Riverside DUI MAT Team
Sally Zarate, Assistant Director; Greg Burk, Director; Soina Moreno, Counselor
The High Road Program (HRP) offers multiple types of alcohol and drug abuse counseling and education in four Southern California locations in Riverside, Pasadena, Lancaster, and Van Nuys.
The High Road Program’s Riverside and Pasadena locations are participants in the DUI MAT Integration/Outreach Pilot Project. Both have had great success in promoting the program and engaging active MAT clients.
The Riverside location has a total of five DUI MAT clients in the six months of operation, with three currently active, one successful completion, and one dropout. Sally Zarate, Assistant Director, says the environment of trust they already had in place helped to facilitate client participation in the DUI MAT program.
Before the project, HRP Riverside was already offering extra help and referrals to clients in need. This project has provided the opportunity to offer reliable treatment referrals and to assist clients as they navigate insurance and treatment options. Zarate likes that she is now able to provide a formal follow-up. She meets with every active MAT client weekly or monthly, depending on their needs and situation.
HRP Riverside’s strategy for integration includes posters on the wall, handouts available in every group and one-to-one sessions, and most importantly, presentations to groups by Zarate herself. This approach keeps the project top-of-mind for both counselors and DUI clients.
Zarate says, “We plan to keep this alive. At The High Road Program, the goal is to get people the help they need. We let them know they are worthy and worth it. We’re not shy about saying something when we notice someone might have a problem.”
Elaine Hansen, Counselor, heads up the DUI MAT project at the Pasadena location. Elaine says they have done so much outreach that everyone may be sick of hearing about it; however, their efforts have resulted in three active MAT clients, one who credits the program with saving his life!
As for integration efforts, posters are hung in the area where clients make payments providing additional awareness to all who pass through. Hansen also makes sure that every counselor has a stack of handouts available for one-on-one sessions. If clients are interested in learning more, they are referred to Hansen for entry into the DUI MAT program and a second level assessment.
Like Zarate, Hansen also makes presentations in groups and plans to do another round in the new year. Active MAT clients are part of her caseload, so she can personally provide follow-up and support. In the course of finding treatment options, Hansen has run into many problems including navigating insurance and working with local treatment programs that are unclear about their role. Fortunately, she has been able to work through each hurdle because of the DUI MAT project.
Both Zarate and Hansen say that their counseling staff is all on board with the project. Because HRP’s goal has always been to get their clients the individual help they need, their counselors are naturally open to new treatment options such as medication-assisted treatment.
The High Road Programs in Riverside and Pasadena went the extra mile to ensure that all systems and procedures were in place as they went live with the program in June. Their efforts at reinforcement and integration have proven successful and they have been able to help people who may have not have otherwise had the tools needed to make a new choice in life. We are very proud and grateful to have The High Road Program on the DUI MAT team!
To learn more about The High Road Program, please visit their website at www.TheHighRoadProgram.org.