by Chris Cornwall
Hendricks County could see its first methadone clinic by the end of this year. The Indiana Department of Mental Health recently awarded the Hamilton Center Inc., a regional behavioral health system in Central and West Central Indiana, two additional licenses to open opioid treatment programs in both Hendricks and Knox Counties.
While the exact locations have yet to be determined, these clinics will open on or before Dec. 31, according to the Hamilton Center. It says the clinics will be modeled after Western Indiana Recovery Services, an opioid treatment program it opened in Vigo County last May.
“Western Indiana Recovery Services and Hamilton Center are committed to delivering excellence in behavioral health services,” Melvin L Burks, CEO of Hamilton Center, Inc., said “In completing this rigorous survey and accomplishing these standards of care we demonstrate the highest quality care for our consumers.”
Patients are administered daily doses of methadone as part of an opiate maintenance program to deter them from buying and using drugs on the streets. Supporters of treatment centers like Western Indiana Recovery Services argue that they lower crime, reduce the spread of HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis C and help patients become productive members of society.
However, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, patients that start methadone maintenance are usually on it for more than a year, and the withdrawal symptoms from stopping abruptly are worse than what would be experienced from heroin or prescription painkillers. The monthly cost of methadone maintenance averages about $400 per patient.
Once a site has been selected, Hamilton Center will begin the process of getting certification through various state and federal agencies including the State of Indiana, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and The Joint Commission (TJC).