Harrisonburg Methadone Clinics & Treatment Centers

  • Rules and regulations: Harrisonburg adheres to strict regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). These regulations ensure that clinics operate safely and effectively while providing essential treatment to individuals struggling with opioid addiction.
  • Certification procedures: To establish a methadone clinic in Harrisonburg, providers must obtain certification from the DBHDS and the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). This process involves demonstrating compliance with stringent standards related to staff qualifications, facility requirements, and treatment protocols.
  • Benefits of medication-assisted treatment: Methadone clinics offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which combines methadone with counseling and behavioral therapies. MAT has been proven to reduce opioid use, decrease the risk of overdose, improve patient retention in treatment, and enhance overall quality of life for individuals with opioid use disorders.
  • How clinics operate and their purpose: Methadone clinics in Harrisonburg operate on a daily basis, providing patients with carefully monitored doses of methadone. The primary purpose of these clinics is to help individuals overcome opioid addiction by reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings, allowing them to focus on recovery and reintegration into society.

Insurance Coverage

  • Free clinics: Harrisonburg is home to several free clinics that provide healthcare services to uninsured and underinsured individuals. While these clinics may not specialize in methadone treatment, they can offer referrals and resources for individuals seeking assistance with opioid addiction.
  • Public and private insurance coverage details: Many methadone clinics in Harrisonburg accept both public and private insurance plans. Medicaid, the state-funded health insurance program, covers methadone treatment for eligible individuals. Private insurance coverage for methadone treatment varies by plan, so it is essential for patients to contact their insurance provider to determine their specific coverage details and any potential out-of-pocket costs.

Drug Use in Harrisonburg

In 2017, Virginia declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency after seeing a sharp rise in overdose deaths over the past decade. According to the Virginia Department of Health, there were 9 overdose deaths per 100,000 people in Harrisonburg in 2021, lower than the statewide rate of 15 per 100,000. However, alcohol and methamphetamine remain the most commonly cited substances in addiction treatment admissions.

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment involves staying at a facility while undergoing intensive therapy and medical care. Typical stays range from 28 to 90 days. Services offered include medically-supervised detox, individual and group counseling, educational classes, and aftercare planning.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment provides therapy sessions and support groups while allowing clients to live at home. Sessions typically occur 1-3 times per week for several hours at a time. Many facilities offer both daytime and evening programming.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 37% of treatment admissions in the state fall into the category of unreported treatment level, meaning insufficient data is available on whether the treatment is inpatient or outpatient.

Comparison of Treatment in Harrisonburg vs. Neighboring Major City

CityTreatment FacilitiesInpatient BedsAverage Monthly Cost
Harrisonburg5112 beds$15,000
Charlottesville9183 beds$20,000

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is an opioid agonist medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. As an opioid treatment program (OTP), methadone helps prevent withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings by acting on the same brain receptors as other opioids. However, it does not provide the same euphoria as other opioids when taken as prescribed. There are differing societal perspectives on the ethics of replacing one opioid with another. In essence, methadone satisfies the physical need for opioids without an intoxicating high.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is highly regulated with several monitoring requirements:

  1. Urine testing: Patients must undergo at least eight urine tests in the first year of treatment to detect any unauthorized drug use.
  2. Take-home requirements: For the first 14 days, the take-home supply of methadone is limited to a 24-hour dose taken under supervision at the clinic. More take-homes are allowed over time with demonstrated progress.
  3. Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs have an interprofessional team overseeing dosing and medical care.
  4. Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians cross-reference the opioid dosing with the state’s prescription drug monitoring program data. Methadone has risks if mis-prescribed.

In Virginia, methadone is a Schedule II controlled medication, indicating accepted medical use but also potential for abuse.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone maintenance treatment has been used to treat opioid addiction since 1947. Studies validate methadone’s effectiveness for opioid use disorder:

  • Patients had 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests
  • 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment

Remaining in treatment reduces overdose mortality risk by 50% and increases employment.

However, methadone does carry risks:

  • Potential for misuse and diversion
  • Severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly
  • Cardiac issues in some patients
  • Respiratory depression/overdose with other substances

Methadone matches buprenorphine in reducing illicit opioid use. But it requires careful administration and monitoring to maximize benefits and safety.

About Harrisonburg

Harrisonburg is an independent city located in the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia, within Rockingham County. It shares borders with the states of West Virginia and Maryland. Harrisonburg is not the capital but is the 2nd most populous city in the Shenandoah Valley. Harrisonburg has a land area of 19.9 square miles. Key infrastructure includes Interstate 81, public transportation, hiking and biking trails, James Madison University, and a growing technology and healthcare industry presence.

Population Statistics

As of 2021 population estimates, there are approximately 54,215 people living in Harrisonburg.



  • 49.7% Male
  • 50.3% Female

Age Brackets:

  • 18 Years and Over: 75.9%
  • 21 Years and Over: 69.8%
  • 65 Years and Over: 9.5%

Top Occupations:

  • Education, healthcare, social services: 60%
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, food services: 13.3%
  • Retail trade: 12.5%