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PO Box: 11-0236
Riad El Solh, Beirut 1107 2020
Beirut - Lebanon (More)
The Dr. Agnes Varis Healing Program for Substance Use Disorders​


The Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Program at AUBMC was established in 2014 upon receiving a generous gift from the Dr. Agnes Varis Trust. In addition to treating substance use disorders at the Department of Psychiatry, AUBMC, the program also supports training and development.

What is a SUD?
Substance use disorder (SUD) describes a problematic pathological overuse of one or more substances (legal or illegal), such as alcohol, leading to a clinically significant impairment or distress. Substances involved can range from nicotine and alcohol to cannabis or other recreational drugs, as well as prescription medications (sedatives, sleeping pills, pain medicines). Behavioral addictions such as gambling or internet/video game overuse might also become problematic and may need treatment.
Any individual might be diagnosed with a substance use disorder, whose effects are usually harmful to the physical and mental health if untreated. Early detection and treatment can benefit patients with substance use disorders.

The serious signs and consequences of problematic SUD may not be initially obvious but can primarily manifest themselves in any kind of personal, work, or academic relationship.

Our Mission
The mission of the program is to:
  • treat, prevent, and educate individuals about substance use disorders (SUD).
  • provide holistic, professional, and personalized care for SUD in a safe, confidential, and supportive environment.
  • conduct innovative clinical scientific research that will ultimately benefit our patients.

Our Vision
We aim to provide the best possible, evidence based, humanistic care to a complex bio-psycho-social problem and support individuals and families who are dealing with the challenges of SUD. 
We also aim at raising awareness, promoting prevention, and reducing stigma toward SUD.

Our Services
Program members work in collaboration with the Department of Psychiatry hospital-based services to provide hospital based detoxification from drugs or alcohol, if needed prior to enrolling in the program.
Our services include:
  • an outpatient intensive psychological-based individual and group therapy.
  • an individual initial assessment which analyzes the case at hand and recommend the appropriate treatment.
The basic program extends over approximately 8 weeks​.

Our​ Team
Our team is multidisciplinary with experienced psychologists carrying a masters’ degree in addition to a registered nurse. Team members work under the supervision of a medical director specialized in addiction medicine.

Who can benefit from this program?
Addiction refers to behavioral addictions or substance dependence, which are not limited to drugs or alcohol. Individuals of any age, educational level, or profession, may struggle with addiction or addictive behaviors. A sense of guilt, shame or embarrassment leads many of these individuals to initially deny their addictions and have little insight regarding their SUD. Our program can help screen or evaluate for such disorders. Concerned families can request evaluations to assess the behaviors of their significant others to determine if they are problematic and require further interventions.

Why come to us?
Although many reputable institutions offer treatment services for addiction, our intensive outpatient program is unique in Lebanon and the region. Our program combines a specialized skill set that includes psychiatrists who are American board certified in addiction, experienced substance abuse counselors, and specialized nursing staff.

Our program is also seamlessly linked to other services that can address medical detoxification needs (hospital based) and specialized psychological and psychiatric care at the Department of Psychiatry. Treatment is flexible and can be extended as needed, and we are able to provide long-term follow up after the program is concluded. We are also able to provide any needed drug or alcohol testing on our premises.

Location and Appointment Scheduling
The Substance Use Disorders Program is located in the Department of Psychiatry, 3rd Floor at AUBMC, Bldg. 56. To schedule an appointment, please call: 01 - 350000 ext. 5650 or email us at: sud@aub.edu.lb.
​Check the video of the Interview with Ms. Pascale Nakhle about SUD

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