How Easy Is It to Get a Private Prescription for Methadone Mixture 1mg/ml?

Question by sparky_dy: How easy is it to get a private prescription for methadone mixture 1mg/ml?
I know it’s very difficult on the NHS. I’m guessing if I saw a doctor privately, I would have an easier time of it; after all, it’s me who is paying, not the taxpayer, and there’s no sense of “you’re clucking and it serves you right”.

Secondary question: How much for the consultation and how much for the meds?
I’m in the UK.

Best answer:

Answer by Sparrow
This depends on entirely on whether you are seeking it for pain management or opiate addiction. Regardless of the reason though, i can tell you you’ll be unlikely to find one willing to for pain, and secondly, 1mg in pretty much a non dose. You should also know- contrary to popular belief- Methadone doesn’t give you a buzz or get you high.
MMT clinic costs vary, but most accept medicaid or weekly payments. My clinic charges us $ 330 a month, regardless of the dose mg; and that includes meds, counseling, groups, drug screens, etc.

A little information of methadone:
Methadone has two main uses:
1) Severe pain: Methadone is used to treat severe, chronic & terminal pain. It works as a pain management drug because it is strong, but also time released- one dose holds you for 24 hours. Once a proper dose is determined, the patient does not develop increasing tolerance the way you would with other opiates, so you stay at the dose, instead of constantly needing higher doses for the same effect. Because it is such a strong medication, it is not used for mild pain easily treated with other narcotics, because it does cause dependency- if however, a patient will likely need pain meds the rest of their life, it makes sense to use methadone instead of other opiate pain killers that also cause dependence, and must be increased frequently & taken several times a day.

2) The second use is for opiate addiction- MMT (Methadone Maintenance Treatment). It is one of the oldest & is the most successful treatment for opiate addiction.

I’m assuming you’re familiar, but in case not- opiate addiction, unlike other drugs, causes a physical dependence. If an addict suddenly stops using opiates, they become severely ill. Methadone is an opioid agonist- not an opiate, but a synthetic drug that works on the same receptors in the brain that opiates do, and therefor “tricks” the brain into thinking it’s getting opiates.
There is a lot of science behind it- but the long and short of it is that our bodies produce endorphins- natural pain killers- in small amounts, as needed. Opiates- drugs derived from the poppy plant- (heroin, vicodin, Darvon, oxycontin, morphine, dilaudid, etc.)- when taken, cause an influx of these endorphins. When a person takes opiates on a regular basis, the human body, which is extremely adept at conserving it’s natural resources- recognizes that the person is providing them with more than enough synthetic endorphins through opiates- and the body stops producing it’s small amounts. So when an opiate addict suddenly stops using opiates, the body goes into an endorphin-deficiency, causing the person to become very ill.
Until the last decade, addiction was not recognized as a disease. Since then, the medical community has found evidence of “addictive” genes, in the form of THIQ- a chemical produced from opiates & alcohol by certain people thought to contain the addictive gene. Those without the Addictive gene don’t process the opiates or alcohol the same way, and therefore, do not turn any portion of them into THIQ, the way a person with the addictive gene does. THIQ is believed to be part of the reason that an addictive-prone person develops such strong cravings & is unable to stop using, compared to the non-addictive prone.

Methadone, when used to treat opiate addiction, and taken in the prescribed, stabilization dose, does NOT impair cognitive ability, motor function, or logic. The very basis of why methadone has been successful in treating opiate addicts is because it works in a time released capacity- rendering it incapable of producing feelings of euphoria or, in laymen’s terms, unable to get you high.
Now- someone who has never taken methadone before, who takes a large enough dose, may experience marked drowsiness- but that’s why Methadone Maintenance Clinics (MMT) follow strict regulations that entail starting every new patient/opiate addict off at the very low dose of 20-30mg, regardless of their height, weight, or tolerance level to opiates. From there, each patient is seen by the clinic physician on a weekly basis, and given the small increase of 2 -5 mg once a week, until they are “stabilized”- meaning they’re feeling normal- not in acute physical withdrawal from the sudden lack of opiates in their system. From that point on, there is a blood test called a peak and trough, that measures the serum levels of the methadone in the patient, to ensure their dose is of a therapeutic level, and not so high as to cause drowsiness. It varies by patient, but anywhere from 65mg-300mg is average.

There has been a lot of propaganda in the press lately about the dangers of Methadone- the bulk of which is directly related to a few celebrity deaths that were caused by the mixing of methadone and alcohol, or methadone & other medications. What is not so well known is that NONE- ZERO- of those cases involved opiate addicts taking methadone in a methadone maintenance program. All of them were the result of a personal physician prescribing methadone for pain, to patients who abused the medication by taking it with other drugs, creating a lethal reaction.

The Harrison Drug Act made it illegal for physicians- general practitioners- to prescribe methadone to patients for opiate addiction. Only MMT clinics, which are strictly regulated, may prescribe it for addiction. MMT clinics require frequent, SUPERVISED, random drug screens (so anyone on methadone for opiate addiction cannot be abusing other meds, or they would be kicked off the program); as well as one on one counseling, group treatments, state required classes, state required physicals and blood tests, as well as anything else the individual’s counselor feels they need. They must complete treatment plans and goals on a monthly basis, demonstrating they are moving forward with employment, housing, etc., and they are not permitted to take many medications, even when prescribed by a physician, if there is any chance of an interaction. For example, benzodiazepines are well known for their ability to interact with methadone in a way that induced euphoria- (i.e., a buzz)- and are a major no-no. The MMT clinic will prescribe another medication that will not interact, if necessary, but using the benzo’s will result in being kicked off the program. A general practitioner, on the other hand, can prescribe methadone to whomever he sees fit for pain management, and there are no other regulations.
HOWEVER- there has been a real tightening of the belt in regards to prescribing methadone for pain- which is a very positive thing. The odds of your finding a physicia to prescribe it are slim to nill unless you are siferring from a terminal illness or other chronic, severe pain problem. Even then, methadone is still not appropriate when other milder narcotic or anaglesics can suffice. Don’t get me wrong- Methadone is a wonderful choice for the RIGHT type of pain, since it doesn’t cause tolerance todeelop & is time released- but it doesn’t sound like you are a canidate. I should also note manypain patients who ARE good canidates have so much trouble finding someone willing to prescribe that they end up at MMT clinics. Mine treated opiate addiction and pain patients, but with similar, rigorous compliancy requirements.

Hope this helps- if you have any other questions and can’t find the answers in the resources below, feel free to email me- i run a website & group for MMT based advocacy and client rights and we have a strong group of RN’s,Physicians, Counselors,and MMT users/methadone for chronic pain users that will be happy to help. best of luck to you-

Some other helpful sources:

* (NAMA_ National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery , is one of the leading sources of information and education on methadone for MMT)

*… (The Methadone Briefing is an excellent resource that breaks down the myths and stigmas regarding methadone).

*… (ONDCP- a factsheet on methadone from the Office of National Drug Control policy).

Answer by Linda C
What state are you in? If you are in the Southern California area, we operate 20 Suboxone & Methadone clinics that provide services based on your income. For more information please email me at or call 1-877-557-7826 between 7:00am-4:00pm to set up an appointment .

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