Frequently Asked Questions
What types of substance use disorders does LTC treat?
LTC is an opioid treatment program that treats someone with an opioid use disorder. Opioids include heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and prescription pain pills such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many others. Our certified counselors can provide counseling on an out-patient basis for other substance use disorders after the normal clinic hours.
Is LTC an inpatient/residential treatment center?
No, LTC is an out patient treatment service.
How do I know if I have Opioid Use Disorder?
The DSM-5 defines opioid use disorder, previously known as opioid dependence, as a problematic pattern of opioid use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by at least two of the following, occurring within a 12 month period:
Opioids are often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control opioid use.
A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the opioid, use the opioid, or recover from its effects.
Craving, or a strong desire or urge to use opioids.
Recurrent opioid use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home.
Continued opioid use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of opioids.
Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of opioid use.
Recurrent opioid use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.
Continued opioid use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by the substance.
Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
A need for markedly increased amounts of opioids to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of an opioid
11. Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following:
The characteristic opioid withdrawal syndrome
Opioids (or a closely related substance) are taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.
What is the difference between Methadone and Buprenorphine, and which one is best for me?
Methadone is a full agonist that fills the opiate receptors in the brain all the way. Buprenorphine is a partial agonist that fills the opiate receptors part of the way. It has a ceiling affect, meaning that its effects will plateau and not increase even with repeated dosing. Both medications are used to reduce cravings and withdrawals. An assessment will be done with each individual by our medical and clinical team and the medication most appropriate for that individual’s OUD will be decided upon.
How often do I have to come in for treatment?
In the beginning more frequent attendance is required. For patients receiving methadone treatment, they will come in daily (except Sunday). Patients receiving buprenorphine treatment will come in weekly. Once the individual has stabilized and meets certain criteria within the program, they may earn take home medication and will not have to attend as frequently.
How long will I be in treatment?
The ultimate goal of medication assisted treatment is full recovery. The length of time in treatment is different for every patient and depends on several variables that is unique to each individual.The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recommends a “phased approach,” beginning with stabilization (withdrawal management, assessment, medication induction, and psychosocial counseling), and moving to a middle phase that emphasizes medication maintenance and deeper work in counseling. The third phase is “ongoing rehabilitation,” when the patient and provider can choose to taper off medication or pursue longer term maintenance, depending on the patient’s needs. For some patients, MAT could be indefinite. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (“NIDA”) describes addiction medications as an “essential component of an ongoing treatment plan” to enable individuals to “take control of their health and their lives. For methadone maintenance, twelve months of treatment is the minimum, according to NIDA.
Is my privacy protected?
Yes. Everything you share with us is completely confidential. Your confidentiality is protected by HIPAA and CFR 42 Part 2. Your information may only be shared under the following circumstances:
You sign a release of information allowing LTC to share information that you specify to a specifically identified third party.
In the event of a medical emergency we may share medically relevant information with responding emergency personnel.
If you commit a crime while on the property of LTC or against LTC, your identifying information may be shared with law enforcement.
Is Medication Assisted Treatment just trading one drug for another?
NO! Methadone and Buprenorphine are longer acting opiates that allow the brain to heal. These medications provide a safe, controlled level that normalizes brain chemistry, blocks the euphoric effects of other opioids, relieves physiological cravings, and normalizes body functions without the negative effects of the abused drugs.
Is Medication Assisted Treatment safe for me and my baby if I am pregnant?
Yes. Methadone and Buprenorphine are both FDA approved to be used with pregnant women and are considered very safe. Please see our section on pregnancy for more information.