Operation Breakthrough (Program), Columbia Treatment Center
Operation Breakthrough (“OB”) is a prevention and early intervention program for impaired driving offenders, college students, and others wanting to reduce the risk for alcohol and other drug problems.

We offer this early intervention treatment program and DUI Education protocol in a convenient weekend format. Our non-judgmental approach helps move people toward reducing high-risk behaviors and making a personal commitment to change.

  Operation Breakthrough Program | View flyer PDF

How to Enroll

Call us to set up an evaluation to determine eligibility at 410-730-1333. You must have an evaluation prior to registering for Operation Breakthrough.

Upcoming Sessions of the “OB” Early Intervention Program

Operation Breakthrough is offered monthly. Please call our front desk staff for our upcoming schedule and specific dates and times. All sessions are held on Webex, a HIPAA-compliant software program.

The time schedule is as follows:

Saturday:  9:00 am – 3:30 pm
Sunday:  9:00 am – 3:30 pm

“I went to CTC because of its reputation and time in business… every therapist that I had the pleasure to work with was excellent… all very compassionate and had the technical background to best apply that passion to help everyone.” -Participant

“When I was first instructed by my DUI lawyer, I had no idea what to expect or what would be involved… I was pleasantly surprised by the experience and how well I was treated. It helped me see this as a major turning point in my life.” -Participant

Background of Operation Breakthrough

After years of listening to feedback from clients who described traditional substance use programs as unimaginative and lacking inspiration to change, the team at Columbia Treatment Center created a program that would have an impact on one’s motivation to replace unhealthy relationships with alcohol and other substances with tools to realize and sustain the changes they hope to make.

A comprehensive review of research (including interviews with experts at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Maryland State Police, and Wright State University) indicated that information-based efforts have minimal impact on alcohol consumption and related behaviors.  One of the most rigorous evaluations of early DUI programs concluded that while education produced increased knowledge about the effects of alcohol, it did not reduce the rates of drinking and driving or future alcohol-related arrests and crashes.

As a result of our research, we concluded that people change their behaviors only when they change their attitudes and beliefs around alcohol and substance use. We want our clients to become fully engaged in the educational process so that we could help trigger these changes.

“Before this weekend, I felt a little overwhelmed since I haven’t been to court yet and didn’t know what to expect. Now I feel like this is definitely something I can handle and I am better prepared to deal with this experience and move on. I would recommend this course to anyone that needs it.” -Participant

“Completing Operation Breakthrough earlier today, I am filled with great emotion… I am extremely grateful for what I have learned from this experience. I thank all of the counselors for their compassion and honesty that greatly heightened my awareness, ultimately changing my life!” -M

Early Intervention Education and Treatment Programs

Assessing the health of one’s relationship with substances is complex. Some individuals are able to use alcohol and other substances in moderate, non-problem ways and others are not. Some are able to use substances in non-problem ways for long periods of their lives and then develop substance use disorders. Because this is not black and white, and because individuals are not always aware when their substance use has become a problem, it is critical to promote assessment, education, awareness, and support whenever there is a concern for high-risk use.

CAC - Operation BreakthroughAn early intervention program allows individuals who do not meet the criteria for a substance use disorder to better understand the relationship between substance use, mood, and behavior. Simultaneously, these programs teach coping skills that will support participants in achieving and maintaining a low-risk relationship with substances.   At Columbia Treatment Center, our early intervention program will help participants better understand the reasons for their use, the impact of their use, and develop strategies and goals to support abstinence or non-problem use.

Our early intervention program is appropriate for anyone looking for information and education around substance use. It is ideal for helping impaired driving offenders, college students, and others wanting to reduce the risk of alcohol and drug problems in their lives.

At Columbia Treatment Center our program begins with an initial evaluation to determine whether Early Intervention Education is sufficient or if other treatment interventions may be appropriate. After this evaluation 12 hours of Early Intervention psycho-education is completed during a three-day weekend program. Our comprehensive curriculum includes moral recognition therapy, motivational interviewing, interactive discussions, peer teaching, and personal reflection. The program is certified by the Maryland State Department of Health And Mental Hygiene.

What Can I Expect?

Through the weekend intensive, participants will find the content of this program is presented in a non-judgmental and interesting way. Participants will have opportunities to learn through a combination of didactic lessons, guided self-assessment tools, hands-on coping techniques, and group interaction. If it becomes clear during the Early Intervention Education Program that additional treatment is required to support a participant in their substance use goals, our counselors will work with that client to supplement their program with either group treatment or individual counseling services.

Operation Breakthrough 12-Hour Prevention and Early Intervention Program features:

  Convenient weekend format.
  Accepted by courts, MVA, and the legal system since 2005.
  Certificate of Completion issued.
  Evidence-based curriculum.
  An engaging program that uses a variety of learning modalities.
  Facilitated by knowledgeable speakers and licensed therapists.
Same-day appointments available for Substance Abuse Assessments.
  This program satisfies all requirements for the Code of Maryland Regulation (COMAR) Early Intervention Services.

“I have been impressed by the program and the people who run it… the overall usefulness of this course and the information presented this weekend is incredible… truly helps us change how we think and feel and our attitude toward habits and the choices we make.” -Participant


This program has been licensed and certified by the Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration as a DUI Education Program and Early Intervention Level 0.5 Program. The program has passed state inspection five times since 2005.  Certification is current:

  State of Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) Certification | View PDF
Registration 906026

The BHA has authorized the Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) to certify Columbia Addictions Center to provide the following treatment services:

  • Level 0.5 – Early Intervention
  • Level 0.5 – Early Intervention – DWI Education

OHCQ has certified that the program merits General Certification with COMAR Approved Alcohol Early Intervention Program (“Operation Breakthrough”) for twelve hours on a weekend.

For more details about our practice’s licenses and certifications, read more here.


  • Extremely positive feedback from participants: “Life-Changing and Provoking”.
  • Thousands of clients served.
  • Accepted in Maryland Judiciary System, MVA, Virginia ASAP, and other states’ systems.
  • Internal evaluation and outside consultants consistently show positive results.
  • Superior customer service to referral resources.

Our Team

Four of our instructors have completed “Prime for Life Training,” and our early intervention program is consistent with the evidence-informed methods of that training. Prime for Life was selected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) for inclusion in the National Registry of evidence-based programs and practices. Our program is lead by two engaging licensed mental health professionals:

  • Litsa Williams, MA, LCSW-C
  • Mandy Smith, LCPC

Operation Breakthrough (OB) is an intensive weekend program for those who are appropriate for an Early Intervention program. Operation Breakthrough is fully compliant with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Code of Maryland Regulation

Note: DUI Education and Treatment are 2 different levels of care governed by separate COMAR regulations.

Persons who have already been convicted of a DUI/DWI, AND have been court-ordered to complete a DUI/DWI program, are NOT able to attend a weekend program and would make other arrangements with our offices instead (in accordance with COMAR

Operation Breakthrough has helped thousands of families across Maryland with superior customer service and training. To learn more about our early intervention program, contact us today at 866-607-8009.