About the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator®

Pointing the way to evidence-based care®

The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® has been developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIAAA is the lead U.S. research agency studying the causes, outcomes, prevention, and treatment of alcohol-related problems. 

Who is the Navigator for?

If you are searching for alcohol treatment for an adult loved one or for yourself, the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® is for you. Although millions of people could benefit from alcohol treatment, most do not get it. In 2015, 15.1 million U.S. adults had alcohol use disorder (AUD), but only about 1 in 12 received treatment.1 We hope the Navigator greatly improves those odds.

Why was the Navigator developed?

Many people contact NIAAA seeking effective alcohol treatment, often for a family member or friend. Their calls inspired the Navigator. The Navigator describes the step-by-step process that NIAAA staff use when looking for higher quality treatment. Searching for treatment can be complicated—we hope the Navigator helps to simplify the process.

How is the Navigator different from other resources you may find online?

Unlike many other websites that promise help for alcohol problems, the Navigator has:

  • No commercial ties. NIAAA is a research agency of the U.S. federal government, and as such, cannot endorse or promote any particular clinician or commercial treatment program. Our advice is not influenced by advertisers or other corporate sponsors.
  • An emphasis on evidence-based approaches. NIAAA is the world’s leader in research on alcohol and health. For more than 45 years, NIAAA has sponsored hundreds of carefully designed alcohol treatment studies, involving thousands of people with alcohol problems. The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® is firmly grounded in the findings from these years of scientific research.
  • A goal to educate. More than just another directory or search engine, the Navigator aims to educate. It explains how to spot quality treatment along with ways to find it. The Navigator will teach you how to be an informed consumer of alcohol treatment services.

Searching for adolescent treatment services?

Many of the principles described in the Navigator will apply to a search for adolescent treatment. But the nature of AUD, the appropriate treatment options, and the qualified providers are often very different for adolescents. In the future, NIAAA hopes to expand the Navigator to include guidance on finding adolescent treatment services. For now, we refer you to the excellent resources available from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.


The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is the lead federal agency for research on alcohol and health and the largest funder of alcohol research in the world. NIAAA’s mission is to generate and disseminate fundamental knowledge about the effects of alcohol on health and well-being, and apply that knowledge to improve diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of alcohol-related problems, including alcohol use disorder, across the lifespan.

Visit the news release section of the NIAAA website for a sampling of NIAAA-supported research.

The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® contents (including text and graphics) are for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not a substitute for medical diagnosis or advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health professional with questions you have about treating alcohol use disorder (AUD).

1 Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Retrieved from www.samhsa.gov/data.

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