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First Step Addiction Treatment Program

Alcohol, Opioid, Heroin, Drug Treatment, and More

Do you or someone you love have a substance use disorder?

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Online resources can be overwhelming, and insurance and waiting lists can be frustrating.

About the First Step Addiction Program

When you or a loved one commits to getting help for addiction, you don’t have time to wait. You need assistance fast. You need the First Step addiction program at Summa’s Akron, Barberton, Green and Wadsworth Emergency Departments (ED), made available through a partnership with the United Way of Summit County and other community agencies.

The First Step addiction program initiates addiction treatment right in the ED – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In a single visit, we can treat your symptoms and ease cravings, as well as provide onsite care coordination to ensure that you don’t leave our hospital without the next treatment option in place.

This program provides care and assistance for individuals looking for:

  • Opioid addition treatment
  • Heroin addiction treatment
  • Alcohol addiction treatment
  • Treatment for other substance addictions

Medical Treatment for Addiction

Emergency Department providers may use medicinal interventions to help ease withdrawal symptoms. Our ED is one of the few in the state administering buprenorphine, a form of medicated-assisted treatment to suppress symptoms of opiate withdrawal for people in crisis – people who may never otherwise seek medical care.

Care Coordination 

Thanks to the support of United Way, we have a full-time addiction care coordinator available from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., when the majority of overdose cases occur. The care coordinator can quickly connect patients with appropriate providers and facilities while still in the ED. 

Recovery Coach Connection

This program also offers on-call “recovery coaches,” trained and certified peer-support specialists, many in recovery themselves, that support and guide patients to resources throughout the community and help remove barriers to sobriety such as transportation, child care and sober housing. Services may vary with each case, from accompanying patients to appointments to reaching out to family members. 

Service Coordination

When someone attends their first appointment after the ED visit, they gain access to a service coordinator whose job it is to address all of a patient’s needs outside of treatment, including childcare, food stability, housing, and transportation. By removing barriers to staying in recovery, service coordination helps patients stay motivated and engaged in their treatment plan.

If you or a loved one is ready to start treatment, visit our First Step program at a location near you. Our doors are always open. 


Options to Request an Appointment

If your situation is an emergency, call 911.