3 Qs in 3 Mins: Inside the New Season Methadone Clinic with Nurse, Carla Needham
Welcome to the fifth installment of our multi-part blog series that is providing our readers an inside look into the New Season organization, specifically how we provide top-notch treatment to our patients by administering medication-assisted treatment and professional counseling services across the 72 methadone clinics throughout the nation.
The blog series format follow suit with the previous posts — “three questions in three minutes” with key and essential personnel in the New Season organization.
In this post, we’ll talk with another one of our nurses at New Season, Carla Needham from the Northwest Georgia Treatment Center, and she’ll address the medical questions we’re most often asked by our patients.
Q & A with Carla Needham, a New Season Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
Question: Does your treatment really work?
Answer: Our patient-centered approach to care shows an overwhelming success rate, in which 90% of our patients are illicit drug-free after a year in treatment. Patients who want the treatment and are willing to put in the time and effort toward recovery will bounce back to living a clean and healthier life.
If you visit the New Season Facebook page or website, you will find a host of candid patient testimonials that attest the effectiveness of our treatment, the quality of our medical approach and the compassion of our care.
Question: How does patient dosing work?
Answer: The doctor on staff at each medical clinic reviews the patient’s abuse history and clinical presentation, along with their physical and mental state, to place an order for the proper level of treatment medication. A patient is required to be illicit drug free prior to receiving a dose of treatment medication.
Question: What are the different types of treatment medications?
Answer: Methadone is the most readily administered medication to treat our patients. It helps patients physically stabilize so they can benefit from the other methods of treatment that our program provides, like counseling and life improvement services. The patients that are prescribed methadone have been battling a heroin addiction for a year or more. The battle has likely forced them into financial hardship, and methadone offers the most affordable approach to medication-assisted treatment.
Patients receiving methadone are not only overcoming an addiction to opioids, but they may also be up against a co-occuring mental disorder and/or an addiction to another substance. These conditions typically facilitate an unstable living environment and/or unsteady employment circumstances. Fortunately, methadone helps to stabilize the brain to successfully withdraw the body and get the patient back to a normal way of life.
Similar to methadone, buprenorphine is also available at all of our treatment centers. It is best suited for patients who have been using prescription painkillers for less than a year.
We typically see patients who are younger in age respond well to buprenorphine. These patients also have a solid social support system and a stable living environment. The patient population does not have a co-occuring mental disorder, allowing them to be more compliant with the treatment process and more likely to stay on track to achieve their recovery goals.
Naltrexone (Vivitrol) has been approved by the FDA as a treatment to prevent relapse to opioid dependence after detoxification and is best suited as a relapse prevention measure. It is recommended for patients who are free of opiates for seven to 14 days.
For patients who may have Naltrexone as an option, the key barrier of usage is currently the cost of the injection which is $1,200 to $1,500 for the shot that is taken once a month. Because a majority of New Season patients have reported financial hardship, Naltrexone is only an option with the help of subsidized programs to support the cost. We are tirelessly working to implement Medicaid and commercial insurance programs at our treatment centers to provide Naltrexone as an affordable option to our patients.
Thank you for taking an inside look into the nation’s leading methadone clinic, New Season.
If you are a member of the news media or general public requesting further information, please contact our marketing team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in learning more about our treatment options for opioid use disorder, speak with one of our trained professionals 24/7 at 1-877-284-7074.