Addiction Treatment at Penn


Penn has a long list of treatment programs that help individuals overcome their addictions, such as the Stairway to Recovery program operated by addiction specialist Dr. James C. Berman, the Charles O’Brien Center for Addiction Treatment and the Center for Studies of Addictions, both led by world-renowned addiction researcher Charles O’Brien. 

In this edition of By The Numbers, we look at addiction and addiction treatment at Penn.

$550 billion

Estimated total cost of addiction to American society per year, including substance-related medical problems, crime, lost productivity, substance dependent treatment and auto insurance losses paid.


Year the Center for Studies of Addiction/Treatment Research Center was founded. It was created for the dual purpose of providing high quality treatment and advancing research frontiers.

250 million

According to the Stairway to Recovery program, amount of the industrialized world’s current population that will die of smoking-related diseases.


According to Penn Addiction Medicine, the amount of days it can take, depending on the drug, to manage a withdrawal syndrome. Alcohol, opiates and sedative hypnotics are some of the drugs that may require withdrawal management.

38 million

Approximate number of Americans that are chemically addicted to alcohol, drugs or both.


Address of the Charles O’Brien Center for Addiction Treatment, at 3900 Chestnut St.


According to the Stairway to Recovery program, the number of cures that exist for addiction. Like diabetes and other chronic, progressive diseases, the program says there is no cure for addiction. Lifelong treatment is required.

Originally published on May 21, 2009