Washington D.C. Drug Rehabs

The District of Columbia has some of the highest rates of drug abuse in the nation, often ranking in the top 5 most addicted places. D.C.'s competitive and high-stress culture may contribute to the high levels of drug abuse in the district.

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Recovery Unplugged – Harrison House of Northern Virginia

Annandale , VA


Recovery Centers of America Capital Region

Waldorf , MD


Recovery Centers of America at Bracebridge Hall

Earleville , MD


Banyan Treatment Centers – Delaware

Milford , DE


MeadowWood Behavioral Health

New Castle , DE


Bowling Green Brandywine

Kennett Square , PA


Coatesville Comprehensive Treatment Center

Coatesville , PA


Recovery Centers of America at Devon

Devon , PA

Showing 8 of 12 Centers In Washington D.C.

Addiction Treatment In Washington, D.C.

In 2019, over 5,000 people sought treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) in Washington, D.C. Heroin, Cocaine, and alcohol were the commonly used substances used during the same year. Fortunately, there are many treatment options in D.C. or nearby for those seeking treatment. 

The District of Columbia has addiction treatment programs for everyone, whether you’re looking for something nearby and affordable or something more private and high-end.

People often travel outside the metro area to surrounding states, such as Maryland or Virginia, for residential treatment. This allows them to step away from the fast pace and pressures of the city and focus on their recovery. D.C. also has highly rated outpatient treatment programs geared toward career-driven individuals who want to keep working during treatment.

Traveling Out Of D.C. For Residential Treatment

Busy metropolitan areas can be a distraction from addiction treatment, which is why many people living in D.C. choose to travel out of the district. Traveling for treatment also removes the addicted person from the environment associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Some people travel across the country to prestigious rehabs in sunnier atmospheres, and some take a short drive to a nearby treatment center in secluded, country settings.

Drug Abuse In Washington, D.C.

D.C. has a long history of drug use and addiction, often ranking among the highest rates of substance abuse in the nation. Each year, cocaine and crack are consistently the most abused drugs in D.C. People arrested in the district test positive for cocaine more than any other other drug.

Synthetic marijuana abuse has also become a growing problem in D.C. The number of people making trips to the emergency rooms from synthetic drug overdoses is steadily increasing.

In line with the rest of the US, D.C. saw an increase in Opioid related overdose deaths during the year 2020. There were 411 Opioid overdoses that year which equates to a 47% increase. 

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Addiction And Drug Abuse Statistics In D.C.



A recent study showed that about 12 percent of DC youth have abused prescription drugs.


in the country

In 2019, a report showed that Washington D.C. ranks number 1 with the highest amount of drug use and addiction in the US.



27.6 percent of individuals who sought treatment in D.C. cited Heroin use in 2019.

Washington, D.C., Marijuana Laws

The Legalization of Possession of Minimal Amounts of Marijuana for Personal Use Act of 2014 made recreational marijuana use legal for the first time ever in D.C. The initiative amended D.C. Code 48-904.01, the District of Columbia’s Controlled Substances Act. The law went into effect in February 2015.

Since 2015, the law allows DC residents to:

  • Possess up to two ounces of marijuana.
  • Grow up to six cannabis plants at home, three of which can be mature.
  • Use and sell drug paraphernalia for the purposes of growing or processing marijuana.
  • Transfer (without payment) up to one ounce of marijuana to another person over the age of 21.

Although marijuana is legal, there are still consequences for using, possessing or distributing the drug unlawfully. For example, those in possession of more than two ounces of marijuana can face misdemeanor charges, six months incarceration and a $1,000 fine.

Addiction Treatment Services in D.C.

Washington, D.C., provides many services to addicted people. Some of the services prevent harm to current drug users and others help addicted people get sober. If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction in D.C., these services may be able to help you:

Syringe Exchanges

A big focus of harm reduction advocates in D.C. is preventing the spread of communicable diseases like HIV. In 2009, the rates of HIV in the district were at epidemic proportions. Thanks to programs that give intravenous drug users access to clean syringes, the rates of HIV transmission have been rapidly declining in D.C.

Naloxone Training and Distribution

Naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of heroin and other opiates, is widely available in Washington to both medical and non-medical personnel. Naloxone has saved lives, working as an antidote during potentially fatal overdose situations. Organizations throughout the district provide naloxone and offer training on how to properly administer the drug.

Washington, D.C. 911 Good Samaritan Law

D.C. has a Good Samaritan law that protects people from being charged or arrested for possession of drugs and/or paraphernalia if they call 911 for help during an overdose (theirs or someone else’s). The law only accounts for the possession of small amounts of drugs; it doesn’t protect those with the intent to traffic drugs.

The Drug Treatment Choice Program

In Washington, D.C., residents have access to drug detox, residential treatment and outpatient services based on their level of need. This is part of the Drug Treatment Choice Program maintained by the Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration (APRA). This program is a great option for those in D.C. looking for treatment covered by Medicaid or Medicare, as well as those who don’t have any form of insurance. APRA also provides addiction treatment specifically for adolescents.

Find Help In And Around Washington, D.C.

There are many addiction treatment options for residents of Washington to take advantage of. Whether you’re searching for an outpatient treatment center to maintain an already busy schedule, or you’re looking for a relaxing residential center, there are countless rehab options for those in the D.C. area. For more information, contact a treatment provider today.



Jeffrey Juergens

Photo of Jeffrey Juergens
  • Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

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