Treatment | Family & Friends

Finding Addiction Treatment

How to find effective and quality treatment for you or your loved one.


21 million Americans suffering from untreated addiction.

Whether you are seeking help for yourself, a family member, or a friend, finding the right treatment for a substance use problem or addiction can be overwhelming and confusing. Our partners are working tirelessly every day to address the many factors that are contributing to this uneven and chaotic treatment landscape. Our goal is to give you the all the necessary information to help you find the right starting point for you or your loved one.

There are numerous people and places who stand ready to help you—and our hope is to connect you with options that have your best interests at heart. We want to help you move from anxiety and fear to stability and hope.

This guide has been assembled to help you find and contact the right first resources for addiction treatment. Specifically, we are talking about treatment for alcohol or drug addiction. We try to do this in plain language and there are a few important terms we need to acquaint you with as we go. Importantly, this guide is not meant to replace any advice from a health professional. And we cannot guarantee, in any way, that you will receive quality treatment or have a positive outcome.


“ Move from anxiety and fear to stability and hope.

1. What type or level of treatment do I, or my loved-one need?

There are four levels of addiction care established by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Level one is the least intensive, with level four being the most intensive, in terms of time and resources. A comprehensive evaluation by a trained medical provider can help guide you in determining which level of care is most appropriate for you or your loved one.

2. What are the things I should look for when searching for addiction treatment programs?

Research has identified elements that quality substance use disorder treatment facilities should possess. These range from personalized treatments, to national accreditation, to assertive linkages to continuing care. See here for a comprehensive breakdown of what to look for in a quality addiction treatment program. 

3. What should I watch out for when searching for addiction treatment programs?

Unethical addiction marketing practices take advantage of vulnerable patients and families in desperate need of medical treatment and care. Awareness is the first step in combating unethical addiction marketing practices and protecting you and your loved ones. When looking for addiction treatment, it is important to be able to identify some of the more prominent forms that these corrupt practices have taken.



Our goal is to give you the all the necessary information to help you find the right starting point for you or your loved one. 

4. How do I find out if a treatment program is covered by my insurance?

You should start by calling your insurance company to ask specific questions about treatment coverage. Be sure to have your insurance card ready. We suggest asking:

  • What type of plan do I have? Is it a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), Exclusive Provider Organizations (HMO), or Medicare.
  • Based on your plan type, do I need prior authorization, assessment, or referral for substance use disorder treatment coverage? Be aware that the requirements may be different depending on whether you are looking for detoxification services, inpatient or residential treatment, or outpatient or partial hospitalization.

Once you have this information, tell the insurance company representative that you are looking for an eligible treatment provider within a particular area. Then, ask your insurance company to pull a list for substance use disorder facilities, and another list for opioid (insert primary substance) treatment programs, or co-occurring disorder treatment programs. Have your insurance company email you the different lists. Ask which programs on the list are in-network and out-of-network based off your plan type. You may want to ask about the costs and co-pays associated within or out-of-network status.

“ Over 23 million Americans are in recovery from a substance use disorder.

5. How do different people recover, or does everyone recover the same way?

There are many different ways that people recover from a substance use disorder. It is important to recognize that as every individual is different, so is their recovery. For an in-depth breakdown of the multiple pathways to recovery, click here. 

While certain interventions may work well for some, these same interventions may not work well for others, or not work well at that particular time in their recovery journey. There are three broad categories that group multiple different interventions together to form three distinct pathways to recovery:

Clinical Pathways to Recovery: Recovery processes aided by the services of a healthcare provider, clinician, or other credentialed professional.

  • Including: Pharmacology or Medication Assisted Treatments, Holistic-based Recovery Services, various forms of psychosocial talk therapies and counseling (e.g. cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step facilitation, relapse prevention).

Non-clinical Pathways to Recovery: Recovery processes that do not involve a trained clinician but are often community-based and utilize peer support.

  • Including: Recovery Residences, Recovery Community Centers, Peer-based Recovery Support, Education-based Recovery Services, Employment-based Recovery Services, Faith-based Recovery Services

Self-managed Pathways to Recovery: Recovery processes that involve no formal services, sometimes referred to as “natural recovery”. In other words, people are able to successfully stop or cut down to non-harmful levels of alcohol/drug use without external help.

This guide was developed with the guidance of the Recovery Research Institute. Please visit their site for more evidenced-based information on treatment and recovery.

Additional Treatment Resources

View more online resources

Do You Think You Have an Addiction? Take a Brief Quiz to Find Out

Prevention, Counseling, Health & Wellness, Housing, Legal, Recovery, Research & Policy, Schools, Treatment

Recovery: Defined

Recovery, Counseling, Health & Wellness, Prevention, Research & Policy, Treatment

Alcohol & Drugs in the Workplace

Prevention, Counseling, Health & Wellness, Housing, Legal, Recovery, Research & Policy, Schools, Treatment

Facts About Drugs

Treatment, Counseling, Health & Wellness, Housing, Legal, Prevention, Recovery, Research & Policy, Schools

Facts About Alcohol

Treatment, Counseling, Health & Wellness, Prevention, Recovery, Research & Policy

Multiple Pathways of Recovery

Recovery, Counseling, Health & Wellness, Housing, Prevention, Research & Policy, Schools, Treatment

View more online resourcess


If you need help please call 1.800.622.2255

Facing Addiction with NCADD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This website provides information of a general nature and is intended to help those seeking educational information. It does not constitute medical or legal advice. We do not market to or offer services to individuals in the European Union. For more information, please review the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Copyright © Facing Addiction with NCADD.