Methadone clinic offers alternative to pain pill addiction

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A new treatment option is offering a different alternative for pain pill addiction in East Texas.

"Everyone in the United States, everywhere in the world, it is very prevalent, opiate usage," said Methadone Clinic of East Texas Director Edward Jacobs.

The Methadone Clinic of East Texas opens the doors to its third location. The clinic hopes to offer "maintenance options" for recovering addicts.

"It actually totally changes their life to the better," said Jacobs.

Counselors, nurses, and subcontracted doctors counsel with patients and prescribe methadone pills and liquid to curb the need to use pain killers.

"It provides a better pain relief, and it lasts a lot longer, where they don't have to take it but one time a day," said Jacobs.

Jacobs says he's reached out to law enforcement, local emergency rooms, and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council for referrals. While A.D.A.C. sends a few referrals to the methadone clinic, A.D.A.C. says they have a different agenda. The methadone clinic doesn't primarily work to get people completely off of drugs.

"They do become dependant on the methadone, but if you have diabetes, you have to take insulin. If you have an opiate addiction, you take methadone. So, we get them where they're only having to use the methadone," said Jacobs.

However, Jacobs says the opioide used in methadone is much safer than the opiates used in pain killers.

"Once we find the correct dose, the patient usually is stabilized. They don't hurt. They're not craving. They're not going into withdrawal. They're not suffering. It increases their quality of life," said Jacobs.

Jacobs hopes the new center will draw in more people looking to change their lives.

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