Sober living

The Center Charles O’Brien Center for Addiction Treatment Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

For a list of recovery high schools as well as universities with sober dorms, visit Focuses on behavioral tools designed to help a teen or young adult cope with the stresses and challenges of daily life and develop greater self-esteem in order to better manage their recovery. Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this condition. The self-help support group message is that addiction is an ongoing disorder with a danger of relapse. Self-help support groups can decrease the sense of shame and isolation that can lead to relapse. In an opioid overdose, a medicine called naloxone can be given by emergency responders, or in some states, by anyone who witnesses an overdose.

  • Suboxone can be used to counteract the effects of opioids and also lessen cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
  • Outpatient drug and alcohol rehab provides a flexible option to get sober while still being able to work or go to school.
  • The exact way that prescription medications work to influence the withdrawal and detox process can vary significantly.

The medication will vary depending on the substance that the person is addicted to. Some forms of treatment for addictive disorders focuses on the underlying cause of the addictive disorder in addition to behaviors characteristic of the addiction. If a person is addicted to more than one substance, they will often need medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms for each. In 80 percent of cases, a treatment clinic will use medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

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This therapy aims to improve self-esteem, provide stress-management skills, change unhealthy behavior patterns, and encourage individuals in recovery to remove triggers from their life through healthy skill-building. There are many treatment options available for people struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. These include inpatient and outpatient rehab, ongoing support groups, and multiple kinds of therapies. Drug rehabilitation is the process of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for dependency on psychoactive substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and street drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, heroin or amphetamines. The general intent is to enable the patient to confront substance dependence, if present, and stop substance misuse to avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that can be caused. Providers in our study noted that the relative benefit of telehealth depended on a client’s circumstances and stage of treatment.

Is there a surgery for addiction?

The brain surgery technique used to treat addiction is deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS is already an established treatment for Parkinson's symptoms that cannot be managed with medications.

While this isn’t necessarily dangerous, it is still considered illicit use of the drug. Your healthcare provider should review your treatment plan with you and change it based on your changing needs. Healthcare providers may recommend cognitive and behavioral therapies alone or in combination with medications.

Medications and Patient Rights

Use of these substances can lead to substance use disorders (SUDs) — but not always. SAMHSA’s mission is to lead public health and service delivery efforts that promote mental health, prevent substance misuse, and provide treatments and supports to foster recovery while ensuring equitable access and better outcomes. Medications for substance use disorders are administered, dispensed, and prescribed in various settings such as a SAMHSA-accredited and certified opioid treatment program (OTP) or practitioners’ offices depending on the medication. Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat OUD. These medications operate to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used.

Who can diagnose addiction?

Diagnosing drug addiction (substance use disorder) requires a thorough evaluation and often includes an assessment by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Blood, urine or other lab tests are used to assess drug use, but they're not a diagnostic test for addiction.

It is a necessary support plan for ensuring that the tools learned in treatment can be applied successfully in the real world. Individuals diagnosed with co-occurring mental illness need treatment for their substance use in addition to the mental illness, ideally in an integrated fashion. Treating the substance use alone will not help resolve underlying mental illness, and treating a depressive sober house disorder alone will not resolve the substance use or dependence. It will take a significant amount of willingness and continuous support to achieve and maintain long-term sobriety. Building strong relationships with others in recovery who can relate will be essential during the treatment process. It is also important to remember all the loved ones who will be there along the way.


Barriers to accessing drug treatment may worsen negative health outcomes and further exacerbate health inequalities in the United States. Stigmatization of drug use, the War on Drugs and criminalization, and the social determinants of health should all be considered when discussing access to drug treatment and potential barriers. We did not find any studies comparing telehealth intake assessments with in-person intake assessments. With an array of treatment options, we have the program that’s right for you. Our compassionate team believes in treating a person, not merely an addiction, and we strive to understand unique life circumstances, personal preferences, and character strengths to tailor an individualized treatment plan. The Charles O’Brien Center for Addiction Treatment at the University of Pennsylvania Health System offers state-of-the-art addiction treatment provided by nationally renowned experts in the field.

Holistic therapies may consist of yoga, acupuncture, art therapy, and guided meditation. An intervention occurs between loved ones and a person in denial or not receptive to help for their substance use disorder or addiction. Typically, this process is often supervised by an intervention specialist. The idea behind an intervention is to help loved ones constructively express their feelings and encourage a person battling an addiction to enter a treatment program.

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Blood, urine or other lab tests are used to assess drug use, but they’re not a diagnostic test for addiction. However, these tests may be used for monitoring treatment and recovery. Sober living homes operate as a residential bridge between an inpatient treatment center and the return to everyday life. These are great options for people in recovery who need additional time to reinforce what they learned in treatment. Sober living homes help people in recovery strengthen their new healthy habits while still residing in the comfort of a structured environment with others who are also seeking recovery. Treatment programs are different for each individual and can be customized based on unique needs and situations.

  • Tobacco, heroin, cocaine, alcohol, cannabis and benzodiazepines are all substances that you can develop tolerance and dependence to.
  • For example, payers have justified telehealth restrictions as necessary to prevent fraud, and we did not examine this issue.
  • They concluded that, “Treatment of addiction is as successful as treatment of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma.”

Taking NNaltrexone before the body has had a chance to detox can lead to very harsh and powerful withdrawal side effects. Healthcare providers and the medical community now call substance addiction substance use disorder. The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has concrete diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders. Instead, healthcare providers rely on a thorough evaluation of your medical history and behaviors surrounding substance use. They may order drug tests and evaluate prescription drug monitoring program reports. Many people never use alcohol or other drugs; many others try a chemical but rarely experience any negative consequences.

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