Lorne Cross, MD

Addiction Treatment
Why does Having Widely Available Methadone Clinics Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic?

Why does Having Widely Available Methadone Clinics Help Fight the Opioid Epidemic?

Opioid overdoses displayed in the news headlines represent the unsettling addiction problem in the country. In response, from 2014 to 2018, 254 methadone clinics emerged. For a community to open a clinic, the sponsor must demonstrate a need for the service and apply for a state license. The facility must meet zoning approval and gain permission for the DEA and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. However, not all communities are overly thrilled with having a methadone clinic in their midst.

Some of the complaints include congested parking lots, long lines and additional traffic on and city streets. City politicians and area residents believe that the clinics are simply supplying addicts with legal drugs. But, the ever-growing opioid epidemic seems to be changing some opinions on the topic.

The number of people dying every day from accidental overdoses has instilled fear in some locations. Rural and suburban communities have become more willing to have methadone treatment programs available in their vicinity.

In addition to providing methadone, the clinics now also offer buprenorphine and Vivitrol injections. All three medications have FDA approval for addiction treatment. Some of the states actively seeking treatment centers include Indiana, New York and Maryland, which approved a number of clinics in less populated areas. Florida and Ohio plan to increase the number of available facilities in the next two years.

Methadone treatment is designed to prevent the cravings that opioid addicts commonly experience, which influences them to continue using. The medication has proven to be successful in clients living with long-term heroin abuse. The drug is also helpful in assisting fentanyl abusers.

To acquire the prescription medication, clients must appear at the facility in person on a daily basis. The carefully regulated drug is then dispensed via a plexiglass shield. Addicts are observed taking their dosages and regularly screened to determine if they are using other drugs. Each individual must also attend individual and group counseling sessions.

Once staff determines that a client has control over their addiction, the individual is allowed to take dosages home for weekend administration. If they continue abiding by facility guidelines, clients may then take home weekly or monthly doses. Studies indicate that individuals taking methadone treatment are more likely to have long-term recovery from addiction.

About Lorne Cross

Lorne Cross, MD is a healthcare professional from Portland, Oregon, who specializes in Addiction Medicine. It’s no secret that the United States is facing an opioid crisis. There are more lives lost to overdose deaths each year than were lost in the entire Vietnam War, and new data shows that opioids now kill more people each year than breast cancer. Understanding and treating the opioid crisis is of utmost importance to this country, and Dr. Cross has chosen to specialize in Addiction Medicine and focus all of his professional attention on this critical problem.

As the Medical Director of the Willamette Valley Treatment Center, Dr. Cross is the leader of a team that provides Medication Assisted Treatment to patients with Opioid Use Disorder. Lorne Cross, MD also serves as the Medical Director of a new Opioid Treatment Program in the Yamhill County Jail. Focusing on the treatment of opiate addiction, rather than punishment, can help to prevent relapse, decrease the rate of overdose deaths, and help to lower recidivism in the jail population, putting inmates on the right path upon release. Giving patients a path to recovery ultimately sets them up for more success in their futures.

Dr. Cross is hopeful as he looks into the future of treatment opportunities for opiate addiction. He sees the expansion of treatment into jails and prisons as a necessary step towards treating the opioid crisis and preventing unnecessary overdose deaths. Treating addiction with a rehabilitative approach is one of the best ways to reach out to those who truly need it most.

  • Senior Medical School Class Officer
  • Scholastic Honors Program Graduate
  • John Philip Sousa Award 1988

Years' Experience in Healthcare

Years Serving as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve

Published Research Articles

From the time he was a child, Lorne Cross, MD was always fascinated by medicine and the natural sciences. By the time he reached college he knew he wanted to attend medical school and pursue his medical degree. He graduated in the top third of his class from Loma Linda University School of Medicine and completed his medicine internship and his anesthesiology residency at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Loma Linda University is a coeducational health sciences university located in California. He is also a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Scholastic Honors Program at Southwestern Adventist College, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology. Southwestern Adventist College is a small college, with an undergraduate enrollment of around 800 students, located in Texas.

Outside of work, Lorne Cross, MD likes to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. He is an avid cyclist and bicycle racer, while actively pursuing many other sports. Outside of spending time exercising, he also loves to travel to new locations and spend time with his two teenage children and family.