Florida Methadone Clinics: How Do Methadone Clinics Work?

Florida Methadone Clinics: What to Know

Methadone clinics in Florida refer to clinics or rehab centers that dispense methadone to patients who are beginning their recovery from opioid addiction, involving a drug such as heroin or opioid painkillers. Methadone is an opioid agonist and, as such, is less dangerous than opioid drugs like heroin or narcotic painkillers. Methadone satisfies the individual’s cravings and helps ward off withdrawal symptoms. It does not deliver a high, making it a useful therapy for opioid addiction.

Even so, methadone is a controlled substance with its own dangers, so it is closely monitored by prescribing clinicians at methadone clinics. Not all people opt for methadone therapy, which is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), but it can be useful, especially for people with powerful cravings, which often occur in the early days and weeks of recovery. Most people will remain on methadone for about a year. Some individuals rely on methadone for considerably longer. To learn how methadone clinics work, read the following information.

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How Methadone Is Used for Addiction Treatment

Methadone targets the opioid receptors in the brain. As it does, it satisfies the person’s cravings for the opioid they’re addicted to. Methadone is the oldest drug prescribed to treat opioid addiction. It can be a dangerous substance itself when abused. Methadone can be abused. In recent years, about 5,000 people each year lost their life to a methadone overdose.

However, when properly managed by clinicians and taken as directed, methadone can be extremely helpful. Methadone is not a cure for opioid addiction. However, it can be an effective treatment when featured as part of comprehensive addiction treatment. Once people can manage their cravings for the drug they’ve been addicted to, they’ll find it much easier to focus on their subsequent addiction treatments.

When prescribed methadone, clients will visit their methadone clinic to obtain their dose of the drug. They may return home or attend addiction treatment if scheduled. Methadone clinics will not dispense more than the amount needed between visits. Again, methadone is safe and effective when used properly. Even so, there are some effects that people may experience, which include:

  1. Lightheadedness
  2. Confusion
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Muscle tremors
  5. Increased heart rate
  6. Abdominal cramps

Many people may experience these effects early in their therapy, but they also may subside in time. Always report side effects to your methadone clinic.

Florida Methadone Clinics: Things to Consider When Picking a Facility

When finding a methadone clinic in Florida, you’ll need to choose carefully to ensure you select the best one for your needs. Here are some important factors to consider when making your selection:

1. Cost

Most people regard to cost as a significant factor when searching for a methadone clinic. Many methadone clinics and rehabs accept health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. When researching options in your area, you’ll need to search for a clinic that accepts your insurance plan or accepts private payment.

2. Location

Getting back and forth to a methadone clinic is another important consideration. You may want to choose a location that’s located near your home so that you don’t have to travel far to obtain your methadone doses. Methadone clinics do not distribute supplies in large quantities–typically enough to last only between appointments. You may need to choose a clinic that’s located close by.

3. Accreditation and Licensure

Any methadone clinic you choose should have the appropriate license and accreditation for providing medication-assisted treatment. Methadone is strictly monitored because of its potential for abuse.

4. Case Management Services

Every person is different. That’s why it’s helpful to find a methadone clinic that provides personalized case management services. Remember that methadone alone isn’t enough to help you manage your addiction. It’s important to enter therapy that helps you manage other aspects of your addiction. Methadone can help, but you may need other services. A case manager can help you find the best treatments for your needs as well as monitor how your methadone treatment is progressing.

5. Multiple Services

Although methadone clinics prescribe methadone, that’s not all. Many methadone clinics offer additional services such as behavioral health treatments that support lasting recovery. As you evaluate methadone clinics near you, be sure to assess the services they offer. Some clinics also feature drug education, housing assistance, and other helpful solutions.

florida methadone clinicsTreatment at Florida Methadone Clinics

A methadone doctor must prescribe methadone. Licensed methadone clinics and addiction rehabs must be approved to provide methadone treatment to clients. You can expect the following steps before starting a methadone treatment course.


Before beginning MAT which involves therapy or any other medication, clinicians will evaluate your condition to determine if you are a candidate for methadone treatment. This drug therapy is designed for people addicted to heroin or opioid painkillers. So, if you have a cocaine or methamphetamine addiction, this drug will not work for you. Clinicians are likely to recommend other treatments in addition to drug therapy with methadone. Comprehensive addiction treatment is the best way to manage drug addiction.


Enrollment involves paperwork and billing concerns. A methadone clinic’s staff will help you determine what costs are covered by your insurance plan and what you might be charged for. Enrollment also covers some of the education portions of MAT. Our clinicians will carefully explain what methadone is and how it can help you. You’ll also learn about its risks and how to use it safely. They will also introduce your initial treatment course and how often you should visit to obtain your methadone.

First Doses

Once the program begins, you’ll start your first dose. You may notice some side effects such as those mentioned above. Let the clinicians know. In most cases, these side effects will diminish. After a few doses, your practitioner will want to know how you feel and if the side effects have diminished. They’ll want to know if you are experiencing opioid cravings or withdrawal symptoms in case they need to adjust your doses.

Case Management

If all goes well, you’ll continue to adhere to your treatment plan. A case manager is usually assigned to you. They can help coordinate other therapies and ensure your methadone maintenance is going well. If any problems arise, you can report them to your clinician or case manager.

Ongoing Assessment

Generally, people remain on methadone for about a year. You can expect periodic assessments throughout your program of treatment. By the end of the program, your clinician will discuss tapering off the use of methadone and evaluate how the process goes. Some people choose to continue methadone maintenance longer. If that’s warranted in your case, you will continue to adhere to your long-term plan, which, like before, will be monitored by the clinic’s medical staff.

Florida Methadone Clinics: WhiteSands Has the Therapy and Methadone Treatment to Help Achieve Recovery from Addiction

WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab features medication-assisted treatment including helpful drugs like methadone that treat opioid addiction. It is possible to put addiction behind you, and WhiteSand Alcohol and Drug opioid treatment Tampa can help. Our addiction specialists are experienced and empathetic. We offer comprehensive addiction treatment programs, including medical detox, residential, and outpatient treatment programs. Contact us to learn about our methadone clinic and other addiction treatment programs.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.