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Substance Use Disorder Care

​UC San Diego Health offers addiction recovery and treatment services for adults with substance use disorders alone or in conjunction with other mental health disorders. Our whole-person approach to care is extended to all populations without judgment and is focused on delivering compassionate, evidence-based care that improves quality of life and daily life functioning.

We recognize both the biological basis of addiction and each person’s unique sociocultural factors. To help you, we offer individual, family and group therapy on an appointment-by-appointment basis. Appointments require a referral from a UC San Diego Health physician.

Treatment for Alcohol, Opioid and Prescription Drug Use Disorders

We treat all types of substance use disorders, including those associated with:

  • Alcohol
  • Cannabis (marijuana)
  • Heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl and other opioids
  • Methamphetamine, cocaine and hallucinogens
  • Nicotine
  • Prescription drugs

Care for All Stages of Recovery from Substance Use Disorders

Because we bring the best available science to our care plans, we employ a "harm reduction" approach to addiction treatment and lifelong recovery. This nonjudgmental, evidence-based method of care uses practical strategies to reduce the consequences of drug use and is open to individuals (age 18 and older) in all stages of recovery, including:

  • Abstinence
  • Active use
  • Maintenance
  • Relapse

We can also help to identify early signs of problematic substance use, provide care for those experiencing significant consequences of drug use, and offer continuity of care following discharge from a residential detoxification program.

Services for Treating Addiction: What to Expect

The first stage of treatment includes:

  • An orientation to our services
  • A comprehensive assessment
  • Treatment planning, including long-term recovery planning

The results of your assessment helps us identify your needs, personal strengths, and areas to work on. We can then work with you collaboratively to determine your treatment goals and treatment plan.

Our services include:

  • Group therapy to address a range of topics such as recovery, relapse prevention, mood management, ADHD/ADD, mindfulness and trauma
  • Problem-focused individual and family therapy
  • Education on substance use disorders
  • Family program to educate and encourage involvement and support of loved ones
  • Help with linking to peer-support groups that can provide a sense of community to support a lifelong recovery process
  • Medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders, including buprenorphine for opioid use disorder, long-acting injectable and oral naltrexone and other medications for alcohol use disorder and smoking cessation drugs
  • Medication management to address co-occurring mental health issues such as depression and anxiety-related disorders
  • After-care weekly group sessions to foster long-term recovery and success

Our Care Team

Our care team includes registered nurses, licensed social workers, marriage and family counselors, psychologists and board-certified psychiatrists specialized in treating addiction. Together, we address all aspects of treatment and recovery from substance use disorders.

Commitment to the Community and Population Health

As the region’s only academic medical center, we are dedicated to improving what is known about addiction and ways to successfully treat it. Because of this, we track and study the outcomes of different care plans and will adapt and expand our services to continue to offer the highest level of care to those with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health issues. We often provide specialty services not widely available elsewhere.

Free Online Meetings and Virtual Platforms

These free online and electronic resources may also be helpful:

Appointments & Referrals

  • 619-543-5221

Emergency Help Available 24/7

For a mental health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

You can also call the San Diego Crisis Line at 888-724-7240 for confidential, free support.

Clinic Location

La Jolla