The University of Arizona

Treatment Modalities and Treatment Settings for Illicit Drug Abuse
Pharmacological Treatments :
Opioid Treatment Centers and Other Therapies

There are more than 1,100 opioid treatment programs in the U.S. treating over 200,000 patients. These programs can include many treatment options, such as:[1]

  • Maintenance treatment with pharmacotherapy and a comprehensive program with assessment, psychosocial intervention, and support services
  • Medication assistance treatment (MAT) to stabilize patients with the inclusion of methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone
  • Detoxification from opioid addiction via medication, counseling or other assistance
  • Medically supervised withdrawal treatment that slowly fades out treatment medication for patients who want to remain abstinent but without the assistance of medication

Psychosocial treatments can be effective components of a comprehensive treatment plan for patients with an opioid disorder, and can complement pharmacological treatment. Behavioral therapies (e.g., contingency management), cognitive-behavioral therapies, psychodynamic psychotherapy, and group and family therapies have been found to be useful for some patients with an opioid use disorder. Participation in self-help groups may also be useful.[2]



  • (1) CSAT. Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Opioid Treatment Programs. Rockville: SAMHSA; 2007.
  • (2) American Psychiatric Association. Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Substance Use Disorders. Arlington, VA: APA; 2007 Apr. Report No.: 164.