If you or someone you know needs help, you are not alone. You can find different ways to get help and support below.
Do You Need to Speak with Someone now?
If you are experiencing an emergency and need help from police, fire department or ambulance, dial 911. If you’re not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, officials recommend calling 911 and letting the call-taker determine whether you need emergency help.
When you call 911, be prepared to answer the call-taker’s questions, which may include:
- The location of the emergency, including the street address
- The phone number you are calling from
- The nature of the emergency
- Details about the emergency, such as a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across the United States. They don’t just provide help about suicide—they cover a lot of issues and will help put you in touch with someone close by. Lifeline services are available in English (1-800-273-8255), for Spanish language speakers (1-888-628-9454), and for individuals who may be deaf or hard of hearing (1-800-799-4889).
For more information, check suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7, confidential crisis support by text. Crisis Text Line serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support and information.
Here’s how it works:
You text 741741 when in crisis, available 24/7 in the United States.
A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds quickly.
The Crisis Counselor helps you move from a hot moment to a cool calm to stay safe and healthy using effective active listening and suggested referrals – all through text message, using Crisis Text Line’s secure platform.
For more information, check crisistextline.org.
Dial 211 or text your zip code to 898211
211 is a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people of all ages and from all communities to the essential health and human services they need, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A toll-free call to 211 connects you to a community resource specialist in your area who can put you in touch with local organizations that provide critical services that can improve—and save—lives.
For more information, check helplinecenter.org.
Looking for Support?
Family and friends
Principles of Effective Treatment
The National Institution on Drug Abuse (NIDA) lists 13 fundamental principles of effective addiction / substance use disorder treatment based on empirical research. These 13 principles can serve as a guide if you are searching for effective treatment.
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
- No single treatment is appropriate for everyone.
- Treatment needs to be readily available.
- Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her substance use.
- Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.
- Behavioral therapies — including individual, family, or group counseling — are the most commonly used forms of substance use treatment.
- Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
- An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.
- Many individuals with SUD also have other mental disorders.
- Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use.
- Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.
- Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously, as lapses during treatment do occur.
- Treatment programs should test patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as provide targeted risk-reduction counseling, linking patients to treatment if necessary.
Treatment Step-by-Step Guides
National Institute on Drug Abuse has developed customized guides for people seeking help for themselves or their loved ones struggling with addiction. The format is simple Q&A accompanied by videos. The guides focus on the steps needed to determine if a person needs treatment; how to find it; what happens in treatment; finding help paying for it; privacy issues, and more. The guides fall into 4 categories:
1. teens seeking help
2. adults seeking help
3. parents/guardians seeking help for their teen/young adult child
4. people trying to help an adult loved one