Client Handbook Table of Contents
- Program Staff
- The Nature of Opiate Addiction
- How and Why Methadone Works
- Side Effects
- Methadone Overdose
- Methadone Drug Interactions
- List of Medications to Avoid
- Medication Policy
- Admission Criteria
- Program Services (Counseling and Medical)
- Psychiatric Care
- Infection Control
- Initial Dose
- Dose Increases
- Dose Decreases
- Dosing Rules
- Vomiting Your Dose
- Missed Doses
- Late Dosing
- Drug Testing/UDS and Mouth Swabs
- Guest Dosing
- Criteria of Take-Home Privileges
- Schedule of Take-Home Eligibility
- Counseling Requirements
- Lock-box Requirement
- Lost or Stolen Bottles
- Revocation of Take-Home Privileges
- Reinstatement of Bottles
- Diversion Control
- Call-Back Bottle Checks
- Voluntary Methadone Taper
- Involuntary Methadone Taper
- Discharge Without Taper
- Unacceptable Behaviors
- Dress Code
- Service Dogs
- Seclusion and Restraint Policy
- Loitering Policy
- Accepted Forms of Payment
- Delinquent Accounts
- Complaint and Grievance Procedure
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Inclement Weather
- Emergency Procedures
- Methadone Support Group
- Confidentiality and HIPAA
- Patient Rights
- MCAC/SCAC Mission Statement/Core Values/Ethical Principles
- Involuntary Discharge Appeals Process
- Holiday Observances
RESOURCE CENTER FOR THE CHEMICALLY DEPENDENT, INC. (“RCCD, Inc.”)
Lorna R. Tangara MPH – Executive Director and President
Karl Tangara MS, CPA – Chief Operating Officer
Loretta Chong MS – Chief Financial Officer and Head of Human Resources
Shirley Chan – Office Manager/MCAC
Anne Guerrero – Office Manager/SCAC
Roman Gonzalez – Health and Safety Officer
MORRIS COUNTY AFTERCARE CENTER (“MCAC”)
Dr. Rolando Robleza, MD – Medical Director
Dr. Elmer Gilo, MD – Assistant Medical Director
Dr. Daniel Bascara, MD – Psychiatrist
Matthew Villardo, RN – Director of Nursing
Nancy Dimitrovski, LCSW, LCADC – Director of Substance Abuse Treatment
Elizabeth Birch, RN – Assistant Director of Nursing
Stephanie Puco, RN – Intake Nurse
Betsaida Albarran, LPN – Head Dosing Nurse/JMAT Administration
Steve Shann, LPN – Dosing Nurse
Marcel Redfearn, LCSW, LCADC – Counselor
Joanne Clifford, PHD, CADC – Counselor
Ernest Polite, LCADC – Counselor
Dorothy Jimenez – Counselor Intern
Karen Trotter – Counselor Intern
SUSSEX COUNTY AFTERCARE CENTER (“SCAC”)
Dr. Salvatore Rifici. MD – Medical Director
Matthew Villardo, RN – Director of Nursing
Jeanne Marshall MA, MFA, LCADC – Director of Substance Abuse Treatment
Heather Bath, RN – Assistant Director of Nursing
Johan Witto, LPN – Dosing Nurse
Jayna Blickle, RN – Dosing Nurse
Preston West III – Counselor Intern
Welcome to the Resource Center for Chemically Dependent, Inc. which provides services at Morris County Aftercare Center in Denville, NJ and Sussex County Aftercare Center in Newton, NJ. We are pleased that you have selected us to be your treatment provider and we will strive to provide you with the highest quality of treatment. This handbook is provided to orient you to our treatment program.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU READ AND UNDERSTAND YOUR CLIENT HANDBOOK.
Our treatment is based on the following beliefs and principles:
- The goal for our clients is to abstain from all substances of abuse, and if preferable to the
patient, to eventually taper off of Methadone.
- Methadone is an available tool in your treatment process to reduce your urge to use illicit
opiates. Clinical services that are crucial to successful recovery from addiction include individual
and group counseling sessions. Counseling can provide skills needed to prevent relapse,
change lifestyles, reduce risks, improve health, and build new healthy relationships as your
- Each client will be treated with respect and dignity. We expect that staff will be treated with
the same respect. Clients need to work with their counselors to make informed decisions about
their treatment needs, plans, and goals. Positive changes will be supported, recognized, and
encouraged. We realize that successful abstinence and recovery from addiction requires
treating the whole person.
- No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals. Clients with strong spiritual beliefs may
benefit from 12-Step programs and outside support groups, while others may respond to various
behavioral therapies. Treatment should build on client strengths and preferences.
- We strive to provide excellent client services and we value your input. You may submit your
concerns and/or suggestions at any time to the Director of Substance Abuse Treatment.
- Recovery from addiction can be a long-term process which may require treatment changes,
medical and counselor interventions and in some instances, involuntary taper and suspension of
- Our purpose is to ensure that you have the proper tools for successful management of your
Thank you again for choosing RCCD, Inc. to help you with your recovery process.
THE NATURE OF OPIATE ADDICTION
Opioid Use Disorder is a central nervous system disorder caused by long-term opiate intake. After long term use, the nerve cells, which would normally produce endogenous (natural) opiates, cease to function normally and degenerate. The user becomes physically dependent on the external supply of opiates.
Abrupt abstinence can cause severe physiological withdrawal symptoms and can lead to permanent damage of the cardio-pulmonary and central nervous systems. Opiate addiction and dependency require appropriate medical care and treatment. Methadone is used as a tool to treat opioid addiction.
HOW AND WHY METHADONE WORKS
It is important that you realize that Methadone is a powerful drug used in the treatment of opiate drug addiction. Opiates are all derivatives of opium, a natural narcotic obtained from poppies. Opiates include heroin, morphine, codeine, dilaudid, and oxycontin.
Methadone is a synthetic opiate substitute and is very effective in the following ways:
- Methadone is taken orally, rather than by injection therefore Methadone frees you from
the dangerous practice of “shooting up”.
- Methadone is long acting. You will only need to take Methadone once a day.
- Methadone lasts from 24-36 hours.
- Methadone takes effect slowly. Because the drug has a slower and more gradual onset
of effects, you will not get a “rush”. This helps break the cycle of the “rush-stoned-crash-
- Methadone side effects will lessen as your Methadone treatment progresses and you will
then feel fewer of the drug’s initial effects. Once you are stabilized at a therapeutic level,
you will look, act, and feel drug-free.
- Methadone prevents withdrawal symptoms, reduces hunger/craving, and blocks the
effects of illicit opiates.
Methadone is a tool; it is not treatment by itself and must be combined with other clinical
services in order to be effective.
Methadone side effects are usually minimal and short-lived. They most often occur in the early stages of your treatment. Most patients experience no severe side effects; however, you should avoid activities requiring mental alertness such as driving or operating hazardous machinery until you know how methadone affects you. Please notify medical staff if you experience any symptoms of these side effects:
- Extreme tiredness
- Ankle swelling
- Skin rash
Much less often, negative effects may include: restlessness, malaise, weakness, headache,
insomnia, agitation, disorientation, visual disturbance, constipation, dry mouth, flushing of the
face, low heart rate, faintness and fainting, problem urinating, changes in sexual drive, irregular
menstruation, joint pain, joint swelling, and numbness and tingling in hands and feet.
Notify the nurses if you experience any side effects listed above.
Methadone is a medication that produces dependence and has the same side effects as other
opiates. Overdose may cause sedation and/or respiratory and cardiac depression. If you have
difficulty breathing, chest pains, or other serious symptoms, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest
Under no circumstance should it be ingested by anyone who is not prescribed the medication.
Accidental ingestion can cost the lives of both adults and children.
TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION
If there are possible signs/symptoms of overmedication or overdose, determine if the victim is
responsive. Shout their name, pinch their ear, or rub your knuckles on their breastbone to
arouse them. Call 911. If Narcan is available, administer promptly.
METHADONE DRUG INTERACTIONS
Methadone is a powerful drug and has a number of interactions and side effects that you should
know and understand. You need to be aware that many drugs can interfere with Methadone and
can have potentially negative consequences to your health.
There are certain medications that cannot be used by clients on Methadone and will lead to
severe withdrawal or unpredictable interactions. It is important that you tell your healthcare
practitioners (i.e. physicians, surgeons, dentists, psychiatrist, etc.) about your participation in a
methadone program so they can provide you with informed care.
ALCOHOL and UNREGULATED BENZODIAZEPINES are respiratory depressants and are not
allowed while on the program. They can cause a user to stop breathing resulting in coma or
Methadone must be used with caution. It has to be used in reduced doses if you are currently
taking narcotic painkillers, tranquilizers, sedatives, antidepressant drugs or any similar
medications. Some medications decrease the effectiveness of Methadone, while others have
the potential to cause an overdose.
ROUTINE PRESCRIPTIONS AND OVER-THE-COUNTER MEDICATIONS:
Every time you get a prescribed medication filled or refilled, or you take an over the counter
drug or supplement, you are required to present that medication to the dispensing nurse to have
it logged in prior to giving a urine drug screen. If you DO NOT inform the dispensing nurse your
drug screen will be considered positive for illicit use.
OPIATE PAIN MEDICATION:
Medical studies show that combining Opiate pain medication with Methadone can lead to a
potentially fatal overdose and can also be a trigger for relapse. If you require Opiate pain
medication you must present a prescription and it will only be valid for 5 days after filling that
prescription. You must also inform the prescribing physician that you are taking Methadone
and you must sign a consent allowing RCCD,Inc to communicate with that physician. If you do
not permit communication with any outside prescriber, please know that this is grounds for an
administrative taper or transfer to another facility.
STIMULANTS and BENZODIAZEPINES:
Medical research has shown that taking stimulant medication for prolonged periods of time can
lead to dependence. Only prescribed medications are allowed while on methadone and
prescriptions need to be updated monthly.
Federal guidelines determine whether you are a candidate for Methadone treatment. To qualify
for induction and initial treatment on Methadone, an individual must have a documented one
year history of opiate dependency, prior treatment attempts, observed signs and symptoms of
opiate withdrawal, as determined by the medical staff, and pay the appropriate fees.
The “intake process” consists of a clinical evaluation, a medical assessment and a physical
exam. As part of the physical exam, blood is collected for lab testing, a tuberculosis skin test
(PPD) is completed, and any other tests that are deemed necessary. A urine sample is required
of all patients at the time of admission. All admissions are contingent upon both Federal
guidelines and physician approval.
Individual Counseling Sessions:
Clients are expected to meet with their primary counselors according to phase (see Treatment
Phases, page 13) for a minimum of 45 minutes. It is the responsibility of the client to schedule
these appointments. Phone sessions are acceptable, but clients are required to ensure that all
treatment plans and documents are signed. During these counseling sessions, short and long
term goals should be established and reviewed. Progress in treatment should also be
addressed, as well as situations that impact the clients’ recovery/treatment programs.
Intensive Outpatient Program:
IOP is currently being conducted remotely via ZOOM. Sessions are held on
Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 9-12. Clients must have access to a computer and Wifi.
Contact your counselor for further information.
The medical department is responsible for:
- medication education and methadone management
- prevention, early detection, and referral for acute and chronic illnesses.
- physical exams and medical assessment
- collection of biological specimens for chemical analysis.
- Tuberculosis (PPD) screening and referral
- pregnancy test and referrals
General medical care is not part of your treatment. Please see your primary care provider for
your general medical care.
If you require hospitalization, your daily dose will be provided to you by the hospital. Notify the
hospital personnel that you are on methadone. If possible, sign a consent form to release
information so RCCD, Inc. can confirm your enrollment and current dose. In case of an
emergency and if deemed appropriate by the medical director, we will confirm your dose without
signed consent. If you have take-homes bottles you need to alert the hospital medical staff. You
are not authorized to self-administer take-home medication while under the care of the hospital.
Self-administering of methadone while in the hospital is grounds for suspension of take-home
privileges. You will need to bring a copy of your discharge papers from the hospital the day you
return to the clinic.
Methadone is the preferred treatment for women who are opiate dependent and become
pregnant. It is ultimately the client’s responsibility to notify the program when she is pregnant.
Please see the separate information packet for expectant mothers on our website and meet with
your counselor who can provide literature and information on what to expect. Please note that
upon starting methadone treatment menstrual cycles can regulate, making a client more fertile.
Please see your counselor for referrals to either the clinic psychiatrist or other mental health
resources. Please make sure that all medications are registered with nursing and that
prescriptions are updated monthly.
Clients that have an infectious illness (i.e. a productive cough, fever of 101 or above, a wound,
“pink eye”, skin discharge, etc.) should ask to be evaluated by the nurse. All clients are
encouraged to wash their hands after using the bathroom facilities and to practice “Universal
Precautions.” Clients should wear gloves should they come in contact with blood or bodily
fluids. Clients are to be mindful of items that carry the red “biohazard” labels. The labels are
placed on canisters and devices that have potentially infectious materials. Clients should never
attempt to open such devices or place any objects within those devices.
At this time, masks are required to enter both MCAC and SCAC. Physical distancing will be
observed. Please note all instructions provided by staff to ensure the continued safety and
health of both staff and clients. Wash your hands. Use sanitizer. Inform nurses if you are
experiencing any symptoms of the virus.
Clients usually receive an initial dose between 30mg – 40mgs of Methadone, depending on the
client’s opiate withdrawal severity the day of admission. The Methadone dose will be
determined by the program physician and is federally regulated. After the initial dose, clients
must wait for 30 (thirty) minutes before leaving the facility to observe for any adverse reactions.
It takes about 72 hours before the full effect of Methadone is realized. Methadone blood levels
are constant for 24-36 hours, which is why it is only taken once per day.
Dose Increases: You must see your counselor weekly. Your counselor will be your advocate
and will communicate your symptoms and needs to the medical staff. Increase requests are
presented by the counselor to the medical director who will then determine if an increase is
warranted. It is important that you dose every day to maintain your Methadone blood levels and
prevent withdrawal symptoms.
When a client feels that he/she is ready for a decrease or a drop in his/her Methadone dose, the
client must notify his/her primary counselor. Your request is then reviewed by the medical
director. RCCD, Inc. will not dose you against your will; you have the right to refuse medication.
When you arrive at the clinic, you must have your ID card which has your specific identifying
barcode. While in line please observe social distancing and approach the window only when the
previous client has left to preserve confidentiality. If you leave the line, you will lose your place.
Do not bring beverages or any other portable containers into the dispensing area. Children are
welcome to accompany their parents. However, the clinic is not open to guests or family
members unless scheduled for a family session. Please ask friends and family to wait outside or
in the lobby.
After taking your dose, you must speak to the nurse prior to leaving the dispensing area to
ensure that all medication has been swallowed. After you are dosed, you must promptly leave
the premises unless meeting with your counselor. All clients should be fit for dosing. This
includes, but is not limited to, zero intoxication from alcohol or other drugs. You may be asked
to take a breathalyzer or give a urine sample at any time, or on any day of the month.
We reserve the right to refuse to dose any client who appears intoxicated or high, and
you will be asked to surrender your car keys. Failure to comply will result in police
and/or family notification.
Vomiting Your Dose
Due to Federal and/or State regulations, we may not be able to replace a vomited dose. If you
are nauseated, consult with the nursing staff, and do not leave the lobby. Doses vomited outside
the clinic, or at home, cannot be replaced. Please notify medical staff if this occurs. If you vomit
your medication at the clinic in the presence of a staff member, a partial or full dose may be
replaced with the Medical Director’s approval.
Consistent dosing is a necessary part of your treatment, therefore missing any dosing day is
discouraged. If you miss three (3) consecutive days of dosing due to an unplanned absence,
you have voluntarily chosen to terminate your treatment. Should you return you will need to be
reevaluated by a nurse and approved by the medical director. Exceptions will be made for
continuous hospitalization or incarceration during the time period that doses were missed.
Documentation must be submitted the day you return to verify your absence.
If you have take-home bottles and do not present to the clinic for dosing on your scheduled pick-
up day, you will be required to submit a urine drug screen and the medical director will be
consulted regarding your continued take-home eligibility.
You must be inside the building and on the dosing line at MCAC/SCAC by 12:20pm Monday
through Friday in order to be dosed. Should an emergency situation arise, you need to call the
clinic. Calling the clinic does not guarantee you will be dosed, but consideration may be given
to your situation. [DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS DOSING WILL CONTINUE AT AN
OUTSIDE WINDOW UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.]
DRUG TESTING/URINE DRUG SCREENS AND MOUTH SWABS
All clients are required to provide a urine drug sample WHEN REQUESTED. Mouth swabs are
available only to those clients with a documented medical issue and with approval of the
medical director. You may not leave the facility after you have been requested to submit a urine
specimen. In the event you leave the facility before giving your sample, at the discretion of the
medical staff you may not be administered your dose for that day.
All UDS (urine drug screens) are random. All UDS are monitored by an independent lab monitor
(not staff members). Clients can be asked for a second sample if a sample’s temperature is not
within an acceptable range or if it appears to have been tampered with. Mistreatment of lab
monitors will not be accepted and could lead to disciplinary action.
Travel arrangements are made by the counselor for clients who do not have take-home
privileges. These arrangements are dependent on the criteria of the visiting program that often
requires several weeks to obtain medical approval. Please do not make travel arrangements
without first conferring with your counselor. Some areas in the country do not have methadone
clinics. Many countries do not allow methadone to be brought in even if prescribed.
Exceptions can be made in the event of a medical emergency, or death of an immediate family
member (documentation is required).
Medicaid is not transferable between states and guest dosing normally requires an out-of
CRITERIA OF TAKE-HOME PRIVILEGES:
- Absence of drug use for three consecutive months (Phases 1-5)
- Absence of drug use for six consecutive months (Phases 6 & 7)
- Absence of drug use for twelve consecutive months (Phase 8)
- Regularity of clinic and counseling attendance
- Absence of serious behavioral problems
- Absence of recent criminal activity
- Stability of client’s home and social relationships
- Assurances that take-home medication can be safely stored within the client’s home
- Return of all previous take-home bottles with intact labels
- Signed agreement for call-backs to check for diversion
- Taking doses on the day they are dated
SCHEDULE FOR TAKE-HOME BOTTLE ELIGIBILITY:
Phase 1 – automatic Sunday bottle (1 take-home bottle)
Phase 2 – three (3) months of full compliance (2 take-home bottles)
Phase 3 – six (6) months of full compliance (3 take-home bottles)
Phase 4 – nine (9) months of full compliance (4 take-home bottles)
Phase 5 – twelve (12) months of full compliance (5 take-home bottles)
Phase 6 – eighteen (18) months of full compliance (6 take-home bottles)
Phase 7 – twenty-four (24) months of full compliance (13 take-home bottles)
Phase 8 – thirty-six (36) months of full compliance (27 take-home bottles)
Phase 1 – weekly counseling sessions
Phase 2 – bi-weekly counseling sessions
Phases 3/4/5 – monthly counseling sessions
Phases 6/7/8 – quarterly counseling sessions
You must have a metal or hard plastic (that is opaque) lock box with a functional lock in order to
take medication out of the clinic. You will be required to lock your box in front of the nurse
before leaving the dosing window.
LOST OR STOLEN BOTTLES
Methadone is a Schedule II narcotic and should be considered dangerous. It can be fatal if
consumed by a child or others. Your take-home dose is a privilege, NOT A RIGHT, and should
be considered a trust given to you in your treatment. Methadone and all medicine should be
stored under lock and key, so unauthorized persons will not have access. If your take-home
doses, bottles, or box are lost or stolen, you must file a police report and provide a copy to
RCCD, Inc. Lost, stolen, or spilled take-home doses cannot be replaced by the clinic and could
result in loss of take-home privileges.
REVOCATION OF TAKE-HOME PRIVILEGES
Remember that take-home doses are a privilege granted by the Medical Director. This privilege
may be revoked or suspended at any time. Take-home medication can be suspended if:
- You submit a positive urine drug screen or a urine drug screen negative for Methadone.
- You refuse to submit a urine sample for drug screening.
- Your individual session attendance is not in compliance with program rules.
- Your living situation becomes unsafe for the storage or administration of your
- You become medically or psychiatrically unstable as determined by medical staff
- You miss a call-back.
REINSTATEMENT OF BOTTLES
- First positive drug screen will be addressed with a verbal warning
- A second positive drug screen in a 90-day period will result in the loss of all take-home
bottles for a 30-day period.
- All take-home privileges will be reinstated if the client stabilizes after 30 days.
- If there is a third positive drug screen in a 90-day period the client will be returned to
Phase 1 and will have to earn bottle privileges based on the initial criteria.
MCAC/SCAC implements a diversion control plan to address the programs’ responsibility to
ensure the health and safety of the person served, the staff, and the community.
- Clients must present an ID card at the dosing window.
- Video Surveillance Hi-tech video monitoring systems which record nurses dispensing
Methadone as well as clients drinking Methadone doses are installed in both clinics.
- Clients with take-home privileges will agree to callbacks (see next module)
- Clients will not bring beverages or portable containers into the dispensing area.
- You will be asked to speak to the dosing nurse after being medicated to ensure that the
medication has been swallowed.
CALL-BACK BOTTLE CHECKS
Clients with take-home privileges will be called periodically during the course of their treatment
by a nurse and asked to physically bring in all medications, all take-home bottles and to submit
a urine sample for drug screening. The client must appear at the clinic within 24 hours. The
nurse will inspect the integrity of the Methadone, count the number of dosing bottles and check
dosing dates. Failure to come to the clinic within those 24 hours when called will result in the
loss of take-home privileges. It is the client’s responsibility to notify the program in advance
when the client changes his/her telephone number, person of contact, leaves for vacation, or is
working out of town.
Failure to notify clinic of changes, answering machines/voicemail malfunctions, or failure to
receive messages does not relieve the client from consequences of failure to return within 24
hours of a call back.
Refusal to return to the clinic with take-home bottles is considered diversion of Methadone.
VOLUNTARY METHADONE TAPER
Voluntary Taper refers to a medically supervised, gradual reduction or tapering of your dose
over time to eliminate physical dependence on Methadone. This is voluntary, something you ask
for, and it is done at a rate that can be well tolerated by you. Women are required to submit a
urine specimen before beginning a taper to determine if they are pregnant.
INVOLUNTARY METHADONE TAPER
It is essential that clients understand and comply with the policies of MCAC/SCAC. Failure to
abide by program policies may result in discharge from treatment.
An involuntary taper can be initiated under the following situations
- recommendation for discharge for non-compliance/violation of program policies.
- the Medical Director deems it medically dangerous/unsafe to continue prescribing
Methadone to you.
When it is alleged that a client violated a fundamental rule and/or other OTP policies and
procedures and is being considered for discharge from the Program, the client will be notified of
the alleged violation(s) and will be given an opportunity to appear before the Multi-Disciplinary
Team to respond, or to dispute the charges. After hearing the client’s response (if he/she
makes either an oral or written response), the MDT will determine if the client has violated a
program policy. The program physician will decide if the client should be immediately
discharged from the program or whether some other action should be taken. If the client is to
be immediately discharged from the Program, the program will inform the client that he/she is
being discharged and that: 1) an administrative detox will begin; 2) when the first decrease in
dose will begin; 3) the length of time over which the detox will be accomplished. (See
Involuntary Discharge Appeals Process, Page 27)
DISCHARGE WITHOUT TAPER
MCAC/SCAC has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace, as well as a therapeutic
environment, for staff, clients, visitors and other clients. There are certain situations which pose
a threat to the safety and well-being of individuals within the treatment facility and will result in
an IMMEDIATE DISCHARGE WITHOUT METHADONE TAPER. These include but are not
- Violent Acts – Any violent act or aggressive behavior toward another person or that
results in the destruction of property (hitting, kicking, punching, throwing things,
grabbing, slapping, pushing, physically threatening someone, etc.) Any violent act that
is committed may also result in notification of law enforcement.
- Weapons –Weapons of any kind (knives, firearms, or any other objects for which the
intended purpose is to cause bodily harm) are not permitted on the premises at any time,
under any circumstance.
- Drug Dealing – Any suspicion or observation of drug dealing on the premises, including
the diverting or selling of Methadone and any other medications. Drug dealing violations
may also result in notification of law enforcement.
The following behaviors are unacceptable, and all violations can result in consequences, up to
and including, discharge from the program:
- Communicating a Threat – Verbal threats, blatant or implied, communicated to staff or
- Prohibited Acts – Crimes committed on the premises, including but not limited to,
stealing, vandalism, breaking and entering, Medicaid fraud, etc. Any crime committed
will be reported to law enforcement.
- Harassment – Harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. If a client feels that he or
she is being harassed, they should inform their counselor concerning the situation. This
includes, but is not limited to harassment based on sex, race, religion, physical or mental
limitations, age, sexual preference, socioeconomic status, etc.
- Sexual harassment, which is any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual
favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
- Abusive or profane language towards the staff or other clients.
- Distributing or sharing any medication (including over the counter or licit drugs) with
others is prohibited.
Treatment is a PRIVATE MATTER and what is observed or heard among clients at
MCAC/SCAC is not to be shared with friends or family members.
MCAC and SCAC are medical clinics and clients are expected to dress accordingly. The
following clothing are not considered appropriate dress for the clinic:
- any clothing that advertises substance use, or other offensive, vulgar, or abusive content
- clothing that reveals the back, chest, stomach, or undergarments.
- Hats and hoodies are not allowed at the dosing window (with exceptions for religious or
- No sunglasses are to be worn at the dosing window
Properly trained and identified service animals are allowed to accompany the client into the
facility. Emotional support animals are not allowed.
MCAC and SCAC are tobacco-free environments. We recognize that the use of tobacco
products adversely affects the health of its consumers. We also recognize that Nicotine is a
chemical with highly addictive properties. Research has shown that individuals entering
treatment for chemical dependency will actually achieve greater success in abstinence from
other chemicals of abuse (Cocaine, Heroin, Alcohol, etc.) when abstaining from Nicotine as well.
The use of tobacco is not permitted on MCAC/SCAC property. The use of e-cigarettes or
non-nicotine vaping is also prohibited indoors.
SECLUSION AND RESTRAINT POLICY
MCAC/SCAC does not employ the use of physical restraints or seclusion as a therapeutic
intervention. Under no circumstance will staff attempt to restrain or hold a client for any reason.
Loitering is defined as “remaining on the premises for more than 15 minutes, without a
scheduled appointment or legitimate reason for being on the premises.” The premises include
the building, outbuildings, landscaped areas and all parking areas. A legitimate reason may
include waiting for a ride IF your transportation is provided by an approved transportation
company and your wait is approved by security or MCAC/SCAC staff.
ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT
- MCAC/SCAC does not accept private insurance.
- MCAC/SCAC does accept Medicaid
- MCAC/SCAC does accept Medicare
- MCAC/SCAC has a self-pay sliding scale based on income. Please see the Office
Manager for more information
An important aspect of your recovery is to accept the financial responsibility of paying your
account in a timely manner. We cannot allow clients to maintain outstanding balances. Non-
payment of fees will result in loss of take-homes, or possibly administrative action.
COMPLAINT AND GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
MCAC/SCAC recognizes that complaints and grievances, in general, present opportunities for
constructive change and continual improvement of the program to better serve our clients. It is
our purpose to provide an effective and acceptable means for clients and the public-at-large to
bring problems and complaints to the attention of the administration.
- A grievance is the feeling or belief of an individual that he/she has not been treated
according to established policies, rules and regulations or that the administration of the
program and/or staff has not lived up to the expectations of performance of service.
- Complaints or grievances are to be filed with the client’s Counselor as the first step and
may be done verbally. If the complaint/grievance is about the Counselor, then the client
may go directly to the Clinical Director or Assistant Clinical Director of Substance Abuse
- If the client believes that the grievance/complaint has not been resolved to their
satisfaction, the client may then take his/her complaint to the Clinical Director of
Substance Abuse Treatment either verbally or in writing. However, the nature of the
grievance/complaint may require that it be put into writing prior to further action.
- The Clinical Director has two (2) working days to meet with the client once the complaint
(either verbally or written) has been registered.
- A complaint against the Clinical Director, the Assistant Clinical Director, the Director of
Nursing, the Assistant Director of Nursing or the Medical Director must be written and
given to the Executive Director.
- Specific grievances or complaints against the nursing staff are to be submitted to the
Director of Nursing.
- All grievances or complaints are to be heard by the designated staff within two (2)
- If the client is not satisfied with the decision of their Counselor, the Clinical Director, the
Assistant Clinical Director, the Director of Nursing, or the Assistant Director of Nursing
they have the right to request, in writing, a meeting with the Executive Director.
- The Executive Director has two (2) working days in which to respond to the
- The decision of the Executive Director is binding and will be delivered to the client in
writing, if requested, within five (5) business days of the meeting.
- If the client believes that the staff of Morris County Aftercare Center or Sussex County
Aftercare Center have not adequately addressed their concerns, they may take their
concerns to the NJ Department of Human Services and/or the Division of Mental Health
and Addiction Services.
Complaints by clients, staff and the public may be lodged with the following
NJ Addiction Services Hotline
NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services
INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT PROGRAM
MCAC/SCAC offers an intensive outpatient program specifically for clients of the program. At
this time, the programs are offered electronically (via ZOOM) in response to the on-going health
crisis which dictates the need for social distancing.
- IOP is held Monday, Wednesday and Fridays
- IOP is held from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
- Participants understand that due to the nature of telehealth, anonymity cannot be
- Participants will try, in all good faith, to preserve the anonymity and integrity of all other
In the event the weather conditions become dangerous MCAC/SCAC will try to accommodate
clients with take-home bottles. Weather announcements will be put in the main phone message.
Please contact your specific agency for information regarding clinic hours and/or cancellations.
In order to provide you with uninterrupted service you MUST UPDATE YOUR PHONE
NUMBER AND ENSURE THAT YOUR VOICEMAIL IS SET UP. MCAC/SCAC is not
responsible for missed doses if we are unable to contact you.
In the event an emergency occurs, please follow staff instructions quickly and without
discussion. Staff members are specifically trained to deal with a variety of emergency situations
and your safety is their primary concern. Should you discover an emergency, please inform the
nearest staff member and follow their instruction. Please do not attempt to resolve the situation
yourself. During any emergency where the building must be evacuated (fire, bomb threat, etc.)
you will follow staff outside to the designated meeting area. Please stay with your group so we
can verify that everyone is present and accounted for. In the event of a natural disaster
(tornado, earthquake, etc.) you may be asked to move to the center of the room or a doorway.
For your safety, please familiarize yourself with the emergency evacuation plans located in each
METHADONE SUPPORT GROUP
The National Alliance of Medication Assisted (NAMA) Recovery is an organization of
Methadone patients, health care professionals, friends, and associates working together for
greater public understanding and acceptance of Methadone treatment. For more information call
(212) 595-6262 or visit www.methadone.org.
CONFIDENTIALITY AND HIPAA
NOTICE TO PATIENTS THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL AND DRUG AND
ALCOHOL RELATED INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND
HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
General Information regarding your health care and treatment is protected by two federal laws:
the Confidentiality Law, 42, U.S.C. 290dd-2, 42 C.F.R. Part 2 and the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 42 U.S.C. 1320 Et seq., 45 C.F.R Parts 160 & 164
Federal Law requires that Morris County Aftercare Center and Sussex County Aftercare Center
maintain privacy of protected health information about you. We are not allowed to use or
disclose it to another person or agency unless we receive written consent or authorization
signed by you, or as otherwise permitted by law. Protected Health Information includes, but is
not limited to, information, verbal, in writing, or another recorded format that is:
- Created by a health care provider and
- Relates to past, present, or future medical or mental health conditions, or
- Relates to the provision of health care services, or
- Relates to the past, present or future payments of health care services
MCAC/SCAC has legal responsibilities with respect to protected health information about you,
including the responsibility to inform you of how and when MCAC/SCAC might use and disclose
your protected health information. We must also inform you of your rights and our duties related
to your protected health information.
- Confidential Facility
● MCAC/SCAC is required to safeguard your protected health information to the
best of its abilities.
● MCAC/SCAC is required to develop and implement policies and procedures to
assure that your protected health information remains confidential.
● MCAC/SCAC is required to train its staff in procedures to ensure that your
information is kept strictly confidential.
● MCAC/SCAC is required to designate a staff person who is responsible for
ensuring the protections of healthcare information and for reviewing our agency’s
policies and procedures.
MCAC/SCAC has the responsibility to abide by all of the information contained in
this consent form. If MCAC/SCAC changes any of the information in this consent
form we must notify you of the changes
2. Use and Disclosure of Protected Health Information
● There are three (3) types of disclosures related to your protected health
information: those required by law, those for which we need your written consent
and those that do not require your written consent. MCAC/SCAC must maintain a
written record of all disclosures of your protected health information.
a. Required Disclosures
In some cases, MCAC/SCAC may be required by law or other federal or
state regulation to disclose your protected health information. This could
include any of the following circumstances:
● Audits by state and federal regulatory and enforcement agencie
● Investigations of complaints by state and federal regulatory and
● Reporting of communicable diseases as defined by state and
federal health statutes.
b. Disclosure Requiring Your Consent
For all other situations, Federal law prohibits MCAC/SCAC from
disclosing protected health information without your proper written
consent. If MCAC/SCAC has a need to make any other disclosures of
your personal health information we must obtain your written consent to
do so. These may include written consent for any of the following
● For purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations
● To communicate with agency staff and business associates in the
coordination of your treatment and health related services
● To communicate with other treatment agencies and service
providers regarding your past, present or future needs and
● To communicate with your family and significant others
● To communicate with criminal justice system representatives
regarding your case (if applicable)
c. Disclosures that do not require your consent
While we may not necessarily make all of the uses and disclosures
described below, federal law permits use or disclosure of protected health
information without your written consent or authorization under the
● Your protected health information is required by a court order in a
specific legal case.
● Your protected health information is necessary to help medical
personnel in a medical emergency related to you.
● Your protected health information is used for the purpose of
research, audit, or program evaluation.
● If MCAC/SCAC reasonably believes that you may try to harm
yourself or someone else.
● If you are suspected of child abuse or neglect.
● If you are suspected of elder abuse or neglect
● If you commit, or threaten to commit, a specific crime on the
premises or against MCAC/SCAC staff
d. Record of Disclosures
MCAC/SCAC will maintain a written record of all disclosures made
regarding your personal health information. This record will include the
name of the person or agency to which the information was disclosed, the
type of information disclosed, and the date on which the disclosure was
3. Access to Records
● MCAC/SCAC is required, with certain exceptions, to provide you with access to inspect
and obtain a copy of health information about you that we maintain in our record system.
4. Need for Authorization
● MCAC/SCAC will not make any uses or disclosures other than those mentioned above
without your written authorization in accordance with federal law.
5. Inform Patient of Breach
● If MCAC/SCAC reasonably believes that there has been a breach of your confidentiality,
we have an obligation to inform you of that breach including the information that was
shared, to whom the information was shared and our plan for corrective action.
1. Informed Consent
Federal Law requires that you be informed of your rights in regard to your protected
health information and that you authorize the use and disclosure of your protected health
information at MCAC/SCAC.
You have the right to revoke your consent to disclose your protected health information.
You may revoke your authorization either verbally or in writing except under two (2)
● We took action relying on the written authorization before it was revoked.
● If we obtained authorization as a condition of a court order, probation or parole
placement. In these cases, we are authorized to continue to communicate with
the identified court officers up to and including your discharge from treatment.
3. Restricted Access
You have the right to request that restrictions be placed on certain uses and disclosures
of your protected health information as permitted by law. To ensure that MCAC/SCAC
staff fully understands your wishes with regard to your protected health information you
will be asked to consent to specific health information on each consent form.
4. Right to Inspect Records
You have the right to inspect and copy protected health information about you, except
for any psychotherapy notes, information relating to civil, criminal or administrative
proceedings, and certain information prohibited by law from disclosure. We are allowed
by law to deny access in some circumstances. MCAC/SCAC has developed policies and
procedures related to the accessing of your record. If you desire to review a copy of your
record you must request access through your primary counselor.
5. Right to Amend
You have the right to request that we amend protected health information about you
maintained in our records. We are permitted to deny your request if we did not create the
information in the record. We will review any such request in accordance with federal law
and respond to you in writing. Any such request should be in writing, addressed to the
Executive Director of MCAC/SCAC. All requests for amendment should provide
necessary details, including your name, address, dates of services and a reason
supporting your request for the amendment.
6. Right to an Accounting
You have the right to receive an accounting from us of disclosures of protected health
information about you made for up to six (6) years prior to your request for the
accounting. This right does not apply to: disclosures made to carry out treatment,
payment, or health care operations; disclosures made pursuant to an authorization in
compliance with federal law; disclosures made for law enforcement purposes;
disclosures authorized by law; or disclosures that occurred before April 14, 2003. Any
request for an accounting should be sent to the Executive Director of MCAC/SCAC.
7. Right to be Informed of the Breach
You have the right to be informed of any breach of your confidential information within
four (4) days of the time of the breach or the time when MCAC/SCAC became aware of
the breach, including the information that was shared, to whom the information was
shared and our plan of corrective action.
8. Right to Complain/Grievance Procedure
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you have the right to complain.
Federal law prohibits retaliation against you for filing such a complaint.
You can address your complaint, in writing, to any of the following:
Morris County Aftercare Center
273 East Main Street
Denville, NJ 07834
Sussex County Aftercare Center
124 Hampton House Road
Newton, NJ 07860
Complaints & Investigations
New Jersey Department of Human Services
Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services
P.O. Box 362
Trenton, NJ 08625
Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue
Washington, DC 20201
Admission into a treatment program for chemical dependency does not constitute surrender of
your constitutional or civil rights. MCAC/SCAC supports and protects the fundamental human,
civil, constitutional and statutory rights of each patient. We want you to be involved in your care
and, as such, you have the right to:
- Access to treatment which shall be available without discrimination regardless of race,
religion, sex, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age or disability;
- The care and treatment provided by MCAC/SCAC will include recognition and
preservation of the human dignity of each client;
- The right to treatment in the least restrictive setting, free from physical restraints and
- The least restrictive conditions necessary to achieve the goals of treatment/ services;
- Each client receives individualized treatment, including:
(1) Adequate and humane services regardless of his/her source(s) of financial support.
(2) An individual treatment plan including active participation of the patient and periodic
reviews of the same.
(3) Supervision and implementation of the treatment plan by an adequate number of
competent, qualified and experienced professional clinical staff.
- The right to request the opinion of a consultant if desired, at his/her own expense, or to
request an in-house review of his/her individual treatment plan, as provided in the
specific procedure of MCAC/SCAC.
- To be informed of his/her rights in a language the client understands and to receive a
written statement of these rights.
- The right to know the professional staff members responsible for his/her care, their
professional status, and staff relationship.
- The right to know the nature of the care and treatment he/she will receive, including
discharge plans and referral, if appropriate.
- The right to know that MCAC/SCAC has the right and the responsibility to terminate
services in accordance with professional standard and reasonable notice as stated in
- The right to know the cost of the services provided.
- The right to know the reasons for any proposed change in the professional staff
responsible for his/her treatment.
- The right to be free from physical, sexual, psychological and fiduciary abuse;
harassment and physical punishment; and humiliating, threatening or exploiting actions.
- The right to know the rules and regulations of the program.
- The right to initiate a complaint/grievance including the means of requesting a review of
the complaint with fear of retaliation.
- The right to confidentiality of communication with staff and all information recorded in the
patient’s chart, is the responsibility of all staff members.
- The right to privacy in personal communications and visits.
- The right to be referred to an alternate provider if you object to the religious or non-religious
character of MCAC/SCAC.
- The right to review his/her records according to MCAC/SCAC procedures.
- The right to be free from unnecessary or excessive medication.
- The right not to be subjected to non-standard treatment or procedures, experimental
procedures, or research, psychosurgery, sterilization, electro-convulsive therapy or
provider demonstration programs without written informed consent, after consultation with
counsel or interested party of the patient’s choice.
MORRIS COUNTY AFTERCARE CENTER/SUSSEX COUNTY AFTERCARE CENTER
CODE OF ETHICS STATEMENT AND GUIDELINES
Our mission is to provide high quality, comprehensive and medically monitored treatment
services to adults with opioid dependent disorders in Morris County and Sussex County, NJ,
assisting them to achieve and maintain an increase in their quality of life.
These values guide Morris County Aftercare Center and Sussex County Aftercare Center in
accomplishing our mission:
● Client Satisfaction
It will be the responsibility of all employees and volunteers of Morris County Aftercare Center
and Sussex County Aftercare Center to adhere to the ethical principles set forth, and to uphold
and advance the honor and dignity of each person’s profession and responsibilities.
In keeping with the highest standards of ethical conduct, I acknowledge that I:
- Will use my skill and knowledge for the advancement of professional services for
- Will remain honest and impartial in my relationships with persons served, co-workers,
and the general public;
- Will protect the confidentiality of information concerning the business and/or personal
affairs of persons served, donors, and co-workers;
- Will perform duties with personal integrity that will promote and foster the confidence,
trust and respect of persons served, funders, donors, and the general public
- Will take appropriate action to eliminate or prevent discrimination on the basis of race,
color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status and/or sexual
preference in MCAC/SCAC’s personnel practices and service delivery;
- Will perform responsibilities consistent with the policies, procedures, and standards of
practice recognized by MCAC/SCAC;
- Will comply with all applicable local, state, provincial, and federal, civil and criminal laws
while performing MCAC/SCAC responsibilities;
- Will promote the mission of MCAC/SCAC in a positive manner;
- Will interact with all persons served, volunteers, and employees in a respectful, fair and
professional manner, and will neither engage or conspire in any acts which violate one's'
basic human rights and dignity;
- Will respect the choices of persons served, employees and co-workers and will neither
persuade or impose personal ideologies whether political or religious;
- Will ensure proper stewardship of charitable contributions, including: careful handling of
funds; timely reports of the use and management of funds; and explicit consent by the
donor before altering the conditions of the funds and/or property;
- Will maximize the use of all MCAC/SCAC resources whether it be money, equipment,
supplies, and/or time for the best interest of persons served with the program;
- Will not engage in personal fundraising activities that may interfere with service delivery
and/or violates MCAC/SCAC policies;
- Will not use MCAC/SCAC property for personal use (i.e. computers, supplies, cell
- Will not engage in social and/or sexual relationships of any kind with persons served or
- Will only witness the signing of documents that are generated and /or reflect
MCAC/SCAC services (i.e. record releases, etc.);
- Will ensure that donors receive informed and ethical advice about the value and tax
implications of potential gifts;
- Will ensure that all solicitation materials are accurate and correctly reflect MCAC/SCAC
mission and use of solicited funds; and,
- Will disclose all conflicts of interest; such disclosure does not preclude or imply ethical
- Will adhere to CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among staff and
INVOLUNTARY DISCHARGE APPEALS PROCESS
- On intake Morris County Aftercare Center/Sussex County Aftercare Center provides
clients with a document which outlines the written policies and procedures governing
involuntary discharges. Clients engaged in criminal activity; or clients showing
aggressive behavior towards other clients or staff can be discharged from the program.
- Clients engaged in either criminal or aggressive behavior shall be provided with a verbal
and written notice of the facility’s intent to discharge.
- The written notice shall include the specific reason(s) for the discharge and shall set
forth the client’s rights and procedures to appeal the discharge decision.
- Clients shall have the right to appeal an involuntary discharge in accordance with
procedures established by the facility.
- The actual discharge from the facility shall not be initiated until the appeal process is
- The facility shall require the appeal to be initiated by the client verbally or in writing.
- If initiated verbally, a written appeal shall follow provided by the client or an individual
chosen by the client to act on behalf of the client.
- A copy of the appeal, and the disposition thereof, shall be entered in the client’s clinical
- The facility may involuntarily discharge a client without prior notice if the client poses a
health or safety hazard to him/herself, other clients, or staff.
- The facility shall provide assistance in referring such clients to an appropriate client-
approved treatment program.
- If the client believes that the staff of MCAC/SCAC has not adequately addressed their
concerns, they may take their concerns to the NJ Department of Human Services and/or
the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services:
Complaints by clients, staff and the public may be lodged with the following agencies
NJ Addiction Services Hotline
NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Morris County Aftercare Center and Sussex County Aftercare Center observe the following
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Holiday closures will be posted at the clinic and take-home exception bottles will be provided for
those special days. Remember to keep your phone number updated should we need to contact
you about the closures and always bring your lockbox!