By Maria Garcia, CADC–I, Supervising Counselor, Bridges DUI MAT Project with John R. Durbin CADC-ll DUI MAT Program Manager

At Bridges DUI Program, we all work together to support our DUI MAT clients. We currently have seven active MAT clients; All have experienced great success so far. The following client stories show the power of the DUI MAT program to help those in need access treatment and recovery services.

The first is a re-entry client struggling with polysubstance abuse and mental health issues. He came to us wanting to change his lifestyle, and he needed housing. Initially, he was reluctant to give up smoking THC. After trying different referrals given by our DUI MAT counselor, the client realized he could not enter the Sober Living home he was referred to unless HE decided to give up THC. He then chose to quit smoking, and he is now happy in his new home. This client has come a long way and is comfortable sharing his struggles with his counselor, who continues to offer solutions. This was only made possible because of the DUI MAT Project.

The second client was a multiple-offender suffering from polysubstance abuse, presenting with emotional problems. She was coping with those issues by abusing medication and alcohol. This client has been meeting with Carol, her DUI MAT counselor, weekly and has made tremendous progress. The client is currently sober and learning how to manage her medication properly and without alcohol. She actively participates in her DUI classes and states she is grateful for Carol and the DUI MAT program.

Our process includes providing each counselor with a MAT Toolkit. We then trained everyone on how to present the DUI MAT project and program.

Next, our amazing DUI MAT team swings into gear! Jasmine Naranjo and Maria Garcia are in charge of presenting the DASTS. Carol Joy Ojeda, who is our Primary MAT Counselor, has been INCREDIBLE at engaging and supporting our clients!

Having the DUI MAT posters and flyers displayed prominently in the common areas of our DUI Program is paying off! Maria Garcia, CADC, and Supervising Counselor for the Sacramento Bridges DUI MAT Program says that “When our DUI clients visit our program and see the DUI MAT posters and flyers in our lobby, they express curiosity about DUI MAT. Clients come to us with questions like ‘Is this the same program they announce on TV?’ and ‘Can ANYBODY participate in DUI MAT?” The information provides a springboard for interest and discussion.

We are excited about the project and look forward to continued success with current and new MAT clients!