Methadone Clinics in Bellevue

Rules and Regulations

Bellevue, King County, Washington adheres to strict federal and state regulations regarding methadone clinics, outlined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Washington State Department of Health. All clinics must be certified and meet certain standards.

Certification Procedures

To be certified, clinics must:

  • Be accredited and licensed
  • Follow opioid treatment standards
  • Provide counseling services
  • Conduct drug testing
  • Assess patients initially and continually
  • Maintain confidential patient records

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Methadone and other medications used in treatment can:

  • Reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal
  • Allow people to focus on their recovery
  • Enable people to be productive members of society

How Clinics Operate

Methadone clinics provide daily monitored doses of methadone to treat opioid addiction. The goals are to:

  • Prevent withdrawal and drug cravings
  • Block the effects of other opioids
  • Reduce or eliminate opioid use

Insurance Coverage

Many clinics accept Medicaid and Medicare. Some accept private insurance. Uninsured patients pay out-of-pocket through sliding-scale fees based on income.

Drug Use in Bellevue

The opioid crisis has been declared a nationwide public health emergency. In Washington state:

  • Opioid-related overdose deaths have quadrupled since 1999
  • 818 opioid-related overdose deaths occurred in 2020
  • Fentanyl contributed to 71% of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2020

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

  • Typically 28-30 days length of stay
  • 24/7 medical care and counseling
  • Detoxification, behavioral therapies, medication

Outpatient Treatment

  • 1-5 hours per week of group and individual therapy
  • Provided at clinics, private practices, community health centers

Treatment Level Unreported

  • An estimated 10% of facilities do not report treatment level
  • This may represent lower-intensity outpatient counseling

Comparison of Treatment Availability

CategoryBellevueSeattle
Treatment Facilities1525
Inpatient Beds50150
Cost of Treatment$15,000$25,000

Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

Methadone is an opioid agonist medication used to treat opioid use disorder. As medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone maintenance treatment provides individuals dependent on opioids like heroin or opioid painkillers with a legal, oral dose of methadone to prevent withdrawal and reduce cravings without inducing euphoria, allowing them to focus on their recovery and life goals. Methadone is provided through federally regulated opioid treatment programs (OTPs) using an observed dosing model to ensure proper adherence.

Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed – while some view it as essential harm reduction enabling productive lives, others see it as merely substituting one opioid for another. However, research shows methadone is an evidence-based practice for treating opioid addiction.

Methadone Distribution

Methadone distribution is strictly controlled:

  • Urine testing: Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight random drug tests in the first year of treatment to detect any unauthorized substance use.
  • Take-home requirements: During the first 14 days of treatment, the take-home methadone supply is limited to just a 24-hour dose. Over time, additional take-home doses may be allowed for stable patients meeting treatment goals.
  • Monitoring: Methadone treatment programs have an interprofessional team including physicians, nurses, and counselors to coordinate care.
  • Prescription drug monitoring: Clinicians check their state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) database to carefully cross-reference other opioid medications a patient has filled, as methadone has a narrow therapeutic window and overdose risk.

In Washington State, methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance intended only for use in treating opioid dependency in a registered OTP.

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, disease transmission, and crime:

  • 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests for methadone patients
  • Methadone patients were 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment
  • Retention in methadone treatment reduces overdose and disease transmission risk while supporting employment

However, methadone does come with risks:

  • Potential for misuse/diversion
  • Severe withdrawal if stopped suddenly
  • Possible QTc prolongation or cardiac issues
  • Respiratory depression or overdose when combined with alcohol or benzodiazepines

Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective in reducing illicit opioid use. However, careful patient monitoring and responsible clinician prescribing are essential when using these medications.

About Bellevue

Location, County & List of Neighboring States

Bellevue is located in King County in the U.S. state of Washington. It borders Kirkland to the west, Redmond to the north, Issaquah to the east, and Renton to the south.

Other neighboring states include Oregon and Idaho.

Capital and Largest City

Washington’s capital and largest city are Olympia and Seattle, respectively.

Land Area

Bellevue has a total land area of 36.47 square miles.

Infrastructure

  • Roads
  • Public transportation
  • Utilities

Population Statistics

Total Population

As of 2021, the population of Bellevue was 151,574.

Demographics:

Gender

  • Male: 73,835
  • Female: 77,739

Age Brackets

  • Under 18 years: 24,053
  • 18 to 64 years: 107,100
  • 65 years and over: 20,421

Occupations

  • Management, science, arts and entertainment: 61,900
  • Sales and office: 33,600
  • Service: 17,100
  • Production and transportation: 9,300