Frequently Asked Questions About Addiction Medicine

What Should I Expect from Treatment at UPMC Addiction Medicine Services (AMS)?

At UPMC Addiction Medicine Services (AMS), the treatment team will work closely with you. You'll decide on a substance use treatment plan that best meets your needs while regarding any safety concerns.


Substance use programs and services at AMS include:

  • Assessments.
  • One-on-one and group counseling.
  • Intensive outpatient treatment.
  • Case management.
  • Drug screenings.
  • Psychiatric servicesfor both substance use problems and mental health concerns.

Your first time at AMS, you'll meet with one of our clinicians. He or she will learn more about you and take a personal history to better understand your needs and concerns. After this assessment, we'll discuss the level of care that would be most helpful to you and your recovery.


Shortly after starting treatment, you and your clinician will design a plan outlining steps you can take to meet your recovery goals. You'll update your plan throughout treatment.


Active participation in substance use treatment is crucial to your success in meeting your recovery goals.

Can I See a Psychiatrist at Your Clinic?

Yes. You can see a psychiatrist with other substance use treatment services at UPMC Addiction Medicine. But, we don't offer psychiatrist-only appointments.

What's the Difference Between Suboxone and Methadone?

Suboxone is a drug to treat heroin and other opioid addiction. You take suboxone daily, usually placing it under the tongue so it dissolves. You attend the UPMC Addiction Medicine Services clinic weekly for doctor appointments and have at least 2.5 hours of therapy a month.


If Suboxone doesn't work for you, we can switch you to methadone within a day. The transition is typically an easy, smooth one.


Methadone is an effective drug when you take it daily, combined with therapy for opioid dependence. You come to the clinic daily, and we titrate your methadone dose to meet your needs.


We also offer therapy and treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders.

What's the Difference Between Drug-free and Medication-assisted Treatment?

Some people may choose a drug-free path in recovery, meaning they don’t want to use any alcohol or substances. Substance use treatment services at UPMC Addiction Medicine (AMS) support this choice. We offer the same evidence-based treatment approaches in the form of group and one-on-one therapy sessions.


Others may need medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to support their recovery from alcohol or opioids. AMS can provide this treatment to aid in your journey toward recovery.


Among others, MAT can be in the form of:

  • Methadone
  • Suboxone (or buprenorphine)
  • Long-acting naltrexone shots (Vivitrol®)

You can use MAT along with evidence-based therapy to help provide relief from withdrawal symptoms and ongoing cravings. This combined treatment approach for substance use lets you focus on gaining recovery skills.

What Insurances Do You Take at UPMC Addiction Medicine Services?

  • UPMC
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • Community Care Behavioral Health
  • Highmark
  • Medicare
  • MA Fee For Service
  • MH Net
  • United Behavioral Health
  • Value Behavioral Health
  • Western Behavioral Health

If your health insurance provider is not listed above, or if you have questions about accepted insurance plans, call us at 412-692-CARE (2273).

How Do I Transfer to Your Clinic from My Current Addiction Clinic?

Adults looking to transfer to UPMC Addiction Medicine Services (AMS)

Contact the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic Call Center (PsychCare+) 24/7 at 412-624-1000 to sign up for one of our welcome sessions. At these sessions, you can learn more about our substance use program and discuss your needs with one of our therapists.

Children and teens who want to transfer to AMS

Call the Center for Psychiatric and Chemical Dependency Program Services at 412-246-5910.

People looking for Suboxone or methadone treatment

For Suboxone, the Center of Excellence for Opioid Abuse is open for walk-ins — Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


For methadone or Suboxone treatment, you can come to Narcotic Addiction Treatment Program. We're open for walk-in intakes, Monday through Thursday at 7 a.m. and will request your records from your current clinic.


Patients using methadone can fax their current clinic records to 412-361-4791 for consideration of transfer.


If you have questions about your transfer, call 412-864-5300.

Who Do I Contact to Set Up Guest Dosing for Methadone?

If you're visiting Pittsburgh and need to arrange guest dosing, call a nurse at the Narcotic Addiction Treatment Program at:

  • 412-864-5310
  • 412-864-5305
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Contact Us

Call UPMC Addiction Medicine Services at 412-692-CARE (2273) to confirm clinic availability at our Oakland, Homewood, or South Side locations.

Learn more about our locations.​​

Our Mission

The mission of UPMC Addiction Medicine Services is to provide compassionate care for individuals whose lives have been impacted by substance use and mental health concerns.​

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