Step 1 - SEARCH Trusted Sources To Find Providers

Pointing the way to evidence-based care®

To find science-backed treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), start here. Three types of professional providers are most likely to provide quality care: specialty programs, therapists, and doctors.

There are thousands of these providers nationwide. We'll show you how to search trusted directories to find some that meet your needs. By searching for all three types, you can compare all the options.

Note: During the COVID-19 emergency, you can get quality alcohol treatment through telehealth care. Ask providers you find if they offer phone or video sessions. If you search widely, just make sure they can practice in your state.


SEARCH for alcohol treatment programs

What do alcohol treatment programs do?

Treatment programs provide group, individual, and family counseling in outpatient and residential settings. Some offer full services to cover mental health and medical care and other support.

How do I search for an alcohol treatment program? 

Find alcohol treatment programs with the Navigator's simplified search tool. It draws from a national database kept by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

A note on programs for veterans: If the person needing treatment is a veteran or is covered by health benefits for veterans, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can help you find VA services near you. Visit the VA Substance Use Disorder Program Locator to do your search.

Note: During the COVID-19 emergency, more providers are offering telehealth sessions. You can filter your search results for “telemedicine/telehealth.” Or search without the filter and call to check availability of telehealth services.

Once you find some programs you’re interested in, be sure to visit Step 2 for questions to ask and answers to listen for.  

What types of programs are available

There are four basic “levels of care” or intensity for alcohol treatment. As defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, they are:

  • Outpatient: Regular office visits held once or more a week for several months, for counseling, medication support, or both. Note: These include telehealth sessions by phone or video chat. 
  • Intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization: Coordinated outpatient care, usually for several months, for complex needs.
  • Residential: Low or high intensity “rehab” programs, lasting several weeks, in 24-hour treatment settings.  
  • Intensive inpatient: Medically directed, 24-hour services, lasting several days to a week. May manage withdrawal.  

How do you know which level is right for someone? A complete assessment of a person’s alcohol problems and complications provides guidance. See Why do different people need different options?

What questions should I ask? 

See 10 recommended questions to ask treatment programs in Step 2. We also offer some “best case” answers to listen for. They will help you learn whether a program offers higher-quality care and is a good fit for your situation.  

How can I spot quality?

See the Navigator’s summary of five signs of quality alcohol treatment. We also help you spot quality in the “Why you should ask” and “What to listen for” sections for the recommended questions.

What if I can’t find a treatment program that meets my needs?   

If you cannot find a program that meets your needs, the Navigator can help you find other types of providers. Use the search tools below to find therapists and doctors with addiction specialties. Learn how these healthcare professionals can provide telehealth care during the COVID-19 emergency. 

 NIAAA cannot endorse any treatment providers nor be responsible for the options ultimately chosen. The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® cannot ensure that the search process will deliver higher-quality treatment providers in your vicinity who are using evidence-based approaches. In addition, the search tools on the Navigator may not capture every possible higher-quality treatment provider in your vicinity. For any alcohol treatment program you are considering, be sure to ask the 10 recommended questions, and use the answers to check for five signs of higher-quality care.


SEARCH for therapists with addiction specialties

What do therapists do?

Therapists with expertise in treating addiction can support people with alcohol problems in several ways. They help clients to set goals, develop skills to cut down or stop drinking, manage stress, and build a strong social support system.They may offer one-on-one, family, or group sessions, once or more a week. They can work in solo or group practices or in health care centers.

How do I search for therapist with an addiction specialty? 

We'll help you to search the Psychology Today directory. This is the largest listing in the United States of licensed professional therapists. We've created step-by-step tips to guide your search.

Note: You’ll see a filter for “online/phone counseling” but it’s not necessary to use it. Most therapists listed are shifting to telehealth services during the COVID-19 emergency. Contact therapists of interest to confirm.

What questions should I ask?  

See 10 recommended questions to ask therapists in Step 2. We also offer some “best case” answers to listen for.  They will help you learn whether a therapist offers higher-quality care and is a good fit for your situation  

How can I spot quality? 

See the Navigator’s summary of five signs of quality alcohol treatment. We also help you spot quality in the “Why you should ask” and “What to listen for” sections for the recommended questions

What if I can’t find an addiction therapist who meets my needs? 

See the Frequently Asked Questions for helpful suggestions. Also, be sure to look for the other types of treatment providers— alcohol treatment programs and board-certified addiction doctors.

NIAAA cannot endorse any treatment providers nor be responsible for the options ultimately chosen. The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® cannot ensure that the search process will deliver higher-quality treatment providers in your vicinity who are using evidence-based approaches. In addition, the search tools on the Navigator may not capture every possible higher-quality treatment provider in your vicinity. For any addiction therapist you are considering, be sure to ask the 10 recommended questions, and use the answers to check for five signs of higher-quality care. 


SEARCH for addiction doctors

What do addiction doctors do?

In the U.S., more than 5,000 medical doctors are board-certified addiction specialists. They are highly trained to provide full assessments, treatment plans, and medications for alcohol problems.

They may work in a small office practice, a health clinic, or a hospital. There are two types of addiction doctors:

  • Addiction medicine physicians are often primary care doctors. They can provide a complete medical exam to assess all health issues, related or not to alcohol. They can also offer brief counseling to help motivate patients to make a change.
  • Addiction psychiatrists are experts in mental health. They are well prepared to care for patients with more than one mental health issue. Some provide both medications and talk therapy while others focus mainly on medications.

How do I search for an addiction doctor?

Three groups certify these specialists: The American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM), the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). We’ll link you to search tools maintained by these groups:

Find doctors board-certified in addiction medicine. Many are in primary care.

Find more doctors board certified in addiction medicine.

Find board-certified addiction psychiatrists for mental health care.

We recommend that you search all three directories so you can see all the options in your area. Use our search tips to help.

What questions should I ask?

See the recommended questions to ask addiction doctors in Step 2. We also offer some “best case” answers to listen for. You will not need to ask a board-certified addiction doctor about qualifications. You can focus largely on services offered, availability, costs, and insurance.

How can I spot quality?

Board certification is a sign of quality. Specialists who are board certified have thousands of hours of training and practice. They have passed a long and difficult exam. And they must continue to take training courses to keep their certification.

Still, to help your search in general, see the Navigator’s summary of five signs of quality alcohol treatment. We also help you spot quality in the “Why you should ask” and “What to listen for” sections for the recommended questions.

What if I can’t find an addiction doctor who meets my needs?

See the Frequently Asked Questions for helpful suggestions. Also, be sure to look for the other types of treatment providers—therapists with addiction specialties and alcohol treatment programs.

NIAAA cannot endorse any treatment providers nor be responsible for the options ultimately chosen. The NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator® cannot ensure that the search process will deliver higher-quality treatment providers in your vicinity who are using evidence-based approaches. In addition, the search tools on the Navigator may not capture every possible higher-quality treatment provider in your vicinity.