The Atlanta area has dozens of addiction treatment facilities and hundreds of support group meetings that can help you overcome a substance use disorder. Treatment is the first step toward a life without alcohol or other drugs.
In addition to certified drug rehab facilities, the city of Atlanta and nearby counties have a variety of programs that connect people with addiction treatment.
Fulton County residents have access to several forms of treatment and support in Atlanta. The county takes a proactive criminal justice approach to disrupt the cycle of relapse and recidivism associated with problematic alcohol and drug use.
The Center for Health and Rehabilitation in Atlanta provides walk-in therapy and group sessions during weekdays to Fulton County residents. Individuals can walk in and talk to a therapist with the Adult Addictive Diseases and Substance Abuse program between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.
Individuals who began receiving mental health services in the Fulton County Jail can continue to receive services at the Center for Health and Rehabilitation Outpatient Unit. The center has a one-year substance abuse treatment program and an 18-week prevention program that includes drug screens and 12-step meeting participation.
Offenders in the Fulton County Felony Adult Drug Court can have charges brought against them dropped if they graduate from the program. It includes regular meetings with a judge, drug screenings and participation in intensive outpatient or court-approved treatment programs.
The Fulton County Behavioral Health Treatment Court supports participants in the drug court by providing mental health resources to those who have co-occurring mental illnesses. The program utilizes partnerships with mental health providers in the community.
Teens ages 14 to 17 who are on probation and have a history of substance abuse issues can participate in Choices, the Fulton County Juvenile Drug Court Program. The program incentivizes sobriety though education, mentoring, drug testing, treatment and sanctions for noncompliance.
The goal of the Family Drug Court is to preserve families in Fulton County by providing parents who have a history of substance use with resources for recovery. The court helps participants access treatment, learn parenting skills, find education and develop vocational skills.
Finding and participating in treatment is the first step toward overcoming addiction, but the recovery process continues after rehab. Organizations in the Atlanta area provide several resources to help people in recovery pursue an education, find work and maintain sobriety.
The Georgia Association of Recovery Residences certifies sober living homes in Georgia that meet standards for quality of care, safety and ethics. Certified sober living homes near Atlanta include:
People who receive treatment for addiction have better recovery outcomes if they live in safe environments. Sober living homes are structured living environments where residents agree to maintain alcohol- and drug-free living spaces. In most homes, residents also agree to have regular house meetings and attend support groups together. Some homes have house managers or trained therapists that live on site.
Finding long-term, stable employment is crucial to maintaining recovery from addiction. Several programs in Atlanta provide job-skills training and adult education courses
The Atlanta Public Schools Adult Education Program offers GED preparation and English courses for Fulton County residents. The classes are free to adults and 16- or 17-year-olds who have a legal guardian’s permission to enroll.
Atlanta Technical College provides free GED preparation classes and on-site GED testing. The school also provides free adult basic education, life-skills training, financial workshops and other services for individuals ages 16 and older.
In addition to providing shelter, transitional housing and recovery support services, the Atlanta Mission provides vocational training programs, GED preparation and job employment services.
STAND is a recovery support center in DeKalb County that provides workforce development, housing assistance, life-skills training, employment search training and other support services for people in recovery.
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Most colleges and universities in the Atlanta area provide free consultations, assessments and referrals for enrolled students with alcohol or other drug concerns. Many institutions employ certified counselors who can provide individual therapy on a short-term basis. If a student requires a higher level of treatment, they often refer the student to an alcohol or drug rehab facility in the community.
After completing a treatment program, students in recovery from substance use disorders can find support for their recovery at one of the three collegiate recovery programs in Atlanta. CRPs give students in recovery a safe environment surrounded by support to help them pursue their academic and recovery goals.
The Georgia Tech Counseling Center provides numerous services for students experiencing substance abuse issues. Services include educational workshops, crisis counseling, individual counseling, group therapy and community referrals. Students also have access to online alcohol and marijuana self-assessment tools.
Georgia Tech students who have maintained recovery from a substance use disorder for at least 90 days can join the school’s CRP. Students in the program attend a weekly recovery seminar, participate in self-help groups and support one another through social activities and personal relationships.
“Every time I meet at the CRP, the stress from my day melts away, and I am surrounded by friends and staff who have become my closest confidants,” said a student in the CRP, according to the school’s website. “Georgia Tech had always been a great experience for me, but the CRP has made it even better.”
Students at Kennesaw State can receive individual and group counseling from the school’s Counseling and Psychological Services. The school’s Center for Young Adult Addiction and Recovery performs motivational interviewing, assessments, individual therapy, peer support and referrals to more intensive care.
The center also houses a collegiate recovery community and a collegiate recovery program. The CRC is a group run by students who support each other’s desire to maintain sobriety. The CRP provides academic and therapeutic support for the students.
Emory University employs two full-time substance abuse counselors who administer screenings, counseling and referrals for long-term treatment. The university’s Counseling and Psychological Services performs mental health outreach, and the Emory HelpLine offers peer counseling and support.
The university’s collegiate recovery program, ReStart, hosts group meetings, social events and service projects for recovering students. The university has a sober living environment where up to three students can reside. Students in recovery at Emory support each other through a variety of activities.
The Georgia State University Counseling and Testing Center provides alcohol and marijuana assessments, individual counseling, group counseling, mind-body services and online assessments for Georgia State students. The center’s Substance Use Risk Reduction Program teaches students about alcohol and drug use and low-risk strategies for reducing substance use.
In early recovery, it can be difficult to find safe ways to have fun. Atlanta is home to numerous attractions where you can relax, find entertainment and enjoy life.
Head to Midtown to see a show at Alliance Theatre, Fox Theatre or the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Watch the Hawks play at Philips Arena, or catch a Falcons game downtown at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. You can also head north to SunTrust Park in Cobb County to see the Braves play. Or you can visit the SkyView Ferris Wheel or Six Flags Over Georgia for entertainment.
Atlanta is full of unique restaurants and shopping centers. Atlantic Station houses a variety of shops and restaurants. The Sweet Auburn Curb Market is home to two dozen businesses, including bakeries, groceries, cafes and meat merchants. The Shops Buckhead Atlanta comprises more than 40 high-end fashion retailers.
You can relax and catch a breath of fresh air at Stone Mountain Park or the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Animal lovers can visit Zoo Atlanta or the Georgia Aquarium. You can also enjoy the outdoors by visiting one of the parks or trails along the Atlanta BeltLine, such as Gordon White Park or Perkerson Park.
In the Atlanta region, more than 194,000 people had a substance use disorder in 2014, according to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The region includes Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Newton and Rockdale counties.
An estimated 157,000 people suffered from alcohol addiction, and more than 74,000 people had a drug use disorder. Overall, treatment admissions involving marijuana and cocaine slowly declined from 2011 to 2014. Methamphetamine and heroin admissions increased during the same time frame. Prescription opioid admissions dropped drastically from 2013 to 2014.
Past-month substance use among persons ages 12 and older, 2012-2014:
Binge Drinking474,135 19%
Illicit Drugs94,212 4%
Past-year substance use among persons ages 12 and older, 2012-2014:
Pain relievers (nonmedical)101,747 4%
Community organizers, local leaders and prevention advocates in the Atlanta area work together to prevent substance abuse. The organizations promote healthy choices through a variety of programs.
The National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit is the biggest networking and educational event on prescription drug and opioid misuse. Addiction experts, treatment professionals, scholars, public officials and individuals affected by the opioid epidemic meet for the four-day event in downtown Atlanta.
The Fulton County school district’s Insight program aims to reduce alcohol, marijuana and other drug use by improving the self-esteem of students with substance use issues. Students and their parents attend four two-hour meetings to learn about the dangers of alcohol and other drugs and how to live healthy lives.
The Atlanta-DeKalb Alcohol Abuse Prevention Initiative changes societal norms related to drinking to prevent underage alcohol consumption. The program counters alcohol advertisements through media campaigns and dispels myths about drinking through education and awareness programs.
Gwinnett United in Drug Education comprises county commissioners, educators and business leaders who work together to reduce drug use in Gwinnett county and the greater Atlanta area. The organization has implemented several programs to reduce teen inhalant, marijuana, alcohol and prescription drug abuse.
The Gwinnett Coalition promotes healthy, drug-free lifestyles. The coalition produces public awareness campaigns to reduce alcohol and drug use during pregnancy. It also helps Gwinnett County police monitor alcohol sales to youth, and the coalition hosts leadership training opportunities for adolescents.
Gwinnett County Public Schools prevents substance abuse through several initiatives. Gwinnett police provide eight classroom sessions on substance use and violence to fifth graders. After-school programs provide children with safe recreational activities, and several of the group’s programs promote leadership and life skills.
The Cobb Alcohol Taskforce works to reduce underage alcohol use and binge drinking by raising awareness, advocating for policy changes, monitoring underage drinking and implementing prevention programs in Cobb County. The group also rewards positive behavior.
The Cobb Community Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse is composed of business leaders, educators, health providers, police, parents and youth. The group reduces substance use through educational programs, media campaigns and workshops.