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.