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Responsible for the service City of Helsinki

Treatment of substance dependencies and other addictions

  • Service
  • Helsinki
  • Public service

The outpatient services of substance abuse rehabilitation clinics and the youth station are intended for people who need help with substance dependencies or other addictions.

Substance abuse rehabilitation clinics and the youth station are outpatient clinics that specialise in substance dependence problems. They provide services for treating harmful addictions. The services are confidential, free of charge and based on free will. The customers may freely choose their substance abuse rehabilitation clinic, regardless of their living area.

The treatment is started with an assessment period of 1 to 5 visits, during which the situation and treatment needs are evaluated and an initial treatment and service needs plan is compiled, in cooperation with the customer. Treatment methods include individual, couple's and family meetings and group rehabilitation.

Applying for non-institutional and institutional rehabilitation and substitution therapy is done via substance abuse rehabilitation clinics.

To whom and on what terms

The customer's service needs are reviewed during the initial assessment.

The service is only for citizens of Helsinki.

Background information

Help is available for halting a vicious cycle of substance abuse. A detoxification centre may take in an intoxicated person and offer them a safe environment in which to recover from the effects of alcohol, recreational or other drugs, or other substances. In practice, a person may spend a few hours, a night or at most around 24 hours at the detoxification centre. The detoxification centre also provides advice for accessing further treatment.

By contacting the health centre, a person can access detoxification treatment where they can withdraw from substance abuse with the assistance and under supervision of care staff. This usually takes a few days. Withdrawal therapy comprises long-term activities which also include support with life management, mental health issues and other problems caused by substance abuse. A withdrawal period at a public or a private rehabilitation institution may take from two to four weeks. After-treatment delivered as outpatient care can be provided for as long as necessary, up to several years.

If a person with substance abuse problems does not wish to participate in treatment, they may only be committed to involuntary treatment if there is an immediate risk to their life or health or their violent behaviour is a risk to others. Detoxification and withdrawal therapy are offered by public and private service providers.

Basic information

The service is provided byCity of Helsinki
Responsible for the serviceCity of Helsinki
Area Helsinki
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish, English, Russian
Text edited by: City of Helsinki
Updated: 1/17/2020