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Mental Health Awareness Month: Substance Abuse

Substance Use & Abuse

40 million (1 in 7) Americans over the age of 12 abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol and other drugs. During times of stress and uncertainty, people may have a tendency to increase their use of alcohol, nicotine and other drugs, as a way to reduce stress and cope with concern and anxiety around the Covid-19 pandemic. 

What is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol, and other drugs. SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, describes a substance use disorder as a condition when drugs or alcohol are used to the point that they have significant negative effects on your life, making it unlivable to the quality it was before. 

Warning Signs to Get Help
If you or someone you know has any of the following warning signs, it is time to ask for help.

  • Using prescription drugs outside of prescribed use.
  • Using street drugs - such as cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine etc.
  • Heavy or Excessive Drinking.
  • Problems at work or school — frequent absence, loss of interest, a drop in performance
  • Changes in behavior.  
  • Minimizing usage and defensive behavior when questioned.
  • More prone to having a short temper – especially when using.
  • Hiding the truth and making up stories or excuses.
  • Money issues. 
  • Legal troubles. 
  • Changes in sleep and eating patterns.

Signs and symptoms of intoxication or drug use vary based on the substance. For more information on symptoms by type of drug click HERE.

Check out some tips and resources:

Don’t wait… ask for help.

Ask for help now
Don't wait, if you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse call for help. We're Here for You.

  • 24/7 FREE Telecounseling: EAP Counselors are available for individual confidential telephone counseling and consultations for active employees. Call: (628) 652-4600 or (800) 795-2351 
  • Mental Health & Substance Abuse Benefits through your Health Plan
  • If you, or a family member, needs help with a substance use disorder, call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889, or use SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator to get help.
  • Find a state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders and addiction.