Methadone Clinics in SW Burien

SW Burien, King County, Washington, 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 Washington State Department of Health.

Certification procedures:

  • All methadone clinics must be certified by SAMHSA and licensed by the state health department. Certification requirements include having qualified staff, ensuring patient safety and ethical treatment practices, providing counseling, and meeting building codes and accessibility standards.

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

  • Preventing painful withdrawal symptoms
  • Reducing opioid cravings
  • Allowing patients to focus on counseling and recovery
  • Lowering the risk of overdose

How clinics operate and their purpose:

  • Methadone clinics provide daily supervised methadone doses and counseling to those recovering from opioid addiction. The medication relieves withdrawal symptoms for 24-36 hours, allowing people to function normally without using illegal or prescription opioids. Clinics help patients work toward recovery goals.

Insurance Coverage

  • Most private insurance and Medicaid cover MAT.
  • Some clinics offer treatment on a sliding fee scale based on income for those without insurance.

Drug Use in SW Burien

The opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency in Washington. According to state government data:

  • In 2020 there were 1,829 opioid-related overdose deaths in Washington
  • The drugs most commonly involved in overdoses are fentanyl, heroin, prescription opioids

Addiction Treatment Overview

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient facilities provide 24/7 care and monitoring. Typical length of stay is 30 days. Services include medical detox, counseling, group therapy, medication management.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient programs provide services for a few hours per day, several days a week. Services are provided at clinics and include counseling, therapy, medication management.

Treatment Level Unreported

An estimated 10-20% of people with addiction do not report receiving any formal treatment services.

Comparison of Treatment in SW Burien vs. Seattle


SW Burien


Treatment centers



Inpatient beds



Cost of treatment



Methadone Treatment

What is Methadone

  • Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist medication used to treat opioid use disorder and dependence. As medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone helps prevent opioid withdrawal and reduces drug cravings by activating opioid receptors in the brain similarly to other opioid drugs. However, it does not produce the same level of euphoria or sedation, allowing those in treatment to function more normally. Methadone is taken orally once daily in supervised opioid treatment programs (OTPs).
  • Societal perspectives on methadone treatment are mixed. While it helps stabilize individuals and reduce illegal opioid use and associated crime, some view it as merely replacing one addiction with another. However, research shows methadone significantly improves outcomes when properly regulated.
  • In simple terms, methadone tricks the brain into thinking it is still getting the problem opioid, managing withdrawal and cravings so that patients can focus on recovery without being impaired or sedated.

Methadone Distribution

Strict regulations govern methadone distribution to prevent misuse:

Urine Testing

  • Methadone maintenance patients must undergo at least eight random urine tests in the first year of treatment to ensure they are not using other opioids or drugs.

Take-Home Requirements

  • During the first 14 days of treatment, the take-home methadone supply is limited to just a 24-hour dose. More take-home doses are allowed over time if patients have negative drug tests.


  • Methadone treatment programs have an interprofessional team including counselors, social workers, and nurses monitoring each patient’s progress.

Prescription Drug Monitoring

  • Clinicians should review prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data to carefully cross-reference other opioid medications with methadone, which has a narrow therapeutic index.

In Washington State, methadone is a Schedule II controlled substance, with illegal use charged as a felony. Federal and state regulations aim to allow access for treatment while preventing misuse.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness Research

Methadone has been used to treat opioid addiction since 1947. Studies show it is an effective MAT medication that reduces opioid use, disease transmission through injection, and drug-related crime.

Evidence for Effectiveness

  • Studies show patients on supervised methadone maintenance have 33% fewer opioid-positive drug tests.
  • They are also 4.44 times more likely to stay in treatment, which reduces overdose risk and infectious disease transmission while improving employment rates.

Major Drawbacks

However, methadone does carry risks including potential for misuse and diversion from treatment programs.

  • Stopping suddenly can cause severe withdrawal.
  • It can also prolong the QTc interval, increasing risk for cardiac issues.
  • Additionally, methadone can cause dangerous respiratory depression and overdose death if combined with alcohol or other substances.

Comparison to Other Medications

Research shows methadone and buprenorphine are equally effective for reducing illicit opioid use and retaining people in treatment.


While methadone has demonstrated benefits in treating opioid addiction, the risks require careful management under supervised treatment protocols.

About SW Burien

SW Burien is located in King County in the state of Washington, United States. It is bordered by the states of Oregon to the south and Idaho to the east. The capital and largest city in Washington is Olympia and Seattle, respectively.

SW Burien has a total land area of 10.19 square miles. SW Burien has a major airport, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport located to its north. The city also has access to major highways like I-5, SR-509, and SR-518.

Population Statistics

The total population of SW Burien is 49,791 as per the 2010 census.



  • Male: 50.1%
  • Female: 49.9%

Age brackets

  • Under 18 years: 20.4%
  • 18 to 64 years: 68.3%
  • 65 years and over: 11.3%

The top occupations in SW Burien are:

  • Management, business, science, and arts: 38.2%
  • Sales and office: 24.3%
  • Service: 18.8%
  • Production, transportation, and material moving: 11.4%