For methadone maintenance patients who choose to take their prescription home and not have to go to the clinic every day to get their doses, Indiana has more lenient rules than neighbouring states. However, Indiana, like many other states, has limited the number of prescription bottles that can be taken home before having to return to the clinic for refills. Many long-term patients at the Indianapolis Treatment Center (ITC) are able to take home a monthly supply of their medication before returning to the clinic to get their medications refilled. Because of new rules, Jolene can only take 2 weeks’ worth of medication home with her. After a year of becoming a clinic patient and attending mandatory therapy and community meetings, this is the result. Many opiate-dependent patients are moving to buprenorphine (Suboxone) due to stricter restrictions on methadone patients and looser restrictions on buprenorphine (Suboxone). The Lexington Center for Opioid Dependence & Recovery-Addiction Recovery Facility Lexington Lexington KY has some nice tips on this.
Even though many buprenorphine patients are realising that they can take their doses home more often and that their insurance companies are more likely to cover the drug, there is still one big issue in most US cities: availability. The second amendment to DATA-2000 (which required doctors’ offices to write buprenorphine prescriptions) was signed into law on December 29th, 2006. This amendment expanded the number of patients that could be treated with buprenorphine from one doctor to 100. Also, with this new legislation, it is often difficult to locate a doctor who is accepting new patients, and when one is found, they often only take cash and demand exorbitant fees. Part of the issue is that only about 22,000 of the nearly 800,000 physicians who could be approved for DATA-2000 have done so, and only about 1/3 of those 22,000 regularly administer the medication. Opiate recovery facilities, such as the one Jolene attends, come into play in this scenario. They aren’t bound by the same laws that restrict patients to 100, and while many buprenorphine patients will need regular visits at first, they will ultimately be granted the same take-home privileges as office-based patients.