Since 1972, Mayo Clinic has provided treatment for people addicted to alcohol, prescription medications or illegal drugs. Mayo Clinic's goal is to help you and your family with your ongoing journey to recovery. Whether you need intensive treatment in the 30-day program or just occasional support, Mayo Clinic offers a variety of services to meet your needs.

Mayo Clinic offers several types of addiction assessment and treatment options.

One of several treatment offerings, Mayo Clinic's Intensive Addiction Program is based on the latest research findings. The program is designed for adults age 18 or older. Individuals stay at Mayo Clinic for 30 days of treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction (including illegal drugs, narcotics and other prescription medications), and coexisting mental health disorders. Your doctor may recommend anti-craving medications in addition to traditional counseling therapies. While in the program, you're exposed to many different types of treatment, including:

  • Motivational enhancement
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Relapse-prevention techniques
  • 12-step facilitation
  • Anti-craving medication
  • Spiritual support and mindfulness techniques
  • Relaxation and alternative therapies

Respect for the individual

Mayo Clinic's intensive treatment program emphasizes respect for the individual. All rooms are single, private rooms with individual bathrooms. Wireless Internet computer access is available, and cellphones are allowed on the unit.

Structured, full-day program

A typical day in the intensive treatment program is highly structured, including personal time, group therapy, individual sessions with a counselor or psychiatrist, education therapies, and special programs. Each evening includes programming or involvement in community self-help groups. Activities vary from day to day, and may include:

  • Daily planning as reviewed in focus groups
  • Medication self-administration
  • Structured groups (addiction education)
  • Process groups (group therapy)
  • Evening programs
  • Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings
  • Addiction and depression group
  • Spirituality presentations and individual chaplaincy sessions
  • Yoga and mindfulness training
  • Nutritional guidance
  • Smoking cessation counseling and support
  • Recreational therapy (leisure alternatives to alcohol and drugs)
  • Craving group (craving scale and trigger discussion)
  • Alumni meetings

Intensive Addiction Family Program

The Intensive Addiction Family Program is for family members or others who are significant in the lives of people in the Intensive Addiction Program. Its goal is to help family members learn about addictions, including coping skills, problem-solving techniques, and instilling hope and confidence in the recovery journey.

This one-day session is offered the first and third Monday of each month from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except holidays). To register, contact Addiction Services at 507-255-4151.

Follow-up care

Completing the Intensive Addiction Program is just the first step on the road to recovery. After completing the first phase of addiction treatment, patients are encouraged to proceed into outpatient continuing care programs, either at Mayo or closer to home. Mayo Clinic's team coordinates care with your hometown medical team to ensure you stay on track toward recovery. Resources for ongoing self-help groups also are provided, such as the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program.

To monitor progress and offer support during your recovery, the Mayo Clinic addictions treatment team offers follow-up email or phone contact with you every three months for one year after completion of the intensive program.

One of several Mayo Clinic offerings, the outpatient addiction program can be used as a step-down program after graduating from the Intensive Addiction Program. Or, many patients can enter addiction treatment at this level after their comprehensive evaluation. The coordinating psychiatrist and addiction treatment team, with your input, will determine the appropriate level of support to meet your needs.

The program offers half-day outpatient addiction services for four weeks. Sessions are held from 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. The program includes:

  • Educational and relapse-prevention group sessions
  • Process group psychotherapy sessions
  • Individual counseling
  • Friday family day
  • Ongoing nurse assessments and drug abuse surveys

Follow-up care

The treatment team helps you during every step of the recovery journey, because the right support at the right time gives the greatest opportunity for success. After completing the outpatient addiction program, you can enter one of the continuing care programs or the team will coordinate continuing care closer to your home.

One of several Mayo Clinic offerings, continuing care after primary treatment is just as important as your initial step on the journey to sobriety. Mayo Clinic offers several types of programs to meet your needs at every stage.

Early Recovery Program

The Early Recovery Program is a step-down treatment program after completing residential or outpatient treatment. You meet two times a week for six weeks for group therapy, education and individual counseling, as well as follow-up nurse assessments and drug abuse surveys.

Recovery Maintenance Program

In Recovery Maintenance, you meet once weekly for three or more months, as determined by your customized treatment plan. In this program, you continue with group sessions and individual counseling, as well as follow-up nurse assessments and drug abuse surveys.

Health Professionals Group

As mandated by the Health Professionals Services Program in Minnesota, the Health Professionals Group offers continuing care for health care providers (doctors, nurses, pharmacists and dentists) who have alcohol or drug addictions. As determined by the treatment plan and rules of the certifying board, you meet weekly for an indefinite duration. Most people participate for several months.

Family Recovery Group

Mayo Clinic recognizes that family support is a crucial part of your recovery. The Family Recovery Group meets once a week for eight weeks. It's designed for family members of people with alcohol or drug addictions, and provides disease education, coping tools and support.

To have an evaluation for a substance use problem or to enter addiction treatment at Mayo Clinic, you can call to request an assessment or be referred by your hometown doctor.

The initial evaluation includes a comprehensive assessment from Mayo Clinic's addiction team. The team includes a psychiatrist who specializes in addiction treatment, a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, and a nurse. Then, with input from you, the team recommends an individualized treatment plan. Having a comprehensive plan at the start of treatment ensures that you have the degree of support and structure needed to establish sobriety and progress toward your goals. This treatment plan may include:

  • Addiction treatment program referral
  • Individual counseling
  • Medications
  • Goal setting
  • Progression to ongoing care programs
  • Long-term maintenance plan
  • Psychiatric or psychological follow-up care

If you wish to pursue direct admission to the 30-day program with on-site residence, the first step is an intake evaluation by phone, which includes insurance verification and precertification, if possible. Many insurance plans cover part or all of the treatment costs. Mayo Clinic provides a preliminary insurance review to help you determine your coverage. When you're admitted to the program, you receive a full evaluation by the treatment team to develop a treatment plan incorporating your specific goals.

Mental health disorders

Many people with addictions also have depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or another mental health disorder. Mayo Clinic incorporates treatment for mental health and addictions into one treatment plan, addressed in the same place, by medical professionals on the same team. You also have access to other medical services at Mayo Clinic, if needed.

  • Comprehensive care. Mayo Clinic offers a comprehensive assessment of your alcohol or drug use problem, psychological concerns, and medical status. Treatment for mental health and addictions are incorporated into one personalized treatment plan, handled by medical professionals on the same team. You also have access to other medical services at Mayo Clinic, if needed.
  • Expertise. A psychiatrist with additional board certification in addiction treatment leads your treatment team and coordinates your care. You will work closely with licensed addiction counselors and nursing staff who specialize in addiction treatment.
  • Patient-staff ratio. The ratio of one counseling staff person for every four patients ensures that you receive the individual attention you need to accomplish your treatment goals.
  • Treatment offerings. Mayo Clinic's continuum of addiction treatment includes outpatient programs and a unique 18-person 30-day intensive program, with on-site residence in single, private rooms and bathrooms. Before completion of this program, an individualized continuing care plan is developed to support you in maintaining recovery.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

At Mayo Clinic, a doctor with specific training in the treatment of addiction, called an addiction psychiatrist, coordinates the treatment programs and all of your care. The doctor leads a team of addiction specialists who provide comprehensive care for each person — from initial evaluation, to designing the treatment plan, to program follow-up. The ratio of one addiction staff person for every four patients ensures that you receive the individual attention necessary to accomplish your treatment goals.

Team members

Core members of your treatment team include the following.

  • Addiction psychiatrist
  • Internal medicine specialist
  • Licensed alcohol and drug counselors
  • Licensed clinical social worker
  • Nurse with special training in addictions

Other team members who provide treatment, as needed, may include those below.

  • Recreational therapist
  • Dietitian
  • Nicotine dependence counselor
  • Chaplain
  • Neuropsychologist

Does the program treat psychiatric disorders, too?
Many people with an addictive disorder also have depression, anxiety or other psychiatric symptoms. The treatment team will assess, monitor and address these symptoms during the course of treatment.

Is this an abstinence-based program?
Yes. Abstinence from alcohol, addicting prescription medications and illegal drugs provides the best opportunity for long-term recovery.

Who can get information about my treatment?
The confidentiality of patient records maintained by these alcohol and drug abuse programs is protected by federal law. The programs may not disclose any information identifying a patient receiving care for alcohol or drug abuse unless the patient consents or a court order mandates disclosure.

Addiction treatment is available at Mayo Clinic's Rochester, Minn., location. A team of specialists in the evaluation and treatment of substance abuse work together to identify the right treatment approach for you.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

As a Mayo Clinic patient, you have the opportunity to participate in a leading-edge research program on addiction gene mapping (genomics). Mayo Clinic established the Samuel C. Johnson Genomics of Addiction Program with the goal of preventing addiction to alcohol and other drugs, and developing more-effective treatments. The implications of these genomic studies extend to the treatment of nicotine dependence, the abuse of recreational drugs, and addictions to prescribed narcotics and sedatives.

Researchers in this program are studying how a person's genetic makeup affects vulnerability to addiction and how people respond to different treatments. They have also developed an electronic clinical database that captures key characteristics of all patients with addictions at Mayo Clinic and a DNA repository. These valuable resources should help address which genetic factors affect addiction and response to treatment.


See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic doctors on addiction treatment on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

May 09, 2011