Substance Abuse Treatment


The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Research spans departments, disciplines, and campuses. Headquartered at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, the Center's many substance abuse treatment programs—inpatient units, day hospitals, outpatient clinics, and community outreach—are located at the Bayview Medical Campus, the Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Suburban Hospital. Treatment is offered mostly by physicians and staff from the Department of Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, but may also involve faculty from the departments of Pediatrics and Gynocology and Obstetrics.

To learn more about the ways is which patients are treated for substance use disorders, read about our treatment settings. Within those settings, which differ by intensity of treatment, there are a variety of clinical interventions applied based upon the individual needs of each patient. You will find a complete list of treatment programs offered at Johns Hopkins with summary information and contact phone numbers.

A Note About Terminology

The words used to describe problematic substance use can be, well, problematic.

  • Some people refer to alcohol and other drugs, while others note that alcohol is a drug.
  • The word 'abuse' can be used as a diagnosis as in 'cannabis abuse' and it can be used in a more general sense to mean any problematic use.
  • The word 'addiction' has fallen out of favor for a time and there are specific criteria for a diagnosis of 'dependence' on a substance that are used instead. Using the word 'dependence' is not ideal either, as a person can have physical dependence on a substance (develop physical changes from daily use, for example, to daily opioid use prescribed for cancer pain), but not have problematic use.

On this website terms are generally used in a way that is meant for the lay public. The writing is not meant to be precisely what a psychiatrist would need. For example, when the word 'abuse' is used, it is meant in a general way to refer to problematic use.

It is important for patients and families to ask about what is meant by the terms being used. If a health care professional says that a family member has a 'substance use disorder' (which is a term from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual), ask what kind of disorder or what is meant by that diagnosis.