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Bellevue Drug Treatment Center Has Plans to Offer Methadone Program for Addicts

Therapeutic Health Services, which operates a treatment clinic in Bellevue, has applied to operate a opiate substitution program, which offers methadone or other replacements to help those addicted to opiates.

A Bellevue alcohol and drug treatment clinic has plans to be the first Eastside clinic to distribute methadone and other drugs to combat heroin, Oxycontin and other opiate addictions, according to a briefing scheduled for Tuesday's Bellevue City Council meeting.

Therapeutic Health Services has plans to add the program to its offices at 1412 140th Place NE, and has a similar program at its Seattle offices, according to city documents. If it passes the local and state regulatory hurdles, it could be open by April, according to city documents.

The prescription drugs methadone and buprenorphine would be distribtuted or prescribed as part of treatment for addiction to opiates, such as heroin, Oxycontin and hydrocodone. The replacement drugs do not cause the "high" of the drugs that patients are addicted to, and are used as part of a treatment program that includes counseling and training, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Therapeutic Health Services.

Patients get methadone for drug addiction treatment generally from the treatment clinic, while buprenorphine is available at pharmacies.

The clinic reported that it has 152 Eastside clients undergoing outpatient addiction treatment in Seattle and said that the number of patients undergoing treatment for addicition at its Bellevue clinic. The clinic would be the first Eastside clinic to offer it.

To address neighborhood concerns, Therapeutic Health Services says that it would monitor the parking lot, pick-up times would be limited to 6 - 11 a.m., and clients would be assigned appointment times, to prevent a line of clients awaiting treatment, according to city documents.

According to the city, the clinic still is awaiting approval from the state Department of Social and Health Services. 

More info on Methadone

The Centers for Disease Control reports that methadone is an effective treatment by blocking the effects of opiates on the brain. Methadone doesn't cause the same high that heroin, Oxycontin and other opioid drugs, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

According to a fact sheet, methadone:

  • blocks the euphoric and sedating effects of opiates;
  • relieves the craving for opiates that is a major factor in relapse;
  • relieves symptoms associated with with­ drawal from opiates; 
  • does not cause euphoria or intoxication itself (with stable dosing), thus allow­ ing a person to work and participate normally in society;
  • is excreted slowly so it can be taken only once a day.

The CDC reported on its fact sheet that the daily doses of methadone help patients stick to drug addiction treatment, and transition back to productive lives. However, the national centers also report that methadone can be abused, and it is possible to overdose on methadone, and that Washington was a state that had one of the higest ratios of fatal methadone poisoning per 100,000 people in 2005, according ot the CDC.

If you go

Other topics on Bellevue's agenda include comprehensive plan updates and the state revenue forecast.

The Bellevue City Council meeting is scheduled from 6-10 p.m. at City Hall, 405 110th Ave. NE. The meeting starts with a two hour study session and the regular meeting starts at 8 p.m. The council meetings are broadcast live on Bellevue Television (cable channel 21). Video of the meeting can be viewed live online on Bellevue TV.

The study session will start at 6 p.m., starting with a 15 minute executive session to discuss potential litigation. The regular meeting starts at 8 p.m. in the city council chambers.

You can download a copy of the materials regarding the annexation and  the agenda of the Study Session and the Regular Meeting at Bellevue's city council web page.

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