Addiction Therapists in Ottawa, ON

Photo of Robert Anderson, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
Robert Anderson
Registered Psychotherapist, PhD, RP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K2C
With over 17 years of experience in mental health settings I have built a foundation that focuses on Complex Trauma, PTSD, addiction, anxiety, depression and general mental health.
I offer an eclectic approach that helps you uncover, work with, and release the issues that you want resolved. Since no two people are alike, I adapt my approach to suit your needs. Who you are now and who you can become is what I am interested in helping you discover.
With over 17 years of experience in mental health settings I have built a foundation that focuses on Complex Trauma, PTSD, addiction, anxiety, depression and general mental health.
I offer an eclectic approach that helps you uncover, work with, and release the issues that you want resolved. Since no two people are alike, I adapt my approach to suit your needs. Who you are now and who you can become is what I am interested in helping you discover.
(343) 304-5601 View (343) 304-5601
Photo of Kris Cormier, Registered Social Worker in Ottawa, ON
Kris Cormier
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Ottawa, ON K2C
Waitlist for new clients
Waitlist for couples counselling (4-6wks) & individual clients (2wks). Get support for coping with anxious thoughts & regulating emotions. Explore 2SLGBTQ+ identities, queer relationships, or an interest in polyamory (CNM/ethical non-monogamy). Work on improving interpersonal relationships or dealing with family conflict. Get help with addiction to substances (alcohol or drugs) or addiction to problematic behaviour (gambling or shopping). Heal the wounds of past trauma (sexual assault, childhood abuse, domestic/intimate partner violence). Discover something very different than the “vent & nothing ever changes” experience!
Waitlist for couples counselling (4-6wks) & individual clients (2wks). Get support for coping with anxious thoughts & regulating emotions. Explore 2SLGBTQ+ identities, queer relationships, or an interest in polyamory (CNM/ethical non-monogamy). Work on improving interpersonal relationships or dealing with family conflict. Get help with addiction to substances (alcohol or drugs) or addiction to problematic behaviour (gambling or shopping). Heal the wounds of past trauma (sexual assault, childhood abuse, domestic/intimate partner violence). Discover something very different than the “vent & nothing ever changes” experience!
(343) 801-0641 View (343) 801-0641
Photo of Andrew Mendes, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
Andrew Mendes
Registered Psychotherapist, MSc , BScH, RP
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K1G
I have over 20 years in the health and wellness field with a family and personal history that has driven my passion to helping others and the ongoing pursuit to improve my skills in this field. During my career I have been dedicated to support individuals (ages 16+) and couples who are experiencing a range of adversities, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, substance use, anger management, stress, couples issues, grief, displacement, and loss. I am specialized in Substance Use Health and provide support to all individuals who are experiencing diverse range of issues related to substance use (self or others).
I have over 20 years in the health and wellness field with a family and personal history that has driven my passion to helping others and the ongoing pursuit to improve my skills in this field. During my career I have been dedicated to support individuals (ages 16+) and couples who are experiencing a range of adversities, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, substance use, anger management, stress, couples issues, grief, displacement, and loss. I am specialized in Substance Use Health and provide support to all individuals who are experiencing diverse range of issues related to substance use (self or others).
(343) 700-6080 View (343) 700-6080
Photo of Pat Brethour, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
Pat Brethour
Registered Psychotherapist, MA
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K2A
Not accepting new clients at present. If you are feeling stuck, in despair or suffering low self esteem, the impact of trauma or addiction, I want to be there to help and support you. I understand the pain you are in as I have been there myself. My own journey in recovery has led me to choose to help people like yourself to explore avenues for change and to feel better about yourself and your life.
Not accepting new clients at present. If you are feeling stuck, in despair or suffering low self esteem, the impact of trauma or addiction, I want to be there to help and support you. I understand the pain you are in as I have been there myself. My own journey in recovery has led me to choose to help people like yourself to explore avenues for change and to feel better about yourself and your life.
(613) 702-8290 View (613) 702-8290
Photo of Gundel Lake, Registered Social Worker in Ottawa, ON
Gundel Lake
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Ottawa, ON K1N
My specialties include trauma, addiction, domestic and (childhood) sexual violence, grief, depression, sexuality, and relationship issues.
My approach to psychotherapy is deeply rooted in feminist and structural analyses that contextualize individual "problems" in our social environments. My therapeutic orientation is comprised of an eclectic mix of theoretical models that guide my work, including emotion focused therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and somatic therapy. While I don't practice exclusively from one perspective, I believe that it is my role to be constantly assessing whether or not the work we are doing appears to be helping you to achieve your therapeutic goals. I offer psychological services under the supervision of Dr. Leigh Karos, C. Psych.
My specialties include trauma, addiction, domestic and (childhood) sexual violence, grief, depression, sexuality, and relationship issues.
My approach to psychotherapy is deeply rooted in feminist and structural analyses that contextualize individual "problems" in our social environments. My therapeutic orientation is comprised of an eclectic mix of theoretical models that guide my work, including emotion focused therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and somatic therapy. While I don't practice exclusively from one perspective, I believe that it is my role to be constantly assessing whether or not the work we are doing appears to be helping you to achieve your therapeutic goals. I offer psychological services under the supervision of Dr. Leigh Karos, C. Psych.
(855) 798-7280 View (855) 798-7280
Donald M Osborne
Registered Social Worker, BA, BSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Ottawa, ON K1Z
As a man, emotions and sharing them often create barriers for relationships with others and with ourselves. Support around emotional awareness for men is important to help build a better connection with all aspects of our lives. Being able to share and communicate who we "really" are is vital to a fulfilling life. I help men deal with emotional awareness. Supporting men to work through their own emotional histories and how that effects them daily is the key to connecting to your true "self". We need to address issues, like Trauma, Addiction and Shame, to help you understand the roots of emotional identity and its effects today.
As a man, emotions and sharing them often create barriers for relationships with others and with ourselves. Support around emotional awareness for men is important to help build a better connection with all aspects of our lives. Being able to share and communicate who we "really" are is vital to a fulfilling life. I help men deal with emotional awareness. Supporting men to work through their own emotional histories and how that effects them daily is the key to connecting to your true "self". We need to address issues, like Trauma, Addiction and Shame, to help you understand the roots of emotional identity and its effects today.
(343) 307-0616 View (343) 307-0616
Photo of Jenn Snell, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
Jenn Snell
Registered Psychotherapist, MA, RP
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K1V  (Online Only)
I have over 5 years experience working in the counselling field and I am experienced in working with adult individuals dealing with substance use and gambling addiction, anxiety, depression, stress, and relationship issues.
Navigating life can sometimes be challenging and overwhelming. We do the best we can and sometimes that can be exhausting. We can feel alone with our problems and potentially criticized for our current situations. What we want is to be happy, to be free from our day to day struggles, and to be back in control of our own life’s journey. With someone there as support, we do not need to tackle these issues on our own. Having a non-judgmental, safe space to talk about and process our thoughts can make all the difference. You are the expert of your own life and I am there to support you in increasing your quality of life.
I have over 5 years experience working in the counselling field and I am experienced in working with adult individuals dealing with substance use and gambling addiction, anxiety, depression, stress, and relationship issues.
Navigating life can sometimes be challenging and overwhelming. We do the best we can and sometimes that can be exhausting. We can feel alone with our problems and potentially criticized for our current situations. What we want is to be happy, to be free from our day to day struggles, and to be back in control of our own life’s journey. With someone there as support, we do not need to tackle these issues on our own. Having a non-judgmental, safe space to talk about and process our thoughts can make all the difference. You are the expert of your own life and I am there to support you in increasing your quality of life.
(343) 312-6874 View (343) 312-6874
Photo of Lacasse Counselling - Sabrina Lacasse, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
Lacasse Counselling - Sabrina Lacasse
Registered Psychotherapist, MA, CCAC, CCC
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K1S
I specialize in the treatment of relationships, communication, intimacy, sexuality, addiction & mental health.
My theory of change is founded on the premise that healing and growth can emerge through nurturing interpersonal connections. I stand by the belief that we are relational beings, meaning that our interactions with others influence our mood, sense of self, and well-being. Through sessions, whether I work with you or your relationship, I facilitate dynamic interventions to create new bonding moments that foster cognitive awareness, emotional regulation, and behavioural changes. As a therapist, my goal is to help you shift from a place of reactiveness and hopelessness to a place of communication and connection.
I specialize in the treatment of relationships, communication, intimacy, sexuality, addiction & mental health.
My theory of change is founded on the premise that healing and growth can emerge through nurturing interpersonal connections. I stand by the belief that we are relational beings, meaning that our interactions with others influence our mood, sense of self, and well-being. Through sessions, whether I work with you or your relationship, I facilitate dynamic interventions to create new bonding moments that foster cognitive awareness, emotional regulation, and behavioural changes. As a therapist, my goal is to help you shift from a place of reactiveness and hopelessness to a place of communication and connection.
(613) 703-8817 View (613) 703-8817
Photo of First Step Men's Therapy, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
First Step Men's Therapy
Registered Psychotherapist, RP, ASAT, EMDR
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K2P
My specialities include: sexual addiction, men's issues, career guidance, grief, video game addiction, gambling, alcohol use, ADHD, addiction, infidelity, anger management, anxiety, depression, and internet addiction.
Disconnected. Isolated. Broken. Hopeless. Powerless. Stuck. Many men we work with tell us this is how they feel. You may be struggling with anxiety, anger, depression, shame, guilt, grief, sadness, trauma, or depression - and struggle with an addiction (sex/porn/alcohol/marijuana/video games/gambling/fantasy) or underlying thoughts, beliefs, and feelings you have held since childhood. Relationships with those you care about, including the one with yourself, may have been impacted by your behaviours. Ready to take the first step? Prêt à faire le premier pas? Suivis/ services thérapeutiques offerts en français.
My specialities include: sexual addiction, men's issues, career guidance, grief, video game addiction, gambling, alcohol use, ADHD, addiction, infidelity, anger management, anxiety, depression, and internet addiction.
Disconnected. Isolated. Broken. Hopeless. Powerless. Stuck. Many men we work with tell us this is how they feel. You may be struggling with anxiety, anger, depression, shame, guilt, grief, sadness, trauma, or depression - and struggle with an addiction (sex/porn/alcohol/marijuana/video games/gambling/fantasy) or underlying thoughts, beliefs, and feelings you have held since childhood. Relationships with those you care about, including the one with yourself, may have been impacted by your behaviours. Ready to take the first step? Prêt à faire le premier pas? Suivis/ services thérapeutiques offerts en français.
(343) 801-4105 View (343) 801-4105
Photo of Priscilla Domingo, Registered Social Worker in Ottawa, ON
Priscilla Domingo
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K2E  (Online Only)
Many people struggle with anxiety, depression, and substance use. My practice is centered around navigating these challenges, with a commitment to honoring the diverse cultural backgrounds of my clients. I strive to create a therapeutic environment where teenagers, young adults, and young professionals can explore their mental health concerns with a deep appreciation for their unique experiences.
Many people struggle with anxiety, depression, and substance use. My practice is centered around navigating these challenges, with a commitment to honoring the diverse cultural backgrounds of my clients. I strive to create a therapeutic environment where teenagers, young adults, and young professionals can explore their mental health concerns with a deep appreciation for their unique experiences.
(343) 321-1231 View (343) 321-1231
Photo of Jeannette Robert, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
Jeannette Robert
Registered Psychotherapist, MA, CCC
Verified Verified
Ottawa, ON K1S  (Online Only)
*Addictions: Substance Abuse, Assessments, Treatment Plan, *Family of Origin Issues & Family Reconciliation *Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & Trauma *Anger management Individuals, Couple, Family, & Group Therapy *Relational and Family Issues.
My philosophy is Existential, meaning that we are free and therefore responsible for our choices, We are the authors of our lives, and we design the pathways we follow. My basic premise is that we are not victims of circumstance because, to a large extent, we are what we choose to be. Life is a cycle of transitions and experiences, presenting opportunities and challenges. Often the most important life lessons comes from our suffering. My aim is to assist people to develop their meaning and purpose, by encouraging them to explore options, in order to achieve a more meaningful existence.
*Addictions: Substance Abuse, Assessments, Treatment Plan, *Family of Origin Issues & Family Reconciliation *Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & Trauma *Anger management Individuals, Couple, Family, & Group Therapy *Relational and Family Issues.
My philosophy is Existential, meaning that we are free and therefore responsible for our choices, We are the authors of our lives, and we design the pathways we follow. My basic premise is that we are not victims of circumstance because, to a large extent, we are what we choose to be. Life is a cycle of transitions and experiences, presenting opportunities and challenges. Often the most important life lessons comes from our suffering. My aim is to assist people to develop their meaning and purpose, by encouraging them to explore options, in order to achieve a more meaningful existence.
(613) 801-6262 View (613) 801-6262
Photo of Lisa A Zimmerman, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
Lisa A Zimmerman
Registered Psychotherapist, MHS, BA, CCC, RP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K1N
I have 17 years experience in the addiction field and have worked with anxiety, depression, trauma and LGBT/trans health.
All of us will face emotional issues, difficulties in relationships, loss or other stressors at some point in their lives. Learning skills to deal with these challenges effectively can make a huge difference to how much enjoyment and satisfaction we can get out of life. It is important to me to provide an opportunity for people to be able to explore their concerns safely and without judgement. I firmly believe that everyone has the capacity to improve their emotional health and sense of well being. Sessions currently conducted online and in person. Session
I have 17 years experience in the addiction field and have worked with anxiety, depression, trauma and LGBT/trans health.
All of us will face emotional issues, difficulties in relationships, loss or other stressors at some point in their lives. Learning skills to deal with these challenges effectively can make a huge difference to how much enjoyment and satisfaction we can get out of life. It is important to me to provide an opportunity for people to be able to explore their concerns safely and without judgement. I firmly believe that everyone has the capacity to improve their emotional health and sense of well being. Sessions currently conducted online and in person. Session
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Photo of Jeff Gulick, Drug & Alcohol Counsellor in Ottawa, ON
Jeff Gulick
Drug & Alcohol Counsellor, BAH, CCAC
Verified Verified
Ottawa, ON K2G  (Online Only)
Addiction is a multifaceted and complicated process. Although there is a commonality between various expressions of addiction, individuals are also unique and require personalized treatment. I endeavor to provide my clients with the best possible counselling based on the most current thinking in the area of addiction. I furnish a supportive and non-judgmental environment for clients to explore relevant issues that may be related to substance abuse and behavioural addiction. It is important to recognize that things will get better with dedication and acceptance. I will be there to help guide you through the process.
Addiction is a multifaceted and complicated process. Although there is a commonality between various expressions of addiction, individuals are also unique and require personalized treatment. I endeavor to provide my clients with the best possible counselling based on the most current thinking in the area of addiction. I furnish a supportive and non-judgmental environment for clients to explore relevant issues that may be related to substance abuse and behavioural addiction. It is important to recognize that things will get better with dedication and acceptance. I will be there to help guide you through the process.
(613) 706-3912 View (613) 706-3912
Photo of David Joseph Hesidence, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
David Joseph Hesidence
Registered Psychotherapist, RP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K2P  (Online Only)
I specialize in working with those who are experiencing overlapping mental health and substance use issues. I work with clients across the spectrum from those interested in managing substance use to those whose preference is abstinence. I am an approved service provider in the federal government's Indian Residential School Support program and the Non-Insured Health Benefits program. I am honored to work with Indigenous people in these programs which are free to those who qualify.
I specialize in working with those who are experiencing overlapping mental health and substance use issues. I work with clients across the spectrum from those interested in managing substance use to those whose preference is abstinence. I am an approved service provider in the federal government's Indian Residential School Support program and the Non-Insured Health Benefits program. I am honored to work with Indigenous people in these programs which are free to those who qualify.
(343) 644-5319 View (343) 644-5319
Photo of Interventionist for Addictions, Drug & Alcohol Counsellor in Ottawa, ON
Interventionist for Addictions
Drug & Alcohol Counsellor, ICADC, CAI , RPS
Verified Verified
Ottawa, ON K2A
My name is Catherine MacDonald, I am a Certified Addiction Interventionist. I have a wealth of knowledge and life experience that allows me to help families transition from the chaos created by addiction and addictive behaviours of a loved one, towards a new beginning and a healthier family lifestyle for everyone. I will guide and support you through the intervention process, helping your loved one get the help they need and provide continuing care and support for families and friends.
My name is Catherine MacDonald, I am a Certified Addiction Interventionist. I have a wealth of knowledge and life experience that allows me to help families transition from the chaos created by addiction and addictive behaviours of a loved one, towards a new beginning and a healthier family lifestyle for everyone. I will guide and support you through the intervention process, helping your loved one get the help they need and provide continuing care and support for families and friends.
(855) 974-4372 View (855) 974-4372
Photo of First Step Men's Therapy, Registered Social Worker in Ottawa, ON
First Step Men's Therapy
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K2P
Our specialities include: addiction, alcohol use, depression, sex therapy, OCD, ADHD, trauma, grief, divorce, infidelity, anxiety, men's issues, self-esteem, stress, and relationship issues.
Feeling disconnected lately? Doubting your role as a father, son, or partner? Maybe you're dealing with anger, feeling stuck, or overwhelmed, and it's starting to weigh on you. You're not alone in this struggle. We understand! We know that men face unique challenges and sometimes find it hard to reach out for help. But staying silent can lead to even bigger issues like addiction, anxiety, or depression. Don't let these feelings control you. Take the first step towards a brighter tomorrow. Our therapy sessions offer a safe, supportive environment for you to heal & grow. Click "Website" for a free consultation. Services en français!
Our specialities include: addiction, alcohol use, depression, sex therapy, OCD, ADHD, trauma, grief, divorce, infidelity, anxiety, men's issues, self-esteem, stress, and relationship issues.
Feeling disconnected lately? Doubting your role as a father, son, or partner? Maybe you're dealing with anger, feeling stuck, or overwhelmed, and it's starting to weigh on you. You're not alone in this struggle. We understand! We know that men face unique challenges and sometimes find it hard to reach out for help. But staying silent can lead to even bigger issues like addiction, anxiety, or depression. Don't let these feelings control you. Take the first step towards a brighter tomorrow. Our therapy sessions offer a safe, supportive environment for you to heal & grow. Click "Website" for a free consultation. Services en français!
(343) 307-9734 View (343) 307-9734
Photo of Lauralee Archibald, Registered Social Worker in Ottawa, ON
Lauralee Archibald
Registered Social Worker, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Ottawa, ON K2J  (Online Only)
I can support my clients through life transitions, Indigenous identity challenges, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, family challenges and healing from the intergenerational impacts of residential schools.
I am an Indigenous social worker. My social work practice focuses on Indigenous healing methods together with non-Indigenous practices. I incorporate the Traditional Native Code of Ethics into my practice. I recognize that there is no one-size fits all approach to supporting clients and I support my clients in finding strength-based skills, interventions and solutions that will support achieving their goals. I am registered with Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) and I can provide the direct billing option.
I can support my clients through life transitions, Indigenous identity challenges, self-esteem, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, family challenges and healing from the intergenerational impacts of residential schools.
I am an Indigenous social worker. My social work practice focuses on Indigenous healing methods together with non-Indigenous practices. I incorporate the Traditional Native Code of Ethics into my practice. I recognize that there is no one-size fits all approach to supporting clients and I support my clients in finding strength-based skills, interventions and solutions that will support achieving their goals. I am registered with Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) and I can provide the direct billing option.
(343) 312-5452 View (343) 312-5452
Photo of Nathan Hicks, Registered Social Worker in Ottawa, ON
Nathan Hicks
Registered Social Worker, RSW, MSW, BSW, BA
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Ottawa, ON K2P
Many of my clients have struggled with severe anxiety or depression as well as trauma, addiction, relationship/attachment issues, and abuse.
I believe it takes a great deal of courage and self-regard for someone to say they need help and reaching out is a powerful (albeit terrifying) first step towards positive change. I understand addressing personal concerns is not a perfect process and will include setbacks, but healing through past/present issues is like writing a book: you have to go through a few drafts before you're satisfied with the result. My approach is to meet you in your current stage of life and help identify personal strengths you can use as needed. You can expect a warm, empathetic approach with questions and comments about the present issue.
Many of my clients have struggled with severe anxiety or depression as well as trauma, addiction, relationship/attachment issues, and abuse.
I believe it takes a great deal of courage and self-regard for someone to say they need help and reaching out is a powerful (albeit terrifying) first step towards positive change. I understand addressing personal concerns is not a perfect process and will include setbacks, but healing through past/present issues is like writing a book: you have to go through a few drafts before you're satisfied with the result. My approach is to meet you in your current stage of life and help identify personal strengths you can use as needed. You can expect a warm, empathetic approach with questions and comments about the present issue.
(343) 633-4062 View (343) 633-4062
Photo of John Robertson Counselling Services, Registered Psychotherapist in Ottawa, ON
John Robertson Counselling Services
Registered Psychotherapist, RP
Verified Verified
Ottawa, ON K1S
As an experienced therapist, I offer individual, couple’s and family counselling. Whether it’s addiction based issues, such as substance use, gambling and sex, or emotional issues from our journey as young children, many of these issues can be concurrent with many mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc. Any one or a combination of these can keep us from finding our true, authentic selves. Through therapy, we have the chance to be heard, believed and empowered. These are key to our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual recovery as individuals and together.
As an experienced therapist, I offer individual, couple’s and family counselling. Whether it’s addiction based issues, such as substance use, gambling and sex, or emotional issues from our journey as young children, many of these issues can be concurrent with many mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc. Any one or a combination of these can keep us from finding our true, authentic selves. Through therapy, we have the chance to be heard, believed and empowered. These are key to our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual recovery as individuals and together.
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Photo of Jeff Latimer, Registered Social Worker in Ottawa, ON
Jeff Latimer
Registered Social Worker, PhD, MSW, RSW
Verified Verified
Ottawa, ON K1G
My current practice is focused on helping men address major life issues including substance use disorder, sexual addictions, divorce, and major career changes. I focus on evidence-based approaches to healing and offer a non-judgmental and empathetic connection with my clients. I believe that therapy is most effective when the therapeutic relationship is strong and client-centred. I adapt my approach based upon the individual needs and goals of each client and use a number of different modalities including cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindful self-compassion, and trauma-focused therapy.
My current practice is focused on helping men address major life issues including substance use disorder, sexual addictions, divorce, and major career changes. I focus on evidence-based approaches to healing and offer a non-judgmental and empathetic connection with my clients. I believe that therapy is most effective when the therapeutic relationship is strong and client-centred. I adapt my approach based upon the individual needs and goals of each client and use a number of different modalities including cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindful self-compassion, and trauma-focused therapy.
(343) 598-9460 View (343) 598-9460

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Addiction Counsellors

What is the best therapy for addiction?

Addiction treatment will be tailored to the individual. People seeking help for addiction—whether with a psychotherapist, in an outpatient clinic, or in a residential program—should expect to engage in multiple types of treatments, sometimes including medication. For anyone recovering from addiction, avoiding situations in which one has typically used a substance is essential, as is the support of close connections. Since substance use disorders tend to co-occur with underlying mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression, those must also be addressed as part of any recovery plan.

How long does therapy for addiction take?

There is no set timeline for recovery from addiction. Patients and their families should expect the work to last several months, if not longer. Residential treatment programs may be based on a stay of 30, 60, or 90 days, with continuing work after release, but only about 1 percent of people are treated in such facilities. Ceasing use is just the first step; therapy to help maintain abstinence and effect behavior change must follow. The process of recovery, neuroscience has shown, involves brain cells recovering the capacity to respond to natural sources of reward and restore control over the impulse to use. Another definition of recovery is restoring voluntary control over one’s substance use and retaking all of one’s previous responsibilities.

How effective is drug addiction treatment?

Substance use disorders are treatable and remission is achievable for many who seek recovery; by some estimates, more than three-quarters of people who become addicted to alcohol or drugs recover. But that success rarely occurs quickly or on a set timeline; relapse is not only common, but many therapists and clinicians view it as a normal part of the process—not always a sign that a person has returned to addiction, but a signal that their treatment should be adjusted to help them regain control. Overall, research suggests, five years after the end of substance use, one’s risk of relapse is no greater than that of others who had not faced addiction. Other experts believe that complete abstinence is not the only measure of recovery, and that, through effective treatment, many people can learn to control their use.

How can you get addiction treatment for someone?

The most important factor in recovery from addiction is widely understood to be an individual’s commitment to change. For that reason,“interventions” in which friends and family gather to urge or force someone to begin immediate treatment often backfire; even when such efforts do lead someone to begin treatment, they may be less likely to stay than those who are self-driven. Still, family members can play an important role in supporting an individual who seeks help and can take part in family therapy as one element of a loved one’s treatment.