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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.

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What options for care are available?

There are many different paths to health and wellness. Some people find success quitting substances on their own with no supports from others. For most people, the path includes a combination of clinical supports and peer supports.

Clinical supports

Clinical supports are provided by licensed doctors, therapists, and other professionals. This care is available through regular visits to an office or clinic, telehealth, a stay at a specialized facility, or a hospital stay. The goals of this care are established through a planning process between the clinician and patient. The care may include managing withdrawal from the substance(s), medication to reduce cravings for the substance(s), and counseling to change behaviors.

Residential substance use treatment
BadgerCare Plus/Wisconsin Medicaid covers substance use disorder treatment in a residential setting. Services covered include assessment and treatment planning, counseling, medication management, case management, peer support, and recovery coaching provided through a residential treatment facility.  The residential substance use treatment benefit does not cover room and board expenses. Learn about the residential substance use treatment benefit (PDF).

Peer supports

Peer supports are delivered by trained people who have experienced substance use concerns. This care is available through one-on-one visits, participation in support groups, a visit to a peer recovery center, and a stay at a peer-run respite. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer supporters help people become and stay engaged in the treatment and recovery process and reduce the likelihood of a recurrence of a substance use disorder. 

Recovery residences
Recovery residences provide a safe space for people who need a place to live during or after treatment for substance use. Use the Wisconsin Recovery Residence Registry to find a location near you (PDF). Agencies interested in being listed on the Wisconsin Recovery Residence Registry must submit an application. Learn about the recovery residence approval process. Contact the Division of Quality of Assurance to file a complaint against a recovery residence listed on the Wisconsin Recovery Residence Registry. 

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? Use the Wisconsin Addiction Recovery Helpline.

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.

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 February 19, 2023