When Was The First Rehabilitation Center Established?

DelindaMedina 15 October 2023

A Brief History of Substance Abuse Rehabilitation: From Keeley’s Method to Modern Treatment Centers

When Was The First Rehabilitation Center Established?

Substance abuse rehabilitation has a long history, with the first treatment center being established in the late 1800s. Dr. Leslie Keeley developed the Keeley Method, a combination of medication, education and moral support to treat alcoholism. This was the beginning of modern substance abuse rehabilitation.

Since then, rehab centers have come a long way. In the 1950s, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded and is now one of the most widely used forms of addiction treatment worldwide. In the 1970s, methadone maintenance became popular for treating heroin addiction.

Nowadays, rehab centers offer a wide range of treatments and services to help people recover from addiction. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, 12-step programs, detoxification and residential treatment as well as holistic approaches combining traditional medical care with alternative therapies such as yoga and meditation. Additionally many centers provide individual counseling sessions, group therapy sessions, family education programs and aftercare support.

substance abuse rehabilitation has evolved greatly over time and continues to develop new methods for helping people overcome their addictions.

The Evolution of Substance Abuse Treatment: How We Got Here

Substance abuse treatment has come a long way since the first rehabilitation center was established in the late 1800s. In the early 20th century, addiction was viewed as a moral failing and treated with punitive measures like incarceration. However, in the 1950s, new research revealed that addiction had biological, psychological, and social components. This led to more humane approaches such as psychotherapy and group counseling.

The 1970s saw the introduction of methadone maintenance therapy which helped opioid-dependent individuals manage their cravings without using drugs. The 1980s brought about drug courts which diverted offenders into treatment programs instead of prison sentences.

In the 1990s, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI) were developed to help individuals identify and modify their thought patterns and behaviors related to substance use. Nowadays, there is an increased focus on evidence-based treatments such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid dependence and contingency management (CM) for other substances. Mental health issues are also being addressed in order to provide comprehensive care for those suffering from substance use disorders.

Tracing the Roots of Substance Abuse Rehabilitation

When it comes to substance abuse rehabilitation, it’s easy to forget just how far we’ve come. In the late 1800s, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded, offering a new approach to treating addiction. Since then, the evolution of treatment has been remarkable. In the 1940s and 1950s, Synanon and Daytop Village began providing more structured rehabilitation programs. Then in the 1970s methadone maintenance became a popular option for opioid addiction.

In the 1980s and 1990s, cognitive behavioral therapy and other psychotherapeutic approaches gained traction as evidence-based treatments for addiction. Fast forward to today, we have an array of evidence-based practices available to us such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), 12-step programs, motivational interviewing (MI), and contingency management (CM).

But with all these advances in substance abuse rehabilitation, one must wonder: How do we ensure that these treatments are effective? Is there more we can do to ensure those struggling with addiction get the help they need? These are important questions that need to be addressed if we are going to continue making progress in this field.

When Was the First Rehabilitation Center Established? An In-Depth Look at the History of Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance abuse rehabilitation has come a long way since the first center was established in the late 19th century. The Keeley Institute, founded by Dr. Leslie E. Keeley, was the first rehab center dedicated to treating addiction and it used a double chloride gold cure based on an extract of cocaine, cannabis, and alcohol that was injected into patients.

Since then, treatment models have shifted towards more humane approaches such as psychotherapy, group counseling, and 12-step programs. But with the rise of opioid addiction in recent years, there is still much work to be done to help those struggling with substance abuse. How can we ensure that those who need help are getting access to effective treatments? How can we make sure that rehabilitation centers are properly equipped to deal with this crisis?

Today’s rehabilitation centers offer a variety of evidence-based treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and medication-assisted treatment (MAT). These treatments have been proven to be effective in helping people overcome their addictions and lead healthier lives. But there is still much work to be done in order to ensure that everyone who needs help is able to access these services.

The history of substance abuse treatment shows us how far we have come but also highlights the need for continued progress. We must continue to strive for better treatments and access for those suffering from addiction so that they can get the help they need and lead fulfilling lives free from drugs or alcohol.


Substance abuse treatment has been around for centuries, with the first rehabilitation center opening its doors in the late 1800s. Since then, rehab centers have come a long way, offering a wide range of treatments and services to help people recover from addiction. In recent years, many of these treatments have become more evidence-based, such as medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid dependence and contingency management (CM) for other substances.

Despite the advancements in substance abuse treatment, there is still much work to be done to ensure that everyone who needs help can access effective treatments. This raises questions about how effective current treatments are and whether more can be done to better serve those struggling with addiction.

It’s clear that substance abuse treatment has evolved greatly over time and continues to do so today. While there is still progress to be made, it’s encouraging to know that there are now more options available for those seeking help with addiction. With the right resources and support, those struggling with substance abuse can find hope and healing on the path towards recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

When was rehab founded?

1879: Beginning of the Rehabilitation Institute This influenced the formation of the modern approach to rehabilitation facilities. Providing a safe comfortable and healthy place for recovering addicts to learn how to live without chemical crutches.

What was the first ever rehab?

When was the first rehabilitation center born? The first treatment center similar to todays rehabilitation facilities opened in 1864. Sober Asylum was the first medically supervised facility to treat alcoholics in New York. This is an important milestone in the addiction treatment spectrum.

How many rehabilitation centers are in the US?

Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Centers of America – Number of Businesses Worth 2005-2027 Feb 1 201639153 Feb 1 201739620 Feb 1 201839790 Feb 1 208120 Other 2019

What is the origin of rehab?

The name rehabilitation comes from the Latin prefix re- (again) and hitare means to become fit. When something is broken and needs to be put back into better shape it needs rehabilitation.

What is the oldest addiction?

Opium Worlds Oldest Drug Addictions | Lakeview Blog. How can we help you? Opium is a latex-like substance that comes from a plant called the opium poppy.


Hello, my name is Delinda Medina and I am a 30-year-old female with a medical background and nursing experience. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and insights into the medical field, and I have found writing articles about medicine to be an enjoyable and rewarding hobby. Currently residing in Beverly, US, I am excited to continue learning and exploring the ever-evolving world of healthcare while sharing my insights with others.

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