Substance use disorder (SUD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “a complex condition in which there is uncontrolled use of a substance despite harmful consequences.” It involves an “intense focus on using a certain substance(s) such as alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs, to the point where the person’s ability to function in day-to-day life becomes impaired.” Severe cases of SUD are sometimes referred to as addiction.

However, help is available. Here’s a look at the major approaches to addiction treatment, and how those services can help people break out of unhealthy cycles and into new life.

Residential Treatment 

Residential treatment gives patients an opportunity to receive comprehensive services in a supportive, drug-free setting. They receive group counseling, individual counseling, family counseling, educational classes, basic living skills classes and case management. All of the residential programs at Aletheia House serve men or women only, including a program for pregnant and postpartum women. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the primary method of treatment used in our programs.

Outpatient Treatment 

Outpatient treatment programs provide counseling to individuals with substance use disorders who are able to live at home. Intensive outpatient programs provide at least nine hours of service per week while general outpatient programs generally meet once or twice a week,

Medication-Assisted Treatment 

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is “the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a ‘whole-patient’ approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.” These medications are FDA-approved and are used to manage withdrawal symptoms when patients go through detoxification. Medication is also used to control cravings and prevent relapses.

Studies show that MAT can

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant

For more information on the Medication Assisted Treatment Services offered by Aletheia House, check out this link:




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