The Kolmac Difference

The history of Kolmac outpatient recovery

The history of Kolmac starts with Dr. George Kolodner’s assignment to Bethesda Naval Hospital as a young Navy doctor. There he saw patients with alcohol addiction recover in the hospital’s inpatient treatment program. After leaving the Navy in 1973, Dr. Kolodner decided to develop a treatment model that would replicate the clinical success he had observed at Bethesda, but on an outpatient rather than an inpatient basis.

Teaming up to design an effective program

Dr. Kolodner teamed up with Jim McMahon, the recently retired deputy director of the Navy’s alcohol treatment program at Bethesda. Together, the two designed and implemented the program that eventually became Kolmac.

Initially, many in the field were skeptical of the program, because outpatient programs in the past were rarely successful. The problem with those programs was that patients were only seen for an hour or two each week, which is not enough time to provide the necessary structure and intensity needed for successful treatment. From the start, Kolmac has been focused on creating a focused, intensive non-residential therapeutic environment that would allow patients to continue living their lives while still receiving effective treatment.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Dr. Kolodner and Mr. McMahon developed a daily three-hour rehabilitation program—a level of care that had not previously existed. This became known as “intensive outpatient” treatment, or IOP. The goal from the beginning was to treat people who had busy schedules by giving them treatment options that fit into their workday.


The Kolmac program quickly expanded to include detoxification for patients with physical addictions. While this had previously required in-patient treatment or a hospital stay, Kolmac was able to implement modern techniques that allowed patients to participate in detox and IOP rehab simultaneously. This avoided the common “revolving door” scenario of repeated detoxification and allowed patients to progress to recover more quickly.


As the program grew, Kolmac focused on further reducing the practical barriers to entering treatment by working with insurance companies to provide financial coverage for the program.

Treatment for A Variety of Addictions

In 1984, Kolmac expanded to people who were addicted to substances other than alcohol, and  began to establish additional offices. Today we treat patients in five states who seek treatment for alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions.

Get Help Today!

We welcome the opportunity to help you in your road to recovery. If you’d like to learn more about Kolmac Integrated Behavioral Health Centers, contact us at:

  (888) 331-5251