people resting their arms on each other's shoulders
Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Treatment

Treatment and substance use disorders can be provided in different settings and may involve a team of providers such as counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and physicians and peer support professionals. There is no one-size-fits all approach to substance use disorder treatment. Treatment should fit with the individual needs of the person asking for help – including you! Learn more about treatment options so you can make an informed choice about your treatment and recovery. To find a treatment provider near you, use the 2023 Suffolk County Directory of Behavioral Health Services. The treatment providers in this guide are certified through the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS).

For more information on treatment services, visit the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) website: https://oasas.ny.gov/treatment

Inpatient programs provide a safe and supportive setting for the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of people with substance use disorders. These facilities offer 24-hour, 7-day a-week care that is supervised at all times by a medical professional. Inpatient services include intensive management of symptoms related to addiction and monitoring of the physical and mental conditions resulting from substance use.

Outpatient facilities provide clinical services for people with an addiction to substances and their families who have been impacted by their addiction. Outpatient services may be delivered at different levels of intensity according to the needs of the person. These services include counseling, education, and connections to community services.

Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) are OASAS-and-federally-certified sites where medication to treat opioid use disorder is administered. In addition to medications, these programs also offer numerous services and supports. These can include counseling, educational services, medical screening and care, mental health care, and referrals to social services. In most cases, people receiving services at an OTP are provided with long-term treatment, similar to management of chronic physical conditions. Pregnant women and people who use intravenous drugs are given priority admission to OASAS-certified treatment programs including OTPs.

An OTP is the only place where someone can get methadone to treat opioid use disorder. Other medications (buprenorphine and long-acting naltrexone injection) can be prescribed at other addiction treatment programs including clinics, as well as in other settings such as primary care and mental health clinics.

There are medicines to treat opioid use disorder. Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) saves lives by curbing cravings and minimizing discomfort that comes from withdrawal. It also protects people from overdosing and reduces the chances of medical complications from opioid use, like infectious diseases. When used in combination with psychological and behavioral therapy and supports, MOUD decreases the likelihood of recurring use, increases engagement in treatment, and paves the way for recovery.

Residential services are designed for people who are in need of support in their recovery, and may not be able to participate in treatment without a 24-hour residential setting. Residential services are designed to develop or maintain recovery through a structured, substance-free setting, and can include group support, skills development related to independent living, and other services designed to promote recovery.

To find a treatment provider near you, use the 2023 Suffolk County Directory of Behavioral Health Services.

More resources for local treatment providers:

There has never been a better time to join the substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery field. Professionals in this field are in high demand, and your career will provide vital services to our community.

Providing effective substance use treatment takes a team of professionals who can apply their unique training, skills, and perspectives. One role in this care team is the Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor, or CASAC. A CASAC provides direct clinical services and substance use disorder counseling, and can work in a variety of settings including hospitals and inpatient and outpatient substance use agencies. Their roles include:

  • Diagnostic Assessment;
  • Evaluation;
  • Intervention;
  • Referral; and
  • Substance Use Disorder counseling in both individual and group settings.

For more information on the CASAC credential, including requirements and applications, visit the New York State Office of Addition Services and Supports (OASAS) Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) webpage: https://oasas.ny.gov/credentialing/alcoholism-and-substance-abuse-counselor-casac

Locally, there are opportunities to become a CASAC!

Suffolk County Community College

Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) offers an Addiction Studies Program, which prepares students for employment or advancement in the field of Addictions Services and Support. Upon completion of the program, graduates will have fulfilled all the educational and internship requirements set forth by OASAS and by the International Credentialing Reciprocity Consortium to become a New York State CASAC. The program also offers the opportunity for students to receive training and support to become a Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA). Visit Suffolk County Community College’s Addiction Studies website to learn more about degree programs and options: https://www.sunysuffolk.edu/explore-academics/majors-and-programs/addiction-studies/

Local Scholarships

The Suffolk County Department of Health has established full scholarships for Suffolk County residents who wish to obtain CASAC certification at OTI, out of the first phase of the Opioid Settlement funds in Suffolk County.

Scholarships will cover the full cost of all coursework for recipients, valued at $5,950 per person. In addition, 40 students will receive paid internships at Outreach, with each receiving a stipend of $1,500.

The Suffolk County Workforce Development Scholarships (SCWDS) scholarships will be targeted at individuals seeking to pursue their CASAC certification and who have demonstrated an interest and passion for helping people in the Suffolk County community. These individuals might be those who work in Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) and Office of Mental Health (OMH) programs, human and social service agencies, or at health facilities. They may have been involved in volunteer work in their communities and/or religious, civic, or cultural institutions. They could be individuals in recovery who provide peer-to-peer support to others.

Two programs will be funded, the full 350-clock hour program needed to obtain CASAC certification and a 135-hour program for master’s level social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, creative arts therapists, and psychoanalysts.

Certified Recovery Peer Advocates

Another important role in a care team are peer support workers, who are individuals with lived substance use experience, who have been successful the recovery process. Peer support workers in the substance use treatment and recovery field who have undergone training and certification through the New York Certification Board and the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) are called Certified Recovery Peer Advocates, or CRPAs. To learn more about Certified Peer Recovery Advocates, and how to become certified, visit our Peer Support page.

Important Numbers:

If you are experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, call for help!

  • Family Service League’s Diagnostic, Assessment, and Stabilization Hub (DASH) Program, 24/7 hotline: For mental health, addiction, and crisis care for children and adults in Suffolk County, call (631) 952–3333

  • 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline: If you are feeling suicidal, are in need of support or rescue, or are in crisis, call or text 988. Help is available 24/7

    • For local support, call the Response of Suffolk 24/7 Crisis Hotline (631) 751-7500

  • For a medical emergency, call 911