Syringes to Sobriety

Stories and Advice from a Real Heroin Addict

AZ methadone clinics do nothing in face of covid 19

UPDATE: As of March 20th, the methadone clinic has changed clients to an every other day schedule. Yes, this is better, but it is not enough! Patients should be given take-home doses for the duration of this outbreak to protect their families and other patients at the clinic. I have been told that Governor Ducey is the one who ultimately made this call. I urge Ducey to reassess this model. Those of us trying to recover should be treated with just as much respect as others in the community We should be afforded the same opportunity to avoid catching COVID 19 by not having to go to the methadone clinic every other day.

AZ methadone clinics do nothing in face of covid 19 outbreak!

AZ methadone clinics have done nothing to stem covid 19 transmission. This extreme irresponsibility is endangering thousands of lives every day.

With coronavirus gaining traction, it seems all non-essential healthcare services are being cancelled, or conducted with extreme caution. Thousands of recovering substance abusers, including myself, dose at the methadone clinic, Community Medical Services, daily.

Frequently, over 30 people congregate, waiting to be dosed with their methadone (or Suboxone). It is possible to provide take home dose to each patient. Some patients, albeit few, are given take-home doses. The policy is that take home methadone doses are earned. This incentive program makes total sense on a normal day.

However, WE ARE DEALING WITH A HUGELY CONTAGIOUS VIRUS WORLDWIDE. Unless you have been living under a rock, you know what I am talking about. The methadone clinics, at least in Maricopa county, have done nothing to prevent covid 19 (coronavirus) transmission between patients. The solution is simple.


I have stressed my concern to staff over and over again. This is the document that have posted at their facility:

AZ methadone clinics do nothing in face of covid 19:
Methadone clinic policy on covid 19

As you can see, they have done nothing. There is no PPE (personal protective equipment), as the sign says, and I did not see a single staff member clean anything in the forty minutes I waited, with 30 other patients mind you, to dose yesterday.

We need our methadone doses daily. Take home dosing is a simple solution to avoid covid 19 transmission. Instead, the current policy, which is to do nothing differently, is endangering patients’ lives, as well as the lives’ of our family members that we go home to after dosing.  

Some clients get take home methadone doses, so it is a possibility to provide these. The clinic is just refusing to implement it for everyone.

I’m scared, frustrated and they do not seem to listen to mine or other patients concerns.

We are trying to social distance, but we are not able to with regard to receiving our medication.

 As recovering substance abusers, we are not strangers to be ignored or forgotten, but there is a simple solution here. 

The current COVID 19: CORONAVIRUS operation policy of the methadone clinics is risking the lives of hundreds of people daily, UNNECCESSARILY.

Indiana has allowed patients to take home their doses in lock boxes. This article explains the steps Indians had taken to prevent transmission. Kudos to them.

Shame on AZ methadone clinics. We need something to be done! Please help!!! I’m sure the DEA would encourage the clinic to take caution with distribution at this time and it is not happening!!!!!

I have contacted all news agencies and will be recording video when I go dose today. Anyone have any suggestions?

1 comment on “AZ methadone clinics do nothing in face of covid 19

  1. Unbelievably irresponsible. I saw that CO is taking the clinics to the recovery community, outfitting RVs as mobile clinics..
    All other containment efforts will be for naught if 30 patients per hour per clinic go back to their homes and jobs! Wake up AZ DHS!

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