Matrix Model


Bright Spot

Detailed Description

The Matrix Model is an intensive outpatient treatment approach for stimulant abuse and dependence that was developed through 20 years of experience in real-world treatment settings. The intervention consists of relapse-prevention groups, education groups, social-support groups, individual counseling, and urine and breath testing delivered over a 16-week period. Patients learn about issues critical to addiction and relapse, receive direction and support from a trained therapist, become familiar with self-help programs, and are monitored for drug use by urine testing. The program includes education for family members affected by the addiction. The therapist functions simultaneously as teacher and coach, fostering a positive, encouraging relationship with the patient and using that relationship to reinforce positive behavior change. The interaction between the therapist and the patient is realistic and direct, but not confrontational or parental. Therapists are trained to conduct treatment sessions in a way that promotes the patient's self-esteem, dignity, and self-worth.

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes are:

  • Increase in treatment retention
  • Increase in treatment completion
  • Decrease in drug use during treatment


Outpatient treatment, Substance abuse treatment, Relapse prevention, Drug use

Cost Details

Publicly funded treatment costs for Matrix Model services are approximately $1,900 per client. Average reimbursement from private insurance/managed care is approximately $3,500. The costs include:

  • The Matrix Adult Model with DVDs - $599
  • 2-day, on-site training - $5,000 for up to 20 participants
  • 2-day, off-site training - $500 per participant
  • 2.5-day advanced Key Supervisor training (includes Matrix fidelity Instruments) - $1,000 per participant

Key Steps for Implementation

Matrix is provided in an Individual/family or groupsettingthree times per week for 16 weeks. Before implementing Matrix, providersshould ensure thatservice authorizationsare made for theentire 16-week periodrequired by thetreatment model. Providers shouldnote that Matrix;sfocus on retention ofchallenging clientscan improve both clinical outcomes and theagency;s fiscal bottom line. Matrix delivery requires both extensivetraining and qualified clinical supervision tobe delivered correctly. There are no official therapist/licensurerequirements for this practice. However,providers should use staff who are trained incognitive behavioral therapy and can for billoutpatient counseling services. To be sure that the program is beingused correctly, staff will need to performroutine chart reviews and patient outcomeassessments. A free publication Client;s Handbooks:Matrix Intensive Outpatient Treatment forPeople with Stimulant Use Disorders waspublished by the Substance Abuse MentalHealth Services Administration, Center forSubstance Abuse Treatment.

Required Staffing (FTEs)


Special Infrastructure

Outpatient setting



The therapist manuals, patient binder, DVDs, and other materials provide useful information to both therapists and administrators relevant to implementation. Implementation materials also include a family component, which is at a skill level consistent with substance abuse staff who may not have had formal family therapy training. Implementation materials have also been translated into several languages. A variety of trainings across the country are provided almost weekly, in addition to available coaching and supervisor training. Training includes a discussion that supports systems adoption and successful technology transfer. Quality assurance is supported by process and performance fidelity assessment, including routine chart reviews and patient outcome assessment

Types of Staff

There are no official therapist/licensure requirements for this practice. However, providers should use staff who are trained in cognitive behavioral therapy and can for bill outpatient counseling services.

Outcome Measures


  • Successful (Stopped drug use; or, returned to work/school; or attended 75% or more of scheduled program)
  • Unsuccessful (Continued drug use; or, attended less than 75% of scheduled program)
  • Referred to another program
  • Global assessment of outcome
  • Employment/educational status
  • Relationships/family
  • Abuse of primary substance
  • Secondary drug/alcohol problem
  • Psychiatric problems
  • Legal problems
  • Living arrangements
  • Physical health
  • Global assessment of functioning: family involvement
  • Client satisfaction (as measured through a survey)

Process Measures


Additional Resources

Website Url

Key Contacts

Contact the Matrix Institute on Addictions at


  • Other alcohol and drug use

  • Access to care

  • Mental health and wellness

  • People (community residents, community members with lived experience)

  • Public health







  • Individual/family

  • Healthcare, public health department or health services


To be determined

  • All ages

Geographic Context
  • Urban/large city

  • Suburban

  • Small town

  • Village

  • Rural

Geographic Unit
  • City/Town

  • State

Words to Describe