What is Methadone?
Methadone is a long-acting opioid medication that is sometimes used as a pain reliever and, together with counseling and psychological services, is used to treat individuals addicted to heroin and prescription drugs.
How does it work?
Methadone helps to drastically reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms seen in individuals with an addiction to opiates.
Any complications or side effects of Methadone?
Methadone may cause constipation, restlessness, drowsiness, impotence, and a few other minor things. Once you are on a stable dose, most of these symptoms will subside.
What services do I get with my payment?
You get your full dose amount, any appointments with our on-site doctor, all counseling services including groups, and community referrals if needed.
How or when do I tell my family and friends I am in treatment?
Telling your family and friends is up to you when it comes to your treatment. Your counselor can provide the necessary tools to you once you make that decision. The staff at NWATC are bound by patient confidentiality to keep our clients safe and provide privacy.
Are there other forms of treatment?
There are other forms of treatment for opiate addiction such as suboxone sublingual strips, and in-patient or out-patient abstinence detox programs. These forms of treatment are not currently available at NWATC. See our referral page for more information on these options.
Once I start treatment, what is required of me?
Follow the clinic rules and regulations in your patient handbook, come daily to dose, provide two random drug screens a month, meet with your counselor on a schedule basis, and come to new client orientation group, then one group a month.
What happens once I get clean drug screens?
Once you have 6 consecutive clean drug screens, and you comply with program rules, you can phase up and start receiving take home doses.
I want to help someone else get treatment. Who do I call?
Call any one of our counseling or nursing staff members for information about our program or come to the clinic for any handouts and brochures you want to provide to them.
Is Methadone safe?
Methadone is safe if you use the medication correctly as directed by your doctor. For individuals detoxing off heroin or other prescription drugs, it can provide necessary health benefits.
Will Methadone interact with my other medicines?
Methadone can interact with several drugs including other opiates, sedatives, muscle relaxers and Benadryl. Make sure to let your other doctors know that you are on Methadone before getting a prescription for any medication including over the counter drugs.
How do I pay and how much?
When starting on Methadone at NWATC, we do not charge an admission fee to start the program. Daily dosing is $15 per day. This includes your dose and all counseling services provided. We accept cash, credit or debit cards, and money orders. We also take Medicaid insurance which pays for your dose in full. We do not accept EBT, ATM cards, or personal checks.
How long do I have to take Methadone?
Your treatment depends on you. Some clients have been on Methadone for years, while others only needed it for a few months. Getting to a stable dose, keeping you out of withdrawal and putting your life back together is our main goal for you. However, if you choose, our medical doctor is specially trained to provide a safe Methadone detoxification process. The process may take some time to avoid withdrawal as any opiate is difficult to detox from. This safe process can be started at any time in your treatment once you have reached a stable dose.
What is required to start treatment?
Patients must be in active withdrawal from an opiate or other illicit drug to start treatment. You must have been addicted to opiates for greater than a year or been in a detox program before. You must be 18 years or older and have a valid driver’s license or other form of identification.
Where can I find more information?
Visit the rest of our website for more information on Northwest Alabama Treatment Center. See our referral page for more information on Methadone, other treatment options, and local, state and federal organizations.
What if I have a dirty urine drug screen?
If it is during your first 90 days in treatment, your counselor will evaluate your drug screen with you and determine what the cause is and how best to approach the situation. If it is after 90 days in treatment, and you continue to have dirty drug screens, your counselor may decide to place you on probation which entails paying a higher dosing fee and going to mandatory group sessions.
Are there special rules for holidays?
NWATC and all other certified opiate treatment centers observe 3 National Holidays a year including Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. There are special hours for these days which are posted 1-2 weeks before the holiday. Also, certain clients who are on phase 1 status (no take-homes), who have been following the rules of the clinic, will receive one take home for the holiday.
Through responsiveness to a dynamic and diverse environment, the mission of Northwest Alabama Treatment Center is to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through opiate replacement therapy that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served.
We aim to:
- Assist persons served with establishing an opiate free lifestyle, and to provide rehabilitative, medical, and clinical services which enhance their quality of life.
- Provide services which restore and/or preserve the family unit
- Provide information and education to consumers and providers of other services
- Provide consultation, education, and training, which support persons served in achieving and maintaining a more productive lifestyle.
Methadone Maintenance: Daily dosing at $16.00 a day for phase 1 (new) clients. Clients can pay with cash, credit/debit card or money order. We also accept Medicaid insurance. This daily fee includes all medical increases or decreases to reach a stable dose amount.
Dosing Hours: Monday through Friday 5:00am to 10:30am. Saturday and Sunday 6:00am to 9:00am. Counselors are available until 12:30pm on weekdays and from 6:00am to 9:00am on weekends.
Counseling sessions: First 90 days’ clients meet with their counselor once a week. After 90 days, clients see them once a month for an individual session and when needed.
Group therapy: A variety of groups are available throughout each month. The schedule of groups changes monthly based on counselor and group room availability. Examples of groups include:
- Job Readiness
- Family court
- Anger management
- Relapse prevention
- Emotions and Addiction
- Orientation (new clients)
- Creative coping skills
Medical appointments: Increases (stability), decreases (detoxing), complete annual history and physicals, pressing medical issues affecting treatment. Doctor is on staff most days of the week.
Medical tests: TB skin tests (annual), RPR (Syphilis testing), Vital sign monitoring
Guest dosing: If you are going out of town, guest-dosing is an option at another facility in or out of state. Available per client request. There is no charge at home clinic.
*If you are guest dosing at NWATC from another clinic, the fee is $17.00 a day with a $25.00 first-time only fee.*
Priority Admission will be given to:
- Women who are pregnant
- Women who use IV drugs and have dependent children
- Individuals who are IV drug users with a communicable disease (HIV, Hepatitis, etc.)
- Individuals who have a communicable disease.
- All other illicit drug users
Phase 1 – first 90 days (3 months) of treatment – no take homes and weekly counseling sessions
Phase 2 – after 90 days (3 months) of successful treatment and 6 consecutive clean drug screens – Take home two doses per week
Phase 3 – after 180 days (6 months) of successful treatment and all clean drug screens – Take home 3 doses per week
Phase 4 – After 270 days (9 months) of successful treatment and all clean drug screens- Take home 6 doses per week (one full week)
Phase 5 – After 2 years of successful treatment on phase 4 status and all clean drug screens- Take home 13 doses. (two full weeks)
Pharmacy Take home schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 5:00am to 10:00am.
State: ADMH -The state agency responsible for serving Alabama citizens with intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses, and substance use disorders. www.mh.alabama.gov
Federal: SAMHSA -The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is charged with improving the quality and availability of treatment and rehabilitative services to reduce illness, death, disability, and the cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses. www.samhsa.gov
Aletheia House– Aletheia House is a community-based organization that has been providing substance abuse treatment and prevention services to low-income individuals, and the communities in which they live, since 1972. It is one of Alabama’s largest providers of substance abuse treatment, substance abuse/HIV prevention, employment services and affordable housing. www.specialkindofcaring.org
Jimmie Hale Mission– Ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of those in our community by sharing the Gospel. www.jimmiehalemission.com
Fellowship House– The Fellowship House provides a substance abuse recovery program designed to serve the special needs of an individual who suffers from alcoholism, drug addiction and co-occurring disorders. Offers abstinence based treatment and housing. www.fshbhm.org
UAB Medical West– An affiliate of UAB hospital, offers a wide array of health services for clients in Jefferson and surrounding counties. www.medicalwesthospital.org
Bessemer Neighborhood Health Clinic– In-clinic referrals for clients who are uninsured and low income with medical issues.
Cooper Green Mercy Hospital- Downtown Birmingham Hospital for low/no income, uninsured. Cooper Green Mercy Health Services is dedicated to serving Jefferson County residents with quality healthcare regardless of ability to pay. www.coopergreen.org
UAB 1917 Clinic – The 1917 Clinic’s mission is to provide compassionate and comprehensive health care for persons living with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection. This website is designed to serve patients, family members, significant others, and friends. www.uab.edu/medicine/1917clinic
Jefferson County Department of Health –Prevent disease and assure access to quality healthcare, promote a healthy lifestyle and healthy environment, protect against public health threats. www.jcdh.org
AIDS Alabama – Helps those with HIV/AIDS statewide and works to prevent the spread of the disease. www.aidsalabama.org.
12 full-time Master’s and PhD level counselors including Intake Coordinator and Program Manager, 6 rotating nurses including Nursing Coordinator, Urine Drug Screen Collector, Pharmacist, Facility Coordinator, Billing Coordinator, Medical doctor, Clinical Coordinator, and Executive Director. There is security on the premises at all times of operation.