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Opioid-Informed Treatment


“Starting a patient on opiates is a momentous decision, and it should only be done if the patient and the doctor have a full understanding of the substantial risks involved.”—CDC, 2018


The “Opioid Epidemic” has spawned an increase in the need of competent and ethical physicians, allied health professionals, and treatment providers that offer Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Conversely, this has also increased the scrutiny that the medical and treatment professions face while providing MAT.


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 an OTP in 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.

Program of Care 


When opioid-dependent 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 staff are experienced and certified in ASAM and other protocols.

  • Psychiatric Evaluation:  We have strong relationships and contracts with many psychiatrists, addictionologists, nurse practitioners, and many other allied health professionals that collaborate with 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 professionals identify and make referrals to the appropriate professionals, provide ongoing monitoring of the treatment plan elements, and support the patient throughout the lifecycle of the treatment plan.

  • Intensive Counseling: Our professional counselors provide intensive counseling and therapy for the patient and/or their family. We provide counseling and ongoing assessments in the patient’s home, school, place of employment, and in their community with the goal of helping to develop improved cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning that can improve their quality of life.

  • Care Coordination (Case Management): We intentionally assist the patient and engage other professionals in identifying, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating 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 manage the difficult tasks of engaging patients in counseling and maintaining compliance with regulatory authorities who are expecting MAT providers to meet counseling requirements and outcomes.

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