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Outpatient Treatment in North Carolina

Are you looking for a high-quality substance abuse rehabilitation program in North Carolina for yourself or a loved one? offers valuable information about various facilities in the state to help you find the treatment center that’s right for you. We provide information on both inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol treatment facilities so that you can find the program that will best help you or your loved one on the path toward recovery, whether the addiction is to marijuana, oxycodone, alcohol, or any other illegal or prescription medication.

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Addiction Facts for North Carolina

Survey results from 2010-2011 show that, among North Carolina adults, around 2.5% would meet the criteria for past-year illicit drug abuse or dependence. Approximately 5.6% had alcohol abuse or dependence.1

North Carolina has been especially hard hit by the opioid crisis. In 2017, nearly 2,000 people died of opioid-related overdoses, with the greatest number of these deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone. North Carolina’s death rate of 19.8 per 100,000 people was higher than the national average of 14.6.2

Defining Outpatient Treatment

There are many models of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. For many people, outpatient treatment is a good option. Outpatient treatment usually meets from 2 to 3 days per week for 2 to 3 hours at a time. The most commons types of intervention in outpatient treatment include:3

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which helps people understand thinking patterns and reorder their thinking to avoid and cope with situations that are most likely to lead them into using alcohol or drugs.
  • Multi-dimensional family therapy, which is used with adolescents with substance abuse issues and addresses family influence on substance abuse and the family behaviors that support or discourage substance use.
  • Motivational interviewing, which builds on a person’s readiness to change and encourages different thinking patterns to elicit increased change.
  • Motivational incentives (contingency management), which uses positive reinforcement to encourage positive behaviors and not using drugs or alcohol.

Outpatient treatment does vary widely in its intensity and level of services, with some programs addressing both substance abuse and mental health needs.4

Outpatient Treatment in North Carolina 

If you or your loved one is seeking addiction treatment, there are numerous options in North Carolina. For opioid addiction, there are 80 treatment programs throughout the state, though most are concentrated around Charlotte or in the Northern part of the state in the Raleigh-Durham area.

There are other programs in the coastal areas, such as around Wilmington, as well as a few in the Northeastern portion of the state around Greensboro and Winston-Salem. A directory, which is maintained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, can be accessed here.

The State of North Carolina also operates 3 state-funded alcohol and drug treatment centers which each serve multiple counties and offer a variety of inpatient services. One is located in Black Mountain, west of Charlotte. Another is in Greenville and serves the eastern portion of the state. The third center is in Butner and serves the northern central area of the state, including the Raleigh-Durham area.5

Overall, there are 393 outpatient programs which treat some form of substance abuse.6 

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment in North Carolina

Many people have mental health conditions in addition to substance abuse disorder. When people have both types of conditions, it is called dual diagnosis, or having co-occurring disorders.7 Various treatment approaches, including cognitive behavioral therapy and contingency management, can address both disorders.7

North Carolina-Specific Drug Stats

The most-cited drug that people sought treatment for in 2011 was marijuana, followed by opiates.8 About 29% of all fatal auto accidents in North Carolina in 2017 involved drivers with an illegal blood alcohol content, which was the average across the country.9

Signs You Need Professional Rehab

There are many signs that you need professional rehab. In the most basic terms, addiction is characterized by continuing compulsive urges to use drugs or alcohol despite negative consequences.10

Some of the signs you need rehab can include:

  • Quickly changing moods.
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities.
  • Work, school, or family problems resulting from substance use.
  • Isolation from others.
  • Poor hygiene.
  • Sleeping at inappropriate times.

Treatment Facts for North Carolina

While many people in North Carolina need help with drug or alcohol addiction, often they are not getting treatment. However, there are 472 treatment facilities of all types in North Carolina that offer a large range of services.6 Specifically, there are 76 inpatient programs, 33 hospital-based treatment programs, and 393 outpatient programs.

Forty-nine programs offer some form of medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders, including methadone or buprenorphine.6 Specialized treatment programs are also available, including more than 200 programs in North Carolina offering treatment tailored to the specific needs of women. Around 100 programs offer tailored treatment for LGBTQ persons, and over 100 programs treat veterans specifically.6

Does My Insurance Cover Treatment in North Carolina

Rehab is costly. If you’re hoping to use private insurance, it is important to make sure rehab is covered under your insurance.

In North Carolina, numerous insurance companies provide coverage for substance abuse treatment. Approximately 62% of the treatment providers in North Carolina accept private insurance coverage.6

In North Carolina, the largest providers of health care coverage are:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.
  • United Healthcare.
  • Aetna.
  • Cigna.
  • Connecticut General.

North Carolina Insurance (i.e. Medicaid) Treatment Facilities 

If you don’t have health insurance coverage, you may qualify for Medicaid, which is a government-funded program that provides healthcare coverage to people who meet certain income requirements. It covers both inpatient and outpatient substance abuse treatment.

Usually, there is no charge to you for services that are covered by Medicaid.11 Overall, about 67% of all treatment facilities in North Carolina accept Medicaid payments, so if you have Medicaid, you have a wide range of treatment programs to choose from.6,

You should check with Medicaid to determine if you qualify for coverage. You can start an application for coverage here.

Other ways to get help  

There are also free resources for help in North Carolina:


  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. (2011). Selected Drug Use, Perceptions of Great Risk, Average Annual Marijuana Initiates, Past Year Substance Dependence or Abuse, Needing But Not Receiving Treatment, and Past Year Mental Health Measures in North Carolina, by Age Group: Estimated Numbers (in Thousands), Annual Averages Based on 2010-2011 NSDUHs.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). North Carolina Opioid Summary: Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths.
  3. 3. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019). DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction.
  4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition): Types of Treatment Programs.
  5. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Facilities: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Centers.
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. (2017). 2017 State Profile—North Carolina: National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS).
  7. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2018). DrugFacts: Comorbidity: Substance Use Disorders and Other Mental Illnesses.
  8. Executive Office of the President of the United States. (2013). North Carolina Drug Control Update.
  9. National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. (2018). Alcohol-Impaired Driving.
  10. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2016). MedlinePlus: Drug Use and Addiction.
  11. (n.d.). Eligibility.