Addiction Recovery and Treatment

​UC San Diego Health offers addiction recovery and treatment services in an outpatient, clinic-based setting 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.

We recognize both the biological basis of addiction and each person’s unique sociocultural factors, and work to tailor treatment to each person, offering:

  • Evidence-based group therapy
  • Problem-focused individual and family therapy

Our focus is on delivering compassionate, evidence-based care that improves quality of life and daily life functioning.

Treatment for Alcohol, Opioid and Prescription Drug Use Disorders

We treat all types of substance use disorders, including (but not limited to):

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Cannabis (marijuana) use disorder
  • Heroin, oxycodone, fentanyl and other opioid use disorders
  • Methamphetamine, cocaine and hallucinogen use disorders
  • Nicotine (smoking) use disorder
  • Prescription drug use disorders

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 non-judgmental, 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 psychosocial 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 mental health issues such as depression and anxiety-related disorders

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.


Appointments & Referrals

Clinic Location

La Jolla

Our Specialists