Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How soon can I schedule an appointment?

Master Center offers same-day and next-day appointments at all our centers. Whether you are struggling with opiates, sedatives, alcohol, or a combination of things, we can help today. Master Center’s outpatient care model is designed to rapidly respond to a request for help, providing immediate medical stabilization followed by a thorough psycho-social evaluation and individualized treatment plan.

Do you offer inpatient or outpatient services?

Master Center provides office-based, outpatient treatment. The Master Center model of addiction treatment is organized into program tracks that vary in intensity over time and according to need.  For most patients, our approach focuses on stabilization and engagement in treatment that allows a person to maintain their daily, life obligations while making real progress in treatment toward recovery. 

What insurance do you accept?

Master Center participates with most major health insurance plans. We accept Medicare, CareMore, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna, Optum, Optima Health, United Healthcare, Humana, Tricare, Virginia Premier, Magellan, and Virginia Medicaid.  We fully participate with Virginia Medicaid’s ARTS (Addiction, Recovery Treatment Services) Program as administered by Anthem Health Keepers Plus, Virginia Premier, Magellan Health, United Healthcare, Aetna Better Health, and Optima.  We also work with patients who prefer the self-pay option.

How will this appear on my insurance?

If you utilize your health insurance to cover services at the Master Center, your treatment will be documented for insurance purposes and will likely be reviewed to determine coverage. Only insurance company employees will review it, and they will not share the information with your employer.

Is my treatment confidential? 

Yes. Privacy and confidentiality are critical for patients seeking treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.  Medical records are protected by HIPAA, but substance use disorder medical records are subject to a higher level of protection, by law, under the Code of Federal Regulations.  Treatment records cannot be shared unless a patient gives written consent. At the Master Center, patient privacy and privacy rights are always a major priority and all addiction counselors, treatment providers, and staff members are trained to keep patient information confidential in accordance with the strict requirements of 42 CFR Part 2 that protects patient privacy for all addiction treatment. Among other things, 42 CFR Part 2 imposes serious and strict limitations on when and how legal institutions can gain access to patient records. 

Are services in-person or telehealth?

Master Center is a growing outpatient treatment program with locations throughout Virginia, including Greater Richmond, Chesterfield, Gloucester, and Hampton. Currently, Master Center offers both in-person and telehealth options with medical and counseling providers. We are actively working on plans to expand to new locations to serve the needs of Virginia and beyond. 

Do you accept Medicaid?

Yes, Master Center is proud to work with individuals with Medicaid coverage.

Can I see a psychiatrist at Master Center?

Yes, as part of our integrated approach to treating substance use disorder, Master Center offers expert care from psychiatrists who are dually trained in addiction medicine.   Mental health disorders are very common among patients with substance use disorder as both a contributing factor to the development of addiction and as obstacles to recovery.  After medical stabilization, our addiction psychiatrists work one-on-one with patients in need to evaluate and treat underlying psychiatric conditions. Patients suffering from addiction sometimes do not realize that they have a co-occurring mental health problem and that their drug and alcohol use was an attempt to treat their emotions. Successful, long-term addiction treatment for such patients requires the treatment of the psychiatric illness at the same time.

What is the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) and how do patients access it?

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) model was developed and established by addiction professionals in the 1970s and 1980s to provide sufficiently thorough and intensive treatment to patients unable to join a residential program.  Recent research has established that IOP is equally effective in residential treatment for appropriately selected patients.  The Master Center IOP, currently offered via telehealth and in-person, involves highly engaging group therapy sessions 4 times a week, with each session lasting 3 hours.  By taking this intensive approach, most patients are able to reach their treatment goals in about 8-weeks.  The program begins with an evaluation that can be requested by a Master Center or other community addiction provider.  The IOP sessions are augmented by individual sessions to monitor service plan goal achievement, family education and counseling, and case management.  Concurrent medical or psychiatric Master Center patients continue working with their providers during IOP and patients referred from the community have full access to in-house medical or psychiatric referrals. Many patients take advantage of the opportunity to step down to lower intensity treatment as they make progress, often joining one of the varied, weekly therapy groups available at Master Center.

Do you offer evening Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) groups?

Our daytime IOP is well established and growing at both our flagship Richmond office as well as our new Hampton office.  As of June 1, 2021, we are proud to announce the launch of our first evening IOP at our Richmond office, with more locations to come.  As Master Center continues to grow and expand, our IOP will play a central role.  We have plans to offer Intensive Outpatient Programming at multiple times and locations and, in some cases, with a more specialized treatment focus.  

Does Master Center prescribe methadone?

Master Center does not offer methadone treatment, but we do refer patients to Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP – the formal term for Methadone Clinic) when appropriate.

Does Master Center offer Detox or Withdrawal Management?

Yes, Master Center offers an innovative Ambulatory Detox Program. This 4-week outpatient program combines expert, outpatient withdrawal management with a strong and well-rounded introduction to outpatient addiction treatment.  Our providers are trained in managing medical withdrawal from opioids, alcohol, sedatives, and just about any drug that can be abused. Our program includes full medical support, individual recovery coaching, individual therapeutic and psychiatric assessments when appropriate, access to our addiction education program (The Insight Program), and an unlimited invitation to participate in our innovative group therapy program.  

Do you prescribe Suboxone?

Master Center has a very active and effective Medication-Assisted Treatment (also referred to as MAT) program that utilizes special medications like Suboxone to treat substance use disorder in appropriate patients.  According to the leading experts in the field of addiction treatment, MAT is a highly effective approach to addiction treatment that combines special medication with education and behavioral therapy.  There is an ever-growing body of evidence that it works.  

Our MAT program is unique in the way it is designed to provide an immediate rescue from the chaos and danger of active drug abuse but is also capable of guiding patients beyond the focus on medication and toward long-lasting, personal recovery.  We strive to utilize all the proven and evidence-based approaches to treatment while also appreciating differing perspectives and levels of readiness among our patients to extend their treatment experiences beyond what medication can do.  Our goal for each and every patient is not just safety but, where possible, full recovery and personal fulfillment. 

The most common and well-known medications used in Medication-Assisted Treatment are buprenorphine (Suboxone), which is used to treat opioid dependence, and naltrexone (Vivitrol) which is effective in treating both opioid and alcohol dependence.  Buprenorphine most often comes in a film or tablet and is dissolved under the tongue, but a new product called Sublocade, available at Master Center comes in a monthly injection.  Naltrexone can be given in tablet form but is more popular as a monthly injection in the form of Vivitrol, also given at Master Center.  Both have been proven to work when given in combination with a program of education and counseling, like the program at Master Center.  While it is easy to prescribe one of these medications, making the right decision about the right medication for the right patient at the right time and combining it with a comprehensive treatment plan takes professional knowledge, experience, and the kind of program available at the Master Center. 

How long will I have to take this prescription?

MAT is a powerful tool to treat the disease of addiction when used properly. It is one of many tools that can be used. It is absolutely possible to eventually taper off of it when the time is right. That time is different for each patient. To taper successfully and remain drug-free, it is essential to have a strong recovery life that is separate from medications and visits with the addiction treatment provider. When, or if, to taper is a decision that a medical provider and the patient will discuss together. 

How soon can I get my prescription?

Master Center will call your pharmacy or send a prescription to your mail-order pharmacy immediately following your appointment. We do not stock prescription drugs at our center and prescriptions are not refillable at our center. Master Center’s policy is to electronically order each prescription after the appointment. Prescriptions will always be completed by the end of the clinical day – quicker ordering cannot be guaranteed.

Do you require drug screening?

Yes, Master Center follows the best practice guidelines by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) for addiction medicine teams for conducting practical, evidence-based drug testing. Drug testing is not meant to be about ‘catching’, embarrassing, or punishing but as a tool to guide treatment, to help our patients make the right choices, and show evidence of their success.  Master Center expects that a patient’s first drug screen will be positive for drugs of abuse, and we have the experience to view test results from the proper perspective.  We test not only to confirm the absence of harmful drugs but also the presence of the medicines we prescribe.  Master Center only uses medically necessary and accurate testing for drugs that are likely to impact clinical outcomes. 

Are you going to draw blood at my first appointment?

The first step in our treatment plan is a multi-disciplinary assessment and evaluation. As part of this process, Master Center typically conducts blood draws for most first appointments with patients. Each care team has a nurse who collects and documents health histories, takes and documents vital signs, collects lab specimens, and administers medication. We perform onsite urine drug screens and send blood specimens to Lab Corp for standard metabolic tests and blood counts as well as for HIV, HepC, HepB, and TB testing. 

Can I do my drug screening at another location?

Under certain circumstances, patients may need to visit an off-site lab to give a urine sample for drug testing.  Such cases will be determined and directed by the medical provider. 

How accurate is the drug screen?

Urine drug screens done in the office for immediate reading are fairly sensitive but not extremely specific.  That means that they pick up the presence of the drugs they test for but cannot always tell the difference between illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine and certain other medications with similar chemical structures.  With certain tests, a positive screen might be incorrect 10-20% of the time.  

On the other hand, the confirmation testing done in specialized labs is both sensitive and specific – meaning that they miss almost nothing and are practically always correct.  Claiming that the lab has it wrong is almost always a dead-end (although the human error is not unheard of, we go to great lengths to make sure that specimens are correctly labeled and handled in a process known as ‘Chain-of-custody’).  

Having a test result come back positive can be very upsetting – and we know this.  Upset patients are known to reflexively deny things, make accusations, question competencies, or feign confusion over how a drug could have gotten into their urine.  We know this, too.  But as noted above, while we will always do our best to address patient concerns, we know recovery is a long journey, and a positive test is not the end of the world (or the end of treatment). Addiction is a difficult disease in so many ways and finding the way to full recovery is never a simple matter.  To us, the keys to success are 1) showing up, 2) being honest and 3) never giving up.  Being perfect is not required at all.  

Does it matter if I have drugs in my system?

No, what matters is that a patient is prepared to make a change. Addiction is a disease that is treatable with small steps, every day. The comprehensive outpatient program at Master Center allows for gradual withdrawal management while supporting every patient with group and individual therapy, peer recovery coaching, and psychiatric care.    

Do you care if I smoke pot? 

Now that marijuana is legal in many states, it is natural to hear questions about whether it counts anymore during addiction treatment. We have even heard sincere arguments about how it might help some quit using other, more dangerous drugs.  While the potential harm and relative benefits of cannabis are being researched and debated, we have ample evidence supporting the fundamental principle that people with substance use disorder cannot successfully use any drug of abuse (mind and mood-altering, immediate effect) without eventually losing control and experiencing significant negative consequences.  For this reason, we will teach, encourage, and support our patients in the effort to leave marijuana use behind as part of the recovery journey.  

However, it will never be our policy to deny treatment to a patient because they use marijuana, nor would we discontinue treatment entirely because of a patient’s ongoing use of marijuana.  We do structure our program to encourage patients to leave marijuana behind as they develop the ability to deal with life on life’s terms.  We will continue to advise patients that cannabis has been shown to interfere with psychiatric medication and worsen most psychiatric conditions.  Although marijuana can be justifiably called a mild intoxicant and is probably safer than alcohol, use of marijuana (and alcohol, for that matter) has been repeatedly shown to make a person with substance use disorder more likely to return to active addiction with or without the abuse of more dangerous drugs.

Are my drug screening results reported to my parole officer?

Only with patient permission or the direct order of a judge.  The law states that in the field of addiction medicine, patient information cannot be shared without the express permission of the patient – the only exception being if a judge agrees that there is a compelling public interest in the release of such information.  

However, we will encourage each patient to comply with the terms of their probation or parole and will not support any deception.  When evaluating a patient on probation for admission to treatment, we will often seek permission to talk with the probation officer to clarify reporting requirements – we have learned by experience that it is better for our patients to get such things straight from the beginning.

The potential collaboration between the treatment team at Master Center and that patient’s probation officer is almost always a powerful tool for the patient’s good.  In the long term, it can be the inspiration that leads to lifelong recovery, freedom, and success.  In the short term, it can keep a person out of jail and out of trouble with the law.   Such a perspective is not always easy to come by for a person who is just beginning to grapple with the reality of their addiction and the deep and challenging concept of recovery.   We believe it is part of our job to help our patients see and understand these truths, in the larger perspective, if possible, though the short-term benefit is sometimes enough to get things moving in the right direction.

Can I only see a psychiatrist? Do I have to participate in other parts of treatment?

Yes, though we do require all new patients to undergo a basic multi-disciplinary assessment starting with a medical interview and a very basic examination.  We recommend that every new patient participates in the INSIGHT Program before beginning work with one of our psychiatrists.  The INSIGHT Program is a series of 4 psycho-educational discussion groups covering some of the essential topics related to addiction, treatment, recovery, and the Master Center Program.  

Are you on the bus line?

Master Center offers multiple locations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. We encourage all patients and family members to contact the center in their area to determine transportation options. 

In Glen Allen, where our headquarters is located, as an example, Henrico County offers enhanced public transit services with expanded routes and operating hours. For more information on GRTC routes and service, visit or call (804) 358-4782.

Please visit Our Centers page to contact our other locations for the best transportation options in your area. 

Can my kids wait in the lobby?

Children are not allowed in the lobby for staff and patient safety. It is not appropriate for children to be present during patient appointments. This allows our patients to focus on their health and recovery. In addition, due to COVID restrictions, we ask that patients not bring children to their appointments. 

Get help today.

Our team of addiction medicine experts are compassionate and committed to making addiction treatment accessible, understandable, and affordable.

Use the confidential form below to request an outpatient or telehealth appointment, ask a question, seek help for a loved one, or request more information about addiction medicine. We're here to help! You may also call us at 804.332.5950.

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