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Cost Effective Methadone Treatment Plan

Posted on :  May 5th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Did you know that opioids are types of psychoactive analgesic drugs that are usually prescribed for palliative care and pain relief? Conscious control over these medications are being implemented because of its potential for addiction, misuse, and dependence. There is a growing consensus that opioid substitution therapies like the methadone treatment plan are successful in treating opioid dependence. How cost effective is this treatment?

Cost of Substance Abuse

In a research published in 2006, it was estimated that the cost of substance abuse in Canada was around $39.8 billion in 2002. This reflected to about $1,267 per capita and approximately 39% of this amount is associated with the enforcement, prevention, research, and healthcare cost of the abuse. There are also indirect costs that are associated, which are traced to the loss of productivity caused by disability and premature death from the addiction.

Although the costs for other types of abuse like tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis are substantial larger, it does not negate the severity of the problem. It also highlights the need to look for a cost effective treatment plan to ensure that focus on other types of addictions will not be neglected.

Introduction to Methadone

If you are not familiar with methadone, in its pure form it looks like a white crystalline powder. It can be used for treatment of both pain and addiction. Those who are prescribed with methadone are normally being treated for their opioid addiction. This would include those who are hooked on heroin as well as those abusing prescription opioids like fentanyl, hydromorphone, and oxycodone.

There will be instances though where methadone will be prescribed for the relief of chronic pain of pain that is associated with terminal illnesses. It is not uncommon to find methadone as a street drug, but normally for the prevention of symptoms associated with opioid addiction withdrawal.

Women who regularly use opioid drugs and pregnant can be treated with methadone as a means of protecting the fetus. To avoid many withdrawal symptoms, hydromorphone, heroin, or other short-acting opioids must be frequently taken. This is important because opioid withdrawal increases the possibility of premature birth or miscarriage. When combined with medical care, the methadone maintenance will be able to improve the chances of delivering a healthier baby. No long-term effects on the baby has been identified.

Those who are HIV and Hepatitis C positive and regularly inject opioid drugs are placed on the methadone treatment plan to protect their health. The treatment will also help in preventing the spread of the infections when needles are shared. From the 6,000 people who received methadone maintenance treatment in Ontario in 2000, the number has drastically increased to 38,000 in 2012.

Treatment Payment

The cost of methadone treatment in Ontario is normally paid through public and private funding sources. Private physicians collect revenues from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC), the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), or from the patients directly if they are not covered by OHIP.

Essentially all of the physician services that are directly associated with the methadone maintenance treatment will be covered by the OHIP. The physicians usually use the collected fees from the different sources to pay for their office expenses, salaries of staff, and the cost of other materials. Additional services provided by methadone clinics like psychosocial counseling for example will be considered under the office expense and will not be covered by an additional billing.

The total cost was estimated at about $99,491,000, which when divided by the total number of patient days while treatment was being obtained resulted to $15.48 per day. About 46.7% of the cost goes to urine samples and 39.8% is for pharmacy costs. When accounting for the cost of methadone alone, it yields only an average of 3.8% or roughly $0.58 a day.

Towards Recovery Clinics can provide you with a more detailed methadone treatment plan including its cost. Call on them now.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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