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Created On Monday, 20, February 2017
Modified On Monday, 12, April 2021

Opioid Treatment in Iowa

Depending upon the person's goals for opioid treatment in Iowa, there are many different options. Perhaps the most common choice has become Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT. MAT uses replacement opioids to get someone off whatever opioid they are abusing and onto prescription forms. This has the advantage of minimizing overdose death and infectious disease transmission but can't be called "treatment" when comparing it to other forms that get people off chemical substances.

For those who are looking to reclaim their drug-free life, other options exist. Twelve-step programs may be the most prevalent since they've been the backbone of the drug and alcohol rehabilitation industry for decades. Though they may not be as popular as they once were, mainly due to pharmacological methods becoming more prevalent, they have helped countless people achieve long-term recovery.

Another type of treatment that is often overlooked is holistic drug rehabilitation. This may be the most effective form for opioid addiction because it doesn't buy into the thinking that the person will be an addict for life. Holistic programs may be more intensive and more prolonged, but they physically rebuild the person to feel better off drugs than on them. Holistic programs frequently provide counseling as well, which is targeted at addressing the underlying causes of addiction.

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Iowa Opioid Possession Penalties

All states regulate and control the possession of opioids, though each differs in how they are classified and the penalties for possession. Because there are so many different opioids that vary in deadliness, there is no blanket penalty for possessing opioids in Iowa. We are examining the penalties for personal use only. Possessing opioids for personal use carries different penalties than convictions for making or selling them. In Iowa, the criminal penalties for opioids possession depend on whether the violation is a first or subsequent conviction.

First conviction: A first conviction is a serious misdemeanor. Penalties include a fine of between $315 and $1,875, up to one year in jail, or both.

Second conviction: A second conviction is an aggravated misdemeanor. Penalties include a fine of between $625 and $6,250 and one year in jail; or no fine and up to two years in prison.

Third and subsequent convictions: A third or subsequent conviction is a class D felony. Penalties include a fine of between $750 and $7,500, up to five years in prison, or both.

Iowa Opioid Statistics

In Iowa, 143 drug overdose deaths involved opioids in 2018, a rate of 4.8, and a decrease from the 206 deaths in 2017.

  • Deaths involving prescription opioids decreased from 104 in 2017 to 64 in 2018.
  • Deaths involving heroin or synthetic opioids other than methadone remained stable, with 37 and 80 deaths, respectively.

In 2018, Iowa providers wrote 49.3 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons compared to the average U.S. rate of 51.4 prescriptions.


Marcel Gemme, DATS - Author

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people. He is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Treatment Specialist graduate with Honours of Stratford Career Institute. Marcel has also received a certificate from Harvard for completing a course entitled The Opioid Crisis in America and a certificate from The University of Adelaide for completing a course entitled AddictionX: Managing Addiction: A Framework for Succesful Treatment.

Michael Leach, CCMA - Medically Reviewed on April 12, 2021

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Michael Leach is a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, who has over 5 years of experience working in the field of addiction. He spent his career working under the board-certified Addictionologist Dr. Rohit Adi. His experience includes working with families during their loved one’s stay in treatment, helping those with substance abuse issues find treatment, and teaching life skills to patients in a recovery atmosphere. Though he has worked in many different areas of rehabilitation, the majority of his time was spent working one on one with patients who were actively withdrawing from drugs. Withdrawal and the fear of going through it is one biggest reason why an addict continues to use and can be the most difficult part of the rehabilitation process. His experience in the withdrawal atmosphere has taught him that regardless of what approach a person takes to get off drugs, there are always mental and emotional obstacles that need to be overcome. He believes having someone there to help a person through these obstacles can make all the difference during the withdrawal process.

Here is a list of medical detox for opioid addiction in Iowa. The list can be incomplete, so please do not hesitate to contact one of our treatment specialists at 1-800-304-2219.

List of Medical Detox Programs for Narcotic Abuse in Iowa

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