Children and Families


Programs and services

Addiction to alcohol or other drugs is a primary, chronic illness.  The disease is often progressive and can be fatal.  It is characterized by continuous or periodic:

  • Impaired control over one’s chemical use 
  • Preoccupation with alcohol or other drugs 
  • Use despite adverse consequences 
  • Distortions in thinking, most notably denial.

Alcohol or other drug addiction may begin with a personal choice to use these substances. However, research shows that, for many, a physiological dependence soon takes hold. Drug dependence produces significant and lasting changes in brain chemistry and function. These drug-induced changes in brain function may have behavioral consequences, including the defining characteristic of addiction: compulsion to use alcohol or other drugs despite adverse consequences.

  • Assessment

    A chemical dependency assessment includes an interview with a counselor to review a person's chemical use and its impact on their daily life and relationships. The assessment may also include:

    • a diagnostic test
    • review of medical, legal, mental health and treatment records
    • a physical screening
    • assessment of need for detox services
    • interviews with other people in the person's life. 

    Assessments should address each person's unique needs. 

    Check the Contact us page to find out who to call to get an assessment.

  • Treatment

    Treatment services include: 

    • inpatient and outpatient programs
    • halfway houses
    • extended care
    • detox centers.

    Many insurance policies will pay for chemical dependency treatment. People who qualify can get help paying for treatment.

    You can search for drug and alcohol treatment programs near you using the federal government’s substance abuse facility locator site.

  • Recovery

    Recovery supports promote a person’s health and resilience. They also help people get housing, jobs and education. Recovery supports include:

    • Recovery community organizations. These are non-profit groups led by members of local recovery communities. They provide education about recovery, outreach and  peer recovery support services. They also help sponsor Recovery Month events, which occur every September to celebrate people in recovery and promote the message that recovery is possible. Minnesota Recovery Connection is a recovery community organization that has a mission of strengthening the recovery community through peer-to-peer support, public education, and advocacy.
    • Peer-based recovery support services. These include activities not generally offered by treatment providers. These include recovery coaching, phone support, support groups and social activities. They also help people get housing, transportation, vocational training and jobs.
    • Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Group members share their experiences, strengths and hopes with each other to solve their common problems.
  • Frequently asked questions
    More information about chemical dependency, assessments and treatment is in these FAQs

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