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Real Talks: Get Help

There is hope for people with a substance use disorder. Substance use disorder is a chronic health condition that is treatable. Like other chronic health conditions, there is no cure for substance use disorder. Still, there are many proven ways to help people stop using substances and resume productive lives. This recovery can happen for everyone. The journey to recovery looks different for everyone. In Wisconsin, no one is alone in their journey to overcome a substance use disorder.

Adult smiling looking at another adult

What options for care are available?

There are many different paths to health and wellness. Often, people use multiple paths. Here are few examples of the paths:

  • Peer supported recovery involves the use of structured recovery mutual aid groups, peer support specialists, recovery housing, collegiate recovery programs, and others to initiate and/or maintain recovery.
  • Treatment-assisted recovery uses professional help with a therapist, a doctor, or another credentialed professional. This can include medication, therapy, or a combination of the two.
  • Faith-based recovery support services are religious or spiritual frameworks of recovery that can include congregation-based support services that help during the recovery process.
  • Natural recovery occurs when a person achieves recovery on their own without professional treatment or involvement in a recovery mutual aid community.

What works for one person may not work for another. It is important to support a person in or seeking recovery as they make their own decisions about which pathway is right for them.

Recovery through work: Individual Placement and Support

One of our goals is to help people in substance use recovery attain economic opportunity and mobility that not only improves their well-being but also benefits our state as a whole. Many counties are using the Individual Placement and Support model of supported employment to expand employment opportunities and foster the development of recovery-ready workplace policies and cultures. Learn about Individual Placement and Support.

What is the first step to getting care?

  • Are you insured? Contact your health insurance company. Your plan should cover care and treatment for substance use.
  • Are you uninsured or underinsured? Contact your tribal nation or county health and human services department. You may be eligible to receive health care through Medicaid.

Help is available if you've been denied health insurance coverage, reached your plan limit, or have an overly large co-pay or deductible.

Need help? 

The Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline is a statewide resource for finding substance use treatment services and recovery supports. It is a free service that is available 24/7.

The Shatterproof Treatment Atlas allows you to compare treatment facilities to see which provide high-quality care. This free service provides information on facility protocols, types of treatments offered, and insurance and alternate methods of payment accepted.

What are the signs of quality care?

These questions can help you understand the quality of care provided by substance use services professionals. If the answers to all of the questions below are yes, you've found a professional committed to providing quality care.

  • Has the program been licensed or certified by the state?
  • Is the program currently in good standing with the state?
  • Does the program offer treatments that have been proven to be effective in treating substance use disorders?
  • Does the program provide or help obtain medical care for physical health issues?
  • Does the program include family members in the treatment process?
  • Does the program provide ongoing treatment and support beyond treating the substance issue?

What are the rights of patients?

Wisconsin's Client Rights Law ensures people receiving substance use disorder treatment and recovery services are treated with dignity and respect. Learn about client rights in Wisconsin.

Know other actions you can take

Real talks are important. They’re also just the beginning in helping the ones we love, friends, and neighbors live their best lives. There are many everyday actions you can take to help prevent and reduce substance use in your family and community.

Get action steps

Last revised January 23, 2024