National Recovery Month: Addiction Does Not Define You

Sometimes, it’s not obvious if a friend or loved one is struggling with an addiction and time and again, substance abuse goes unnoticed. We often think of substance abuse in terms of illegal drugs, which are out of sight, and out of mind for many people. What you should know is that many of the most debilitating addictions arise from perfectly legal prescription drugs. According to Drugabuse.gov, over 50 million Americans have used prescription drugs in their lifetimes, and approximately seven million have a dependency on them. Addiction is a serious problem and can ruin lives. This National Recovery Month, Benefits.gov is sharing resources available to those seeking, or in need of help on their journey to recovery. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a National Helpline, which provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information on mental/substance abuse disorders, in both English and Spanish. Try calling SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 (TTY: 1-800-487-4889). SAMHSA also offers a wide variety of resources, including tools to find your closest treatment location, and other helpful contact information.

In particular, you can use SAMHSA’s tool to locate physicians qualified to treat opioid dependency, which includes prescription drug addiction, near you. You can also use the Opioid Treatment Program Directory to see what treatment options and programs are available in your state.

If you are a Veteran with drug or alcohol dependence, you may qualify for the Veterans Alcohol and Drug Dependence Rehabilitation Program, managed by the Veterans Health Administration at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  In addition to providing medical, social, and vocational rehabilitation to beneficiaries, this program also supplies various forms of treatment, such as detoxification, psychiatric care, and rehabilitation. Veterans and their families may also call the Veteran’s Crisis Line to speak with qualified, caring VA responders (1-800-273-8255; TTY: 1-800-799-4889).

There are numerous help lines, treatment options, and contact centers that can help you or a loved one through an addiction. If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, the Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a free, confidential, 24-hour service to help you through your period of suicidal or emotional distress. You can reach the lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY: 1-800-799-4889).

Dealing with addiction can be equally devastating for sufferers and their loved ones. Benefits.gov is sharing these resources to help individuals and families in need of healing and recovery. No matter what, you are not alone.

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