks the euphoric effects and withdrawal symptoms. The clinics offer counseling and connect patients to healthcare and social services. The goal is to mitigate the risks of addiction while enabling patients to function and pursue recovery.

Insurance Coverage

Many clinics accept Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance. Some offer sliding-scale fees based on income for uninsured patients. Grants help fund low-cost and free treatment programs.

Drug Use in Chesapeake

The opioid crisis has been declared a nationwide public health emergency. In Virginia, drug overdoses claimed the lives of 1,626 people in 2021, a 3% increase from 2020. The most commonly detected substances in overdose deaths in Virginia in 2021 were:

  • Fentanyl and fentanyl analogs (76.4%)
  • Heroin (12.7%)
  • Cocaine (38.3%)
  • Prescription opioids (16.8%)

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

  • Typical length of stay is 28 days
  • Services include medical detox, individual and group counseling, aftercare planning

Outpatient Treatment

  • Services provided 2-3 times per week for several hours per visit
  • Located in community mental health clinics, rehab facilities

Treatment Level Unreported

  • An estimated 10% of facilities do not report treatment levels to databases
  • This may account for Several thousand additional treatment admissions per year

Comparison of Treatment in Chesapeake vs. Norfolk

CategoryChesapeake, VANorfolk, VA
Treatment facilities1523
Inpatient beds available500850
Cost of treatment$15,000/month$25,000/month

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is an opioid agonist medication used to treat opioid use disorder and dependence. As medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone helps prevent opioid withdrawal and block the euphoric effects of other opioid drugs when taken as prescribed. It is part of opioid treatment programs (OTPs) based on the principle of using medications to assist patients in reducing or quitting substance use.

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment explain both the benefits and risks. While it helps individuals with addiction, methadone does have the potential for misuse and diversion itself. Careful monitoring and responsible patient participation are vital for successful, safe treatment.

In layman’s terms, methadone is a long-acting opioid that stabilizes individuals dependent on shorter-acting opioids like heroin or oxycodone. Although itself an opioid, proper methadone treatment allows the opportunity for sober and productive lives.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution through approved opioid treatment programs is carefully regulated with monitoring requirements:

  • Urine testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight random drug tests in the first year of treatment to ensure appropriate use and compliance.
  • Take-home requirements: During the first 14 days of treatment, the maximum take-home methadone supply is limited to a single 24-hour dose. More take-home doses are permitted over time for stable patients meeting program standards.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs should have an interprofessional team including substance abuse, medical, and mental health specialists monitoring patient progress.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians should review prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data to carefully cross-reference other opioid medications and dosages, as methadone has a narrow therapeutic index for safety.

In Chesapeake, methadone is a Schedule II controlled prescription substance with special regulations around OTPs.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone is an effective medication for treating opioid use disorder that has been used since 1947. Studies show methadone reduces opioid use based on drug tests, disease transmission from injection drug use, and drug-related crime when treatment is maintained.

Evidence for Effectiveness

Multiple studies validate that methadone maintenance treatment is effective for individuals addicted to opioids:

  • 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests for patients in methadone treatment
  • 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment compared to non-medication treatment
  • Retention in methadone treatment reduces the risk of overdose and disease transmission while increasing employment opportunities

Major Drawbacks

While beneficial to many, methadone does have risks requiring management including:

  • 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 when used appropriately.

Methadone has demonstrated benefits but also serious risks requiring careful administration and monitoring.

About Chesapeake

Location, County & List of Neighboring States

Chesapeake is an independent city located in the South Hampton Roads area of the U.S. state of Virginia. It borders the following counties and independent cities: the City of Norfolk, the City of Portsmouth, the City of Suffolk, Isle of Wight County, and Southampton County.

Capital and Largest City

Chesapeake is the capital and largest city of Chesapeake County.

Land Area

Chesapeake has a total area of 351 square miles.


Chesapeake has many parks, trails, community centers, libraries, schools, and other public infrastructure. Major highways include I-64, I-664, I-464, and US Routes 13, 17, and 58.

Population Statistics

Total Population

The population of Chesapeake is around 250,000 people.



The gender breakdown is 49% male and 51% female.

Age Brackets

Around 24% are under 18 years old, 61% are between 18-65 years old, and 15% are over 65 years old.


The top occupations are in the fields of education, health care, retail, construction, and the armed forces. Many residents work at the military bases and shipyards located in the Hampton Roads region.