Methadone: Daily Trips to Clinics Will No Longer Be Required
Some 350,000 Americans rely on methadone clinics for daily opioid addiction treatment, and, under normal circumstances, they’re required by law to take their doses at methadone clinics, where they often wait in long lines to take their doses in a supervised setting.
“We’re now facing two deadly, concurrent declared public health emergencies: the opioid crisis and COVID-19.”
Federal guidance so far when it comes to methadone clinics during the pandemic has been confusing, to say the least. Until this week, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s directed clinics to follow each state’s lead on a coronavirus response. On Monday, SAMHSA released two conflicting sets of guidelines for methadone clinics and patients. The first permitted a take-home supply of up to two weeks, but only if a methadone patient had coronavirus or symptoms of it, got a clinician to sign off, and applied with that sign-off to SAMHSA.
But separate guidance, also released Monday by SAMHSA, is much more lax, allowing for four weeks of take-home doses for stable patients—with no state or federal sign-off required for each patient—and two weeks for less-stable patients who the clinic believes “can safely handle this level of take-home medication.” This is the guidance that will hold during the pandemic, says SAMHSA spokesperson Christopher Garrett: Monday’s more restrictive guidelines were taken down this morning.
Read entire article, thanks to Mother Jones, here.