Confessions From The Methadone Clinic: Dosing At Home In A Pandemic


methadone clinic

Well, it has been a few weeks since we have checked in to the local methadone clinic. For those of you newcomers we were running a blog, once a week, from a recovering heroin addict who makes his daily trek to the local methadone clinic in order to keep his horrendous heroin addiction at bay. Due to the strict laws of HIPAA there were no names of other recovering addicts, the clinic itself or anything else specific to the clinic. It was very educating and sometimes entertaining to read the blog as the recovering heroin addict let us look into his daily methadone run through his eyes. So today we are going to let him explain to us how this horrible novel coronavirus has affected the methadone clinic and its services.

First, we are under a mandatory sort of lockdown here in Florida where no large groups are permitted. Well, this clinic alone has a board of 250 recovering opiate addicts waiting for their morning dose to be able to go to work, not get sick and just function on a daily basis. So here we are in the middle of the parking lot of the methadone clinic with about 250 recovering addicts all trying to keep a distance of 6 feet from each other and are scattered across the parking lot waiting for our number to be called to go in one at a time to get the dose. Now, the reason that there are so many people here in the morning is that you have to have a certain number of clean drug screens in order to be rewarded with being able to take your methadone home seven doses at a time.

But very few people can pass a weekly drug screen, so they are required to come here on a daily basis and aren’t allowed to take any methadone from the clinic. Well, they are forced to make an exception now that COVID-19 is running rampant through our community so everyone is being given two weeks’ worth of methadone to take home with them because the clinic is not operating at full capacity due to the virus. Now this brings on a whole new set of problems. This morning, I was just given a safety packet on the naloxone first aid kit that they will be giving us to take home with our 13 doses of methadone. And I will give you one guess as to why we are taking a first aid recovery kit with us this morning. It’s obviously because we are all drug addicts and they fear that very few of us are going to dose the correct way and there’s going to be one or two of us who are going to kick back three or four doses of methadone instead of one dose to get as high as possible!

So, ladies and gentlemen, they will be giving us our own first aid opiate response kit in case one of us overdoses and there is somebody nearby to spray the naloxone into our nasal passages to bring us back to life.

Wow! I guess the clinic has to cover their ass somehow.

Now, in order to make up for not being able to have our weekly one on one counseling session, they have now given us an app for our phones to download and talk to our counselors through FaceTime or Skype while the novel coronavirus pandemic is active. Great idea guys! Dr. Cali Estes and The Addictions Coach has been doing this for almost a decade! So due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the methadone clinic has fought back by giving its drug addicts take-home methadone so that they can stay home. The methadone clinic has given its clients naloxone safety and first aid kits in case they miss use the take-home methadone to get high, and the clinic has given the clients a Phone App in which they can now receive their one on one counseling sessions through Skype and FaceTime. And like I said, Dr. Cali Estes and The Addictions Coach have been doing this, and doing this at a high success rate, for almost a decade.

Stay safe!


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