Effective opioid addiction treatment has never been more important to the health of America. That’s why Yale School of Medicine is calling for expanding access to methadone and other medication-assisted treatment (MAT) options.
And by expansion they mean expanding access to methadone for everyone in the country. That includes rural areas, which are seriously underserved.
In fact, Yale’s new study found it takes rural residents an average of 50 minutes to get to a methadone clinic. In urban centers that average is eight minutes.
“Methadone is the most studied medication for opioid use disorder,” said Dr. Paul Joudrey, lead author of the study and Instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at Yale School of Medicine. “But you have patients who need it tell you, ‘Doc, it takes me forever to get to the office.'”
Joudrey is hoping this new research helps “expand geographic access” to methadone and other medication-assisted treatment.
Joudrey would also like to see MAT be available in primary care facilities — or at least for the local, state and federal governments to reduce what he calls the “burdensome restrictions” placed upon methadone-dispensing clinics.
The Need for Methadone Certification
We here at ALEF don’t entirely agree. There’s good reason methadone-dispensing clinics are vetted and certified by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). That’s because methadone treatment requires a higher level of medical care. To reduce those accreditation requirements could risk patients’ lives.
ALEF sees regulatory requirements as safeguards rather than restrictions. And we’re ready, willing and eager to meet any requirements that help protect the safety of our patients.
We do agree though that rural areas should have equal access to methadone treatment programs. That’s why we set up our first clinic in Rockingham County. It’s also why we’ll be setting up each of our subsequent clinics in America’s more rural communities. Because no one should be denied life-saving access to methadone because of geography.
If you or your loved one is battling opioid addiction, please give ALEF a call. We’re here to help.