Addiction & Recovery

You are stronger than addiction. You are here, seeking positive change. And the Addiction and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) team is here to support you.

ASAP at UNM Health is a comprehensive treatment facility focused on caring for substance abuse disorders through integrated evidenced-based care.

The Addiction and Substance Abuse Program is a comprehensive treatment facility focused on treating substance use disorders through integrated evidenced-based care. We offer:

  • Case management
  • Medication assisted treatment, including opioid replacement therapy
  • Outpatient detoxification
  • Primary care services, including hepatitis C treatment
  • Psychiatric services
  • Psychotherapeutic services (group, individual, family and couple services)
  • Specialty addiction treatment including services for pregnant, adolescent and transition age, and individuals with severe mental illness and/or trauma

Build a happier future, free of addiction. Find the power to change your life at UNM Health.

Schedule an Appointment

Your recovery goals are achievable. Reach out and take control of your life. Schedule an appointment today. 

Treatment Teams at ASAP

At ASAP, our therapists, doctors, case manager and medical staff all work together as part of a treatment team to help support you in your recovery.

  • Adult team serves adults over the age of 21.
  • Adolescent teams serve teens under the age of 21 and include staff that specializes in the treatment of adolescents and their families.
  • Milagro team is for pregnant women and those who have recently delivered—includes staff from FOCUS program.
  • Dual diagnosis team is for adults with a severe mental illness.
  • Trauma/PTSD team is for adults with PTSD and includes staff that specializes in evidence-based treatment of PTSD.

Stages of Recovery

Because treatment is not the same for everyone, we use a stage-based model. If you are new to ASAP, you will start in Stage 1.



Stage 1: Gain the skills you need to stay safe and begin your recovery.

  • Skills groups and/or Walk-In Counseling (WIC) at least once a month.
  • Education about addiction & emotions.
  • Work with case management to find safe housing, transportation and other resources.

Stage 2: Heal from the things that caused you to use substances in the first place.

  • Attend weekly (or 2x monthly) therapy with your assigned therapist for issues like PTSD, depression, anxiety or anger.
  • Work through painful past experiences.
  • Attend any recommended group therapy.
  • Learn to manage life without using substances.

Stage 3: Find out who you are without abusing substances, learn how to enjoy life in recovery, and eventually graduate from the ASAP program.

  • Attend aftercare groups once a month.
  • Practice relapse prevention skills.
  • Find a meaningful life outside of treatment (e.g., re-connecting with loved ones, going back to work or school or engaging in hobbies).
  • Be a peer support by helping others who are new to recovery.
  • Graduation from ASAP.

Opioid Replacement Therapy: What to Expect

Opioids are substances that activate the opioid receptors in our brains. Chronic use of opioids can be very harmful, and they are not indicated for long-term use in most people.

What to Know About Opiates

  • Opioid addiction is a chronic illness, like diabetes or hypertension, which requires long-term treatment. It is not a moral weakness.
  • Once a person becomes addicted to opioids, that person’s brain and body are hijacked, and they can start to see the opioids as being necessary for survival.
  • Addiction to opioids can include cravings, withdrawals, consequences like loss of job/family/money/health, continued use of opioids despite attempts to quit and loss of impulse control.  
  • ORT is an FDA-recommended treatment for addiction. It is highly effective when combined with counseling and other supports like case management and medical services.
  • Taking ORT is like taking medication to control heart disease or diabetes. It is NOT the same as substituting one addictive drug for another.
  • Patients on ORT can often stay at the same dose for many years.
  • There is no physical or psychological impairment when at the right dose. The person taking the medication feels normal, not high, and withdrawal does not occur.
  • Used properly, ORT does not create a new addiction. ORT allows you to regain a normal state of mind and can reduce withdrawals and cravings. ORT has allowed people to return to work, school and family life. 
  • Methadone is slow acting & provides long lasting relief (24 hours or more).
  • Patients start on a low dose, with slow increases over time until reaching a comfortable dose.
  • Methadone causes no harm to bones, tissues or organs and is medically safe when taken responsibly.
  • Pregnant women with opiate addiction have a much higher chance of giving birth to a healthy baby if they are in an ORT treatment program.
  • Methadone is typically not short-term. Many clients will remain on it for a year or more before tapering off their medication. Some clients may remain on methadone for an indefinite time. 
  • ASAP offers Suboxone (buprenorphine/naloxone) unless there is documented pregnancy or a documented reaction to naloxone.
  • At the correct dose, you should not feel withdrawal symptoms for a period of at least 24-36 hours.
  • In order to safely begin treatment, you will need to be already in withdrawal.  If it is started too soon, it may bring on more intense withdrawals.
  • The medical provider may start you on Suboxone at the medication window, or they may have you start the medication at home if safe and appropriate.
  • Unlike methadone, you may be able to achieve the right dose in as little as three days. 
  • Naltrexone blocks the effect of opioid drugs. This takes away the feeling of getting high. This feature makes naltrexone a good choice to prevent relapse.
  • We offer both oral (daily) and injectable (Vivitrol- monthly).
  • Like Suboxone, it is important for you to be in withdrawal to safely begin treatment with naltrexone.
  • Naltrexone does not lead to physical or psychological impairment or tolerance. It also does not lead to overdose. 
  • An uncommon side effect of methadone is a long Q-T interval; this may lead to cardiac arrhythmias, which can be life threatening. All patients who start on methadone and on doses over 100mg will be regularly tested for a long Q-T interval with an EKG.
  • A common side effect of all ORT is constipation because it slows the movement of the bowels.
  • Increasing fruits, vegetables, other good sources of fiber and the amount of water you drink (8-10 glasses a day) can relieve constipation.
  • Colace (a stool softener) and lactulose or MiraLAX added to prunes and water can further relieve constipation. If constipation continues, contact your nurse or doctor. 

About ASAP

Our mission is to provide high quality, safety-focused, evidence-based substance use disorder and co-occurring outpatient behavioral health disorder treatment to improve the physical, spiritual and emotional health of our patients and our community.

  1. The goal is to achieve and maintain sobriety from all substances of abuse.
  2. Medication is just one tool in treating substance use.
  3. Clients need to work with their therapists and treatment team to make decisions about what they need from treatment and to create goals.
  4. Each client may need a different treatment.
  5. All clients and staff will be treated with respect and dignity.
  6. We try to provide excellent services, and we want your input.
  7. Recovery from addiction can be long-term.
  8. Our purpose is to help you find a new way of living without substance use.

General Clinical Services: Monday-Friday: 6:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Dosing Clinic: Monday-Friday: 6:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Psychotherapy Services: Monday-Friday: 6:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Primary Care Clinic: Hours may vary.