Addiction Treatment | Center on Addiction

Addiction treatment

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Addiction is treatable.

Addiction treatment

Although there is not yet a cure for addiction, there are effective treatments and ways to manage it. This can include helping people reduce and eliminate their use of addictive substances so they can lead healthy lives.

Effective clinical treatments for addiction include a range of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications and psychosocial therapies (often called therapy) delivered by qualified health professionals. Addiction can be a chronic disease similar to diabetes or cancer, and the best way to manage it is through ongoing disease management and support services.


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If left untreated or not treated properly, substance problems can worsen and lead to many serious consequences, including death. Nearly 90% of people who meet clinical criteria for addiction or substance abuse involving alcohol and drugs other than nicotine report receiving no treatment at all, and many who do receive treatment do not receive care that has been proven to be effective.  

Who Treats Addiction?

Who Treats Addiction?

Addiction and substance abuse should be managed and treated by a team of trained health care professionals, including physicians, psychologists, licensed counselors, social workers, physician assistants, nurses and nurse practitioners who specialize in addiction care.

Most health care professionals and many individuals who currently provide addiction services are not sufficiently trained in providing effective care.

Addiction Physician Specialists

Addiction physician specialists include addiction medicine physicians and addiction psychiatrists who are trained to treat complex cases of addiction and provide consultation to other medical providers.

The information contained on this site is designed to support, not to replace, the relationship between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician.


  • CASAColumbia. (2012). Addiction medicine: Closing the gap between science and practice.

Addiction Treatment Infographic

Only about 1 in 10 people who need treatment for a drug or alcohol problem receive it.

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