Operation Breakthrough 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.


Upcoming Sessions of the Operation Breakthrough “OB” Early Intervention Program

  • May 4-6, 2018
  • May 18-20, 2018
  • June 1-3, 2018
  • June 15-17, 2018
  • July 6-8, 2018
  • July 20-22, 2018
  • August 3-5. 2018
  • August 17-19, 2018

Operation Breakthrough is generally offered twice a month and clients must be able to attend all three days of their chosen weekend. The schedule is as follows:

Friday :  6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday :  8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sunday :  8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Background of Operation Breakthrough

CAC - Operation BreakthroughAfter years of listening to anecdotal feedback from clients who described traditional substance abuse programs as “uninteresting” and “ineffective,” the clinical team of Columbia Addictions Center decided to create an innovative, intensive, and focused program that would truly have an impact.

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.

The Program

Operation Breakthrough is an intensive program with a comprehensive curriculum that includes moral recognition therapy, motivational interviewing, interactive discussions, peer teaching, and personal reflection.  Course content is inspired by evidence-based research.  Our nonjudgmental approach helps move people toward reducing high-risk behaviors and making a personal commitment to change.


The program is certified by the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as Level .05 Early Intervention.  The program has passed state inspection five times since 2005.  Certification is current.


  • 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

“Prime for Life Training”  was selected by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) for inclusion in the National Registry of evidence-based program and practices.  Interestingly, we found Operation Breakthrough compatible in terms of both content and methods of delivery.

  • Eileen Dewey, LCSW-C, SAP
  • Litsa Williams, MA, LCSW-C
  • Jim Ritter, M.Div. (Former DDMP and DUI Court Officer)
  • Mandy Smith, LCPC
  • Janelle Weather, LGPC

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 attend our six-week class instead (in accordance with COMAR