Im almost positive that Doctors are prohibited from prescribing painkillers/methadone for anything other than pain; unless they have been granted special authority to treat addiction. From what I can gather this permission only allows certified doctors to prescribe suboxone/subutex ( not methadone).
Suboxone could be a better option if you are seriously considering Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST). You should be able to find a private suboxone doctor nearby. For all intents and purposes, (as a maintenence drug)suboxone functions much the same as methadone, but it isnt monitered as strictly and doesnt require daily dispensing from a busy (and seedy) clinic. Its also very good short term as an opioid detox aide provided it is used for a very short period (2-3 weeks). I actually used suboxone to detox of an 11 and a half year methadone addiction. It worked great!
Just as an aside, I think you are wise to seek alternatives to the cash cow "clinics". Its a shame but methadone clinics fail miserabley in their efforts to provide a healthy and stable environment from which an addict could begin to contemplate abstinence on their own terms.At the moment, people are leaving because they a) cannot bear the overbearing and punitive demands of the omnipotent clinic beaurocracy. b) cannot afford it anymore, c) genuinely want to be drugfree but find the methadone queues a fertile source of prospective dealers/clients? Its definitely not because the clinics have done such a great job and "suceeded" .
Its almost as if the clinics have puposely designed it so it is as hard as humanly possible for one of their clients to escape their dirty paws. Pfffft! Methadone clinics are an abberation and have made turned a valid and meritable treatment (MMT) into a four letter word.
Here in NZ I was on the methadone for almost 12 years and never went to a clinic except for the induction phase at the beginning. We see our own doctors who liase with the regional organisition (A.R.M.S./Auckland Regional Methadone Services) which oversees all methadone clients within their jurasdiction. Doctors are routinely audited to ensure everything is kosher. Counselling from certified counsellors (not 12 step hocupocus) is mandated during the stabilistation phase but is voluntary from then on provided you remain stable. Once stabilised at a cenral dosing centre (I suppose you called call this a clinic) you are then farmed out to a pharmacy of your choosing where you are treated like anyone who walks into a chemist to fill a prescription. There are no queues (I went to the same busy chemist for many years and never once "bumped' into another client picking up their methadone) Best of all, its all free, the doctors visits, the counselling, the prescriptions. This is a supportive environment which allows the addict to progrees (or not) at their own pace.
Im terribly sorry to ramble and for the hurried grammer but I have to drop off my little boy at school. LOL! Sorry! In answer to your question, Yes, I think methadone clinics are the only avenue for an addict to receive methadone for their addiction (assuming you live in the US)
All the best. Kind regards Jeremy. Recovered Ex Addict
if you live in the united states ,yes there are private doctors who prescribe methadone but, think about it... a private doctor sending an opiate addict home with a two week or month supply of opiates/methadone? I surely would have abused the methadone pills if given to me that way. if you can find a suboxone doctor ,i would agree with the above, go that route.if you go on suboxone for a short time , there's normally minimal wd, but again you have to do a quick taper maybe no more than a couple months on the drug. if you do decide to go the methadone route , i strongly incurage you to do a whole lot of research. if you have any questions feel free to post, i was on methadone for 4 years & am here if you should need. good luck :)
Heard of the "Harrison Act?
The only doctors that can prescribe methadone outside of a clinic is in New York and they must have a special license. There is also a cap on how many people they can prescribe to so you might need to be on their waiting list. I suggest if you need a private doctor to prescribe something for addiction you go to a Suboxone doctor. They can prescribe to you outside of a clinic right away with immediate monthly take-homes, But he must be a Suboxone Doctor who has gone through special training to be that kind of a doctor.