Opioid Treatment Program

Information about the DCHS Opioid Treatment Program.

Page updated on Sep 28, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Opioid Treatment Program

    The Opioid Treatment Program helps adults to stop using heroin and other illegal narcotics by prescribing and monitoring Methadone or Buprenorphine. 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.

    Program Purpose

    The purpose of this program is to help individuals reclaim their lives from heroin or other opioid addiction. 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.

    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 Central Intake at 703.746.3535.