group meets seated in a large circle

We’re here to help you make the transition into recovery — using evidence-based care and a compassionate, whole-person approach.


How to get care

Even if you know you want support, it can be difficult to know where to start. So we make it easy.
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You can talk to anyone on your care team about your drug or alcohol use — there’s no wrong door. You can start the conversation at any time, and we’ll connect you to the next appropriate level of care.

We also screen for alcohol use during primary care visits. If your doctor brings up concerns, it doesn’t mean you have a problem. It’s just another way they’re looking after your health — no different than taking your blood pressure and sharing the results with you. The goal is to help you understand the risks, empower you to make informed choices about your health, and help you take whatever steps you’re ready to take.


 

Need help now? 

Call your local mental health or addiction medicine department or reach out to your personal doctor.

If you think you're having a psychiatric emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.


Addiction medicine at Kaiser Permanente

Compassionate care that meets you where you are

group talks seated at table

Addiction medicine is about more than just clinical care — it’s about acceptance and understanding. This is a place where you can be honest about your substance use and what you want to do about it.

Everyone’s journey is different. You don’t need to stop using alcohol or drugs before we can help you. And we understand that, like many other chronic conditions, relapse is part of the recovery process for most people. Even if you’re not sure you ever want to stop drinking or using completely, we’re here to support you. Whenever you’re ready — and whatever ready means for you.


A full spectrum of support

Treatment for SUD and addiction is highly personal — there’s not a single path to recovery that works for everyone. Kaiser Permanente offers a full range of evidence-based treatment options for adults and teens, and we’ll work with you to create a care plan that’s specific to your needs. Below are some of the types of treatment you may receive.
Medical detox and withdrawal symptom management

When people become physically dependent on alcohol or drugs, it’s not safe for them to stop drinking or using without medical supervision. Our addiction medicine care teams can help members with severe SUD stop drinking or using drugs safely and comfortably. This doesn’t treat SUD, but it’s an important first step toward recovery for the members who need it.

Treatment programs

We offer inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for members with more severe problems with alcohol or drugs. Specific details can vary, but programs typically involve a combination of individual and group therapy, educational sessions, and self-help and peer support meetings.

Counseling

Counseling can help members with SUD explore the reasons behind their drug or alcohol use and come up with new, healthy coping strategies. It can be especially effective for members who also have a mental health condition, or who started using to deal with distressing emotions, trauma, or excessive stress. We offer individual and group therapy for all our members.

Medication

In some cases, our care teams prescribe medication to treat an underlying mental health condition, like depression or anxiety. In other cases, medication is used to help reduce cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and help prevent relapse. This is sometimes referred to as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), and is mostly used to treat addiction to opioids, heroin, prescription pain relievers, and alcohol. Medication is typically used in combination with other treatment approaches, like therapy and self-care.

Self-care tools

We offer a broad range of self-care tools1 that can help members struggling with SUD. For example, the myStrength app offers personalized programs for drug and alcohol recovery based on the cognitive behavioral therapy model.2 Members can also get the Calm app for meditation and mindfulness — and many other resources for managing depression, reducing stress, sleeping better, and more. Your care team might prescribe these tools as part of your treatment — but adult members can also access them anytime, and at no cost.

Connections to recovery resources and support

The ultimate goal of treatment is recovery. Kaiser Permanente offers a variety of treatment options, but most of recovery happens outside of Kaiser Permanente and independently of treatment. For many people, recovery support is key to their long-term success. Your care team can help you access recovery resources, including:


 
Did you know?

Our addiction medicine research is helping both members and nonmembers get better, more effective treatment. From understanding risk factors to addressing stigma to discovering opportunities for improving care delivery and achieving better outcomes, SUD continues to be a major area of focus for our research — and many of our studies have helped change policies and practices both inside and outside Kaiser Permanente.


Highly skilled specialists and care teams

The type of clinician you’ll see is based on your unique needs, goals, and preferences. Depending on your needs, your care team might also help coordinate treatment outside Kaiser Permanente from our network of trusted practitioners — but your care will still be overseen by your Kaiser Permanente care team. No matter what, you can count on personalized, compassionate care and support.
Addiction medicine physicians

Addiction medicine physicians are specifically trained in a wide range of prevention, evaluation, and treatment methods for helping people with SUD and addiction.

Primary care physicians

Kaiser Permanente primary care physicians are trained to screen for possible alcohol misuse at every appointment and connect members who need support to addiction medicine specialists.

Psychiatrists

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health, including substance use disorders. They’re trained to understand the complex relationship between mental health and substance misuse and how to deliver evidence-based treatment for addiction.

Psychologists

Psychologists specialize in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health conditions, SUD, and addiction. They’re trained in a variety of evidence-based treatment methods designed to improve emotional and interpersonal well-being.

Certified alcohol and drug counselors (CADCs)

CADCs provide individual and group therapy to help people living with addiction. They’re trained in counseling, relapse prevention, and helping patients recognize patterns and make healthy changes.

Licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs)

LCSWs are trained in psychotherapy to help people deal with a variety of mental health and daily living problems, including substance misuse and addiction. They practice strength-based therapy, helping patients use their natural skills and talents to overcome issues and improve overall functioning.

Marriage and family therapists (MFTs)

MFTs are trained to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, substance misuse, and addiction within the context of marriage, couples, and family relationships.

Nurse specialists and physician assistants

These advanced practice clinicians support patients through the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of conditions. They work closely with doctors and care teams to provide medical services and counseling for mental health, substance misuse, and addiction issues.


Personalized support and measurable results

nurse and patient meet in room and on video
At Kaiser Permanente, treatment isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s tailored to your individual needs — and if those needs change, so does your care plan. Your care team will ask specific questions at every visit and use evidence-based tools to interpret your feedback. This enables them to make real-time treatment adjustments, measure your progress over time, and keep you moving in a positive direction. Even if you get some of your care elsewhere, your Kaiser Permanente care team will monitor your symptoms and collaborate with you and your recovery team to keep a detailed record of how your recovery journey is progressing.

Your ongoing feedback will help you and your care team understand what tools, therapies, and self-care techniques are helping you feel better, and decide on a path forward once you’ve achieved your treatment goals.


We're here to help


 

Footnotes
1 The services described above are not covered under your health plan benefits and are not subject to the terms set forth in your Evidence of Coverage or other plan documents. These services may be discontinued at any time without notice.
2 myStrength® is a wholly owned subsidiary of Livongo Health, Inc.