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Addiction Services Program

The Addiction Services Program at Akron Children’s Hospital provides evidenced-based treatment services for adolescents with substance use disorders up to age 18. This includes medication-assisted treatment for withdrawal management and ongoing maintenance along with urine drugs screening, individual and family counseling. The initial intake consists of a medical evaluation with an addiction medicine physician and a diagnostic assessment with a licensed clinical counselor, specializing in substance use disorder treatment. The program complements the hospital’s current program for inpatients with another diagnosis who also have a substance use disorder.

The program also provides education, prevention, screening, care coordination, assessment, treatment, community outreach and referral to community partners. Funded entirely by philanthropic support, Akron Children’s Hospital is in a unique position to work with youth of all ages. Our primary care and school health programs offer us unique access and opportunities to educate children about the risks associated with substance misuse and substance use disorders. At the same time, we recognize that education of parents to protect children from prescriptions in the home is equally important. As health care providers, we also have the responsibility to have guidelines in place to prevent overprescribing as well as policies to protect and help our own employees.

Akron Children’s collaborates with the Northeast Ohio community to address the overwhelming addiction concerns we are facing. Substance use disorder affects people of all different ages from all different backgrounds – from the infant who is born in withdrawal as a result of a mother’s substance use, to the adolescent who experiments with marijuana or alcohol or becomes dependent on prescription pain medicine.

Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease. It is considered a brain disease because addictive substances and the nervous system chemicals they stimulate change the brain; they change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long-lasting and can lead to harmful and self-destructive behaviors. 

As a leader in pediatric care, Akron Children’s Hospital has the goal of preventing today’s children and teens from becoming the next generation struggling with addiction.

If you feel your child or teen has a problem, please contact us at 330-543-5015.

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Contact Addiction Services Program


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Addiction Services
Akron Children's Hospital Addiction Services Program
Considine Professional Building
215 West Bowery Street
Level 2
Akron, Ohio 44308
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Our Doctors/Providers

Department Heads:
William Goldman
William Goldman, DO

Medical Director, Addiction Services Program


Sarah Elizabeth Friebert, MD

Director, Pediatric Palliative Care; Pediatric Palliative Care Physician; Sarah Elizabeth Friebert, M.D. Leadership Chair in Pediatric Palliative Care

Other Providers:

Talia Brown, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS

Clinical Operations Supervisor, Addiction Services Program

Maritza Malloy, MA, LPCC

Substance Use and Mental Health Therapist


Gabriela Melchiorre, LPC

Substance Use and Mental Health Therapist

What Should Families Expect When They Come for an Appointment?

At Akron Children’s, your child’s health and safety is our priority. Please continue to bring your child for wellness visits, vaccinations or sick care appointments that keep children healthy. We want to assure you that we have taken additional precautions to ensure a safe environment for your child and family. The following are additional safety efforts, in addition to our normal cleaning protocols, that we are taking to help you be comfortable bringing your child to an appointment.

Masking and Other Safety Protocols

Akron Children’s has a number of safety protocols in place for our patients and visitors in order to provide a safe hospital environment.

Health Screening Station Ahead Sign

Checking In and Screening of Visitors

Akron Children's now offers Mobile Check-in to limit your exposure to others. You'll receive a text an hour before your child's appointment arrival time. Click the link in the text when you reach the Akron Children's facility for your child's appointment. You will receive a confirmation text that reminds you to wait in your car. Once we determine appropriate spacing is available inside the building, you'll receive a third text to let you know it's OK to come in for your appointment.

Immediately upon entering the building, your temperature will be taken, either by a thermal scanner or a greeter who will also ask you a few questions.

If you are in a waiting room, you’ll notice signs and a limited number of chairs. This is to remind our patients to keep 6 feet of physical distance between your family and others.

Precautions If You Suspect Your Child Has COVID-19

Call your child’s healthcare professional if your child is sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing and has been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. Your health care professional will work with Ohio’s public health department and the CDC to determine if your child needs to be tested for COVID-19.

View all the safety precautions Akron Children's is taking.


National Institute on Drug Abuse/The Adolescent Brain

Power To The Parent

Summitt County Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board

Relink - Provider Connections

The Emerald Jenny Foundation

Community Health Center Adolescent Treatment

CommQuest Recovery Counseling

LCADA Wellness and Recovery Way