Methadone Clinics in Norfolk

Name rehabsAddressPhone
Norfolk Community Services Board Substance Abuse Services7460 Tidewater Drive, Norfolk, VA 23505(757) 664-6670
Norfolk Community Services Board Substance Abuse Services7460 Tidewater Drive Norfolk, VA 23505(757) 664-6670

Rules and Regulations

Norfolk, 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.

Certification Procedures

  • Clinics must be certified by SAMHSA
  • Staff must meet educational and licensing requirements
  • Facilities must meet opioid treatment program regulations

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment with methadone helps individuals with opioid addiction by:

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

How Clinics Operate

Methadone clinics provide monitored, controlled doses of methadone to treat opioid dependency. Services offered include:

  • Identifying appropriate methadone doses
  • Counseling and support groups
  • Drug testing
  • Linkages to healthcare resources

The goal is to help people function without the negative effects of addiction.

Insurance Coverage

Public and private insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, typically cover methadone treatment. Some clinics offer sliding-scale fees or arrangements for uninsured patients.

Drug Use in Norfolk

Opioid crisis declared public health emergency:

  • In 2017, there were 130 opioid-related overdose deaths in Norfolk, a rate of 20.9 deaths per 100,000 persons. This is higher than the overall opioid death rate in Virginia of 13.9 per 100,000.
  • The rate of drug overdose deaths in Norfolk increased by 33% from 2015 to 2017.

The most commonly cited drugs in overdose deaths in Norfolk are:

  • Opioids including heroin and prescription opioids (72% of deaths)
  • Cocaine (29%)
  • Benzodiazepines (25%)

Norfolk’s overdose death rate of 20.6 per 100,000 persons is higher than the national rate of 14.6 per 100,000.

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment involves staying at a treatment facility 24/7 for 1-3 months. 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 while living at home. Services include counseling, therapy, medication management, and recovery support groups.

Treatment Level Unreported

It is estimated that only 10% of individuals with a substance use disorder receive specialty treatment per SAMHSA data. Reasons include cost, availability, and social stigma.

Comparison of Treatment in Norfolk vs. Virginia Beach

CityTreatment FacilitiesInpatient BedsCost of Treatment
Norfolk, VA15200$10,000-30,000
Virginia Beach, VA12175$15,000-35,000

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist medication used to treat opioid use disorder and prevent withdrawal symptoms. It is taken orally once daily and binds to opioid receptors, reducing cravings and withdrawal. Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) involves daily supervised dosing at opioid treatment programs (OTPs). The goal is to provide a stable dose to reduce illicit opioid use and improve quality of life.

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed. Some view it as “trading one addiction for another.” However, research shows MMT helps people recover, improves health, reduces crime, and lowers overdose risk when properly managed. Methadone has a proven track record but requires careful monitoring due to risks of misuse, diversion, and overdose when combined with other substances.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is strictly regulated with required urine drug screening and limitations on take-home doses:

  • Urine testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight tests in the first year of treatment. This ensures they are taking their prescribed dose and not using illicit opioids or other dangerous substances.
  • Take-home requirements: During the first 14 days of treatment, the take-home supply of methadone is limited to a 24-hour supply. After 90 days of compliance, patients may earn 1 take-home dose per week, eventually increasing to 1 month’s supply for compliant long-term patients.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs should have an interprofessional team including physicians, nurses, counselors, and social workers to provide comprehensive care and monitoring.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians should review PDMP data to carefully cross-reference opioid dosage and watch for potentially dangerous drug interactions, as methadone has a narrow therapeutic index.

In Virginia, methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance, available only through OTPs. Recent laws increased access to methadone treatment in the state.

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 managed in OTPs.

Evidence for Effectiveness:

  • 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests for methadone patients
  • 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment vs non-medication treatment
  • Retention in treatment reduces overdose risk and increases employment

Major Drawbacks:

  • Potential for misuse and diversion
  • Severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly
  • Cardiac issues such as QTc prolongation
  • Respiratory depression and overdose risk when combined with other substances

Comparison to Other Medications:

Equally effective as buprenorphine in reducing opioid use in studies.

Benefits but also risks requiring careful management

About Norfolk

Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. It is located in Norfolk County on the Elizabeth River and Chesapeake Bay.

Location, County & Neighboring States

Norfolk is surrounded by the independent cities of Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach. It borders the states of North Carolina and Maryland.

Capital and Largest City

As an independent city, Norfolk serves as the capital and largest city in the region.

Land Area

Norfolk sits on 54 square miles of land area.


Norfolk contains many important economic facilities:

  • Major shipping terminals that transfer cargo containers from rail and trucks to and from the Port of Hampton Roads
  • Home to the world’s largest Naval Station, Naval Station Norfolk
  • Norfolk International Airport provides passenger air service for the Hampton Roads area

Population Statistics

Total Population

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Norfolk’s population at 242,742 as of 2021.



Females comprise 53.1% of the population; males comprise 46.9% (2020).

Age Brackets

28.5% of the population is under age 20. 63.1% are aged 20-64. 8.3% are over age 65 (2019).


Major employment sectors include healthcare, shipping/transportation, tourism/hospitality, education, and military.