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Medication Assisted Treatment


Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications such as methadone, suboxone, naltrexone or buprenorphine, in conjunction with behavioral health counseling, to provide a whole person approach to the treatment of opioid dependence. Research has demonstrated that the combination of medication and behavioral therapies is most successful when treating substance-use disorders (SAMHSA). River City’s MAT program is regulated by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Joint Commission (JCAHO).


River City Integrative Counseling’s is wholeheartedly committed to supporting the missions of Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP), Office Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) and buprenorphine-waivered physicians.  We know both the rewards and risks of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), as we operate OTPs in Hanover and Staunton Virginia. Like you, we understand that it is critically important that we offer some level of counseling to enhance the benefits of MAT and improve the lives of those we serve. We understand how difficult it is to get patients to understand the benefits of treatment and to comply with treatment recommendations due to co-morbid psychiatric disorders, complex medical conditions, and patients not being motivated for treatment. Additionally, providers of MAT are under more scrutiny from regulatory authorities that want documentable proof that counseling is being offered, at minimum.


River City can help you improve the frequency of counseling episodes for your patients, which can enhance their treatment experiences and outcomes, while ensuring regulatory authorities that you, as an esteemed medical provider, are doing everything you can to improve patient engagement.


Here is how we an help you and your patients experience safe and effective Medication Assisted Treatment:


  • New MAT Treatment Expectation: Verbalize to your patient that you want them participate in either, individual, group or family therapy at least 2x monthly.

  • Patient Demographics: Ensure that you collect patient’s full name, DOB, address, mobile number, and e-mail address.

  • Release of Information: Ensure that each patient completes a release of information that gives River City permission to speak to you, but more importantly, this release gives River City to contact the patient on your behalf.

  • River City Brochures: Provide each of your patients with a River City brochure with instructions to contact us within 2 days of their intake with you. Let the patient know that if they do not contact us, River City will contact them.

  • River City Counseling Contact: River City will contact your patient with 3-5 days of their admission into the MAT program and invite them to engage in individual, group, and/or family therapy. We will contact them once weekly thereafter.

  • Treatment Documentation: River City will provide you with a monthly report of your MAT patients that have participated in treatment. This will allow you to provide them with necessary monthly feedback regarding their progress.

Common Questions

  • Is using a form of Medication Assisted Treatment simply swapping one drug for another?

    • No. A person enrolled in a MAT program is committed to stopping harmful and destructive addictive behavior through the use of approved and monitored treatment which maintains each individual and allows them to lead more productive lives. Addiction often destroys not only individual lives, but also the lives of friends and family for the one who is addicted. MAT programs offer hope and provide a means for individuals to return to a better quality of life.

  • If I start a Medication Assisted Treatment will I be taking opioids for the rest of my life?

    • No. Both methadone and suboxone (two commonly used medications in a Medication Assisted Treatment program) can be taken safely for a long period of time when properly maintained through medical and behavioral health professionals. Safe withdrawal from MAT medications is possible and encouraged for many clients and may be done under the supervision of your treating physician. Ongoing and continued behavioral health counseling is recommended post-treatment.

Program of Care 


When your patients are admitted into River City’s programs and services, they will receive the following services:


  • Clinical Assessment: We perform a comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessment with each patient, so that we can evaluate their current functioning and needs. We utilize many assessment tools such as the SASSI, PTSD Screening tool, etc. Many of our Clinicians are experienced and certified in ASAM and other treatment protocols.

  • Psychiatric Evaluation:  We have strong relationships and contracts with many psychiatrists, addictionologists, nurse practitioners, and many other allied health professionals. They collaborate with us to provide patients with a full psychiatric and medication evaluation.

  • Patient-Centered Individualized Treatment Plan: This plan takes into account the patient’s medical, psychiatric, and psychosocial needs. Our Clinicians identify each patient's treatment needs and designs a treatment plan that takes into account the whole person. This includes making referrals to the appropriate community professionals, providing ongoing monitoring of the treatment plan elements, and supporting the patient throughout the lifecycle of the treatment plan.

  • Counseling: Our Clinicians provide intensive counseling and therapy for the patient and/or their family depending on their needs. Depending on a patient's payment method and the assessed level of care,  we can provide counseling in the patient’s home, school, place of employment, in our comfortable offices, and in their community. The goal is to develop improved cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning that can improve each patient's quality of life.

  • Care Coordination (Case Management): We assist each patient and engage other professionals in identifying, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating other resources to be included in the overall care of the patient. As the lead agency, River City ensures that the patient receives the right treatment at the right time with the right professional. This includes identifying recreational and leisure activities that promote growth and wellness for the patient.

With just a telephone call, River City can help you and your loved ones reduce and/or eliminate troubling thinking and behaviors that have caused problems. We can help you obtain the knowledge and skills to function more independently and improve your quality of life.

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