Subscribe to Our
Emotional Wellness Blog

The Opiate Recovery Program at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital

Programs for chemical dependency | Find a professional who can help | Common chemical dependency problems | Find a facility that can help | Group therapy opportunities | Alumni and volunteer services | Opiate Recovery Program and Suboxone

The Opiate Recovery Program at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital uses an evidence-based approach to recovery. Located in the wooded-setting of the Dewey Center, our program addresses the physical, spiritual, and emotional effects of drug and alcohol addiction to build the foundation for life-long recovery.

Opiate recovery

During the past several years, there has been an alarming rise in the abuse of prescription opiates. Some medications such as oxycontin, percocet or vicodin may initially be used for medical purposes. Over time, these medications, as well as street drug opiates like heroin, can create a physical and psychological dependency that is difficult to overcome without professional help.

However, through the development of new medications such as buprenorphine (Suboxone) as well as new approaches in therapy, recovery from opiate dependency is more effective than ever.

Program philosophy

We recognize that addiction to alcohol or other drugs is a disease that has biological, psychological and social determinants. Biologically, we recognize the pharmacological affects of alcohol and other drugs and the genetic predisposition addiction. We also understand the neurobiology of reinforcement and its affect on learning and the process of change. As with other chronic medical conditions, addictions vary in severity and complexity, involve aspects of personal choice, and progress is often complicated by relapse.

Recovery from addiction also requires a range of biological, psychological and social interventions. Medications ease withdrawal and aid in recuperation, as well as address co-existing medical and psychiatric conditions. Group and individual therapy focuses on the psychological dependence that occurs with the use of alcohol and/or other drugs to cope with a variety of life's problems and on rebuilding personal relationships and enhancing social support for recovery.

The client as active participant

We see treatment as a collaborative process that treats clients with respect, honors their expertise and perspectives, and builds on the strengths they bring to recovery. Treatment is effective when it evokes the client's intrinsic values and goals that support their desire to change. We also respect each client's personal autonomy. Clients are responsible for their own decisions: It is not a question of allowing or permitting a client to choose but rather acknowledging and working with this autonomy.

Evidenced-based treatment

The Substance Abuse Program at Aurora Psychiatric Hospital provides evidence-based therapy built on 3 proven treatment approaches:

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • The Community Reinforcement Approach

Motivational Interviewing provides our basic philosophy of how best to join with clients and facilitate the natural process of change. It also provides a method of treatment for enhancing clients' intrinsic motivation by examining and resolving ambivalence. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy techniques are used to build specific, pragmatic skills to live with addiction, cope effectively with life's problems and build social support for recovery.

The Community Reinforcement Approach uses natural social, recreational and family reinforcers to help clients change, while giving family and friends positive and productive ways to support the client's recovery. We understand that recovery from addiction requires life-long vigilance and support. Our program helps instill the hope, motivation, and self-management skills needed for successful recovery from opiate dependency.

Treatment components

  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Group therapy
  • Self study and education
  • Individual and family therapy
  • Psychiatric consultation
  • Psychopharmacology (medication)
  • Detoxification through Aurora Psychiatric Hospital

Our residential program also includes complementary medicine activities including mindfulness, Yoga and nutrition consultation.

Treatment team

We also recognize that many individuals with addictions have co-existing psychiatric and/or medical illnesses which need to be addressed in order to provide optimum treatment. Our treatment programs include board-certified addiction psychiatrists, licensed therapists and nurses who integrate all clinically relevant features of each individual's care into their treatment plan.

Our medical staff includes some of Wisconsin's leading addictionologists who have expertise with the most current treatments for addictions including:

Levels of care

  • Residential care
  • Partial hospitalization
  • Intensive outpatient programming


Admissions to the Opiate Recovery Program can be facilitated by calling (414) 773-4312. For direct admissions for inpatient detoxification, residential care or partial hospitalization, call (414) 454-6777.

Learn about our alumni and volunteer services.