SPECIAL SERIES: Breaking Down Addiction
with Dr. Tom Brophy

Promoting addiction awareness and education is a huge part of our mission. Gaiser’s medical director shares insights on the science of addiction and the recovery process here every month.



Q: Can a person "get clean" on their own without a treatment center?

A: Studies have shown that treating addiction without help is nearly impossible. Success rates in this approach are typically reported to be less than 1%. Even with a 30-day program, success only climbs to around 3%. When treating addiction, there are NO SHORT CUTS. It takes time for the brain to heal, time for new behaviors to become habits, and time for the pleasure-reward-center to rewire in adaptation to life without the drug. Typically, the longer someone stays in treatment, the better their outcome. We can also boost success rates by using certain medications when and where appropriate. If you are struggling with substance abuse, set yourself up for success by embracing treatment with a reputable and comprehensive program like we have at the Gaiser Center.

About Dr. Brophy
C. Thomas Brophy, DO, medical director of the Gaiser Center, is one of the region’s few physicians board certified in both Addiction Medicine and Emergency Medicine. Dr. Brophy is experienced in treating the acute aspects of addiction, such as overdose and withdrawal, in the emergency departments of local hospitals. In the outpatient setting, he employs evidence-based medicine and leading-edge Medication Assisted Treatment options to bring hope and stability to individuals combatting addiction. Placing a premium on addiction prevention and awareness, he implemented educational programs in schools across western Pennsylvania and launched the nonprofit Opiate Reform Initiative to educate the public and reduce the stigma associated with addiction.


Have a question for Dr. Brophy? Email us at inquiries@gaisercenter.com.

Need to talk with a trained addiction counselor? Fill out our confidential online form to schedule an appointment or click the button below to schedule an evaluation.




The Ellen O’Brien Gaiser Center, a nonprofit organization, is a licensed PA addiction treatment center.
The Gaiser Center has been helping those struggling with addiction find recovery since 1971.

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