At a glance: The University of Michigan Addiction Center

Inside the center providing substance abuse treatment, training, research

Credit: University of Michigan
Credit: University of Michigan

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan Addiction Center was established in 1988 and has grown to become a state-of-the-art specialized treatment center.

Housed in the Rachel Upjohn Building (4250 Plymouth Road) in the Department of Psychiatry, the Addiction Center has a staff of more than 20 U-M faculty members who conduct research across units throughout the university. 

They train the next generation of clinicians and research scientists, as well as graduates, postgraduates and international fellows, to better understand how to approach addiction and treatment.

Ongoing research projects include: 

  • Prevention and early intervention
  • Developmental psychopathology and genetics
  • Neuroimaging and neurophysiology
  • Intervention including treatment and recovery
  • Health services research
  • Relationship of sleep problems and/or chronic pain to treatment of substance use disorders

According to the center, "Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a private struggle and there are few resources that support research efforts to find the causes of substance use and develop new treatments."

It is classified as a chronic disease that requires medical attention, yet according to a recent report by the surgeon general, roughly 10 percent of people with substance use disorders receive proper treatment.

The same report says that 1 in 7 people in the United States will develop a substance use disorder during their lifetime.

According to the center, people become addicted because of factors relating to: biology, environment and development.

Genetics make up roughly half of a person's risk for developing a substance use disorder. The environment in which one grows up, including childhood experiences with physical or sexual abuse, peer pressure or early exposure to drugs or alcohol can play a role in whether someone develops a substance use disorder. Research has also shown that the younger a person starts using substances, the more likely they will develop a disorder.


The center takes a team approach, involving trained physicians, psychologists, nurses and social work therapists in most cases.

"We are committed to ending the pain and suffering that individuals and their families experience because of alcohol and other drugs," the center's director Dr. Fred Blow told A4.

"Our multidisciplinary team provides state-of-the art care and conducts cutting-edge research. Our doctors and scientists are national leaders at the forefront of new discoveries to prevent, treat, and support recovery from addiction."

Services include:

  • Evaluations, consultations and referrals
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Psychiatric assessment and treatment
  • Psychiatric and addiction medications (such as buprenorphine for opioid detoxification or maintenance)
  • Outpatient detoxification when safe
  • Specialized group therapy

To learn more, visit the U-M Addiction Center's website.

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