Opioid Treatment Program

Information about the DCHS Opioid Treatment Program.

Page updated on Sep 19, 2020 at 7:59 AM

The Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) helps adults to stop using heroin and/or other opiates that may include legal medications that are used illegally. The OTP offers evidence-based therapy services in combination with physician prescribed and monitored Methadone or Buprenorphine (Suboxone). These medications do not produce a "high" and minimize the symptoms of withdrawal. Clients participate in regular counseling sessions and are required to abstain from illegal drugs and alcohol while in the program.

The Opioid Treatment Program is featured in a best practices video sponsored by SAMHSA. The video also helps to reduce the stigma associated with this therapy and reminds viewers that methadone treatment is the gold standard for opioid addiction.

National Opioid Crisis

Learn more about the national opioid crisis, how the city is responding, and recognizing and responding to an overdose.

Opioid Treatment Program Purpose

The purpose of this program is to help individuals reclaim their lives from heroin or other opioid use disorders. Priority admission is given to pregnant women and post-partum women, intravenous users, and those living with HIV/AIDS.


Individuals enrolled in this program participate in an intensive counseling program called Matrix. The Matrix Program is for persons who have had difficulty keeping alcohol and drugs out of their lives. The comprehensive 16-week program includes: Early Recovery Group, Relapse Prevention Group, Family Education Group and Social Support Group. Participants may choose whether to come to this program during the day or evening and whether to participate in coed or women-only groups. Program participants are also encouraged to join other treatment groups that meet their needs and preferences. Learn more about Recovery Groups & Classes for the Public and Treatment Services for Substance Use Disorders/Servicios de alcohol y otras drogas.

Interim services are available while waiting for primary treatment including case management, HIV testing, and wellness counseling.

Ways Clients Benefit from the Program

  • Get a job or start a career
  • Discover new interests
  • Become a better partner and/or parent
  • Develop better family relations
  • Improve your health
  • Become a productive community member
  • Feel better about yourself and your future

Expectations of Clients

  • Come for dosing each morning or inform nursing staff if you cannot
  • Put all drug and alcohol use behind you 
  • Provide drug screens as requested
  • Tell our doctor or nurses about any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter) you are taking
  • Tell your doctor, pharmacist and dentist that you are taking methadone
  • Participate in the development of your service plan
  • Attend all therapy appointments
  • Pay your income-based fee

Some of these expectations may not be easy to meet in the beginning. Our job is to support clients and help find ways to meet the expectations and assist with each person's road to recovery.

For more information, call 703.746.3600. To begin the admission process call intake at 703.746.3610.

SAMHSA's 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently released the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The annual survey is the nation’s primary resource for data on mental health and substance use among Americans.
As the NSDUH demonstrates, substance misuse and mental illness continue to be major problems for Americans. These issues demand continued attention and focus across all American communities. The data also reflect impressive progress on the nation’s opioid crisis.

View the recorded presentation of the NSDUH data and webcast slides presented by Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz.