September 6, 2023

Recovery from addiction is possible

Our clinicians help patients get the care they need to move forward with their lives.

Watch a video about our patient-centered approach to treating people with substance use disorders.

It’s easy to feel hopeless if you or someone you love is struggling with addiction.

But addiction is a treatable condition, and recovery is possible. Years of research into the science of addiction have led to the development of treatment methods that can help people stop using drugs and alcohol and get back to living their lives.

“When people first start the process of change, it’s terrifying,” said Paul Bryant, a licensed clinical social worker and director of addiction medicine at Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon. “The message we want to give them is that change is possible, and we can help you.”

How is addiction treated?

Addiction medicine chief Sarah Leitz, MD, describes Kaiser Permanente’s care approach as patient centered and inclusive.

“We welcome people with open arms,” she said. “We’ve got medication options that are very effective to treat substance use disorders, and we also have group and individual counseling … We can meet with you in person, over the phone, or on video.”

Not a cookie-cutter approach

Concerned that substance use may be a problem for you? Take a self-assessment for alcohol or drug use.

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For Charleen Pule, diagnosed with both opioid addiction and bipolar disorder, medication management was essential to her care. Her psychiatrist prescribed medication to help Pule withdraw from the liquid opiates she had become addicted to after gastric bypass surgery as well as drugs to treat her bipolar disorder.

Participating in a chronic pain management program was the key for Tom, who had used Percocet to dull the back pain he experienced for decades. He also took medication to help with withdrawal and cravings and now attends group therapy for people who are working to abstain from opioid use.

“We understand that not every person needs the exact same thing,” said Dr. Leitz. “We will hear your story, and we will treat you appropriately.”