Millions of people struggle with alcohol and drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from overdose were on the rise even before the COVID-19 pandemic, but stress, isolation, and fear related to the coronavirus have contributed to a new surge.
Substance use disorders, including addiction, are diseases that affect a person’s brain and behavior, and they are completely treatable. Anyone can misuse drugs, alcohol, or other substances — it’s nobody’s fault, and there’s no single cause. But the effects can be serious.
Whether you want to help yourself or someone else, our information and resources on kp.org can help you understand substance use disorders and the treatment and recovery options that are available. If you aren’t sure whether you need help, drug and alcohol self-assessments will guide you.
There is no single path to recovery that works for everyone — treatment is highly personal. If you’re a Kaiser Permanente member, you can find addiction medicine services near you. Our care teams can help you understand the risks, empower you to make informed choices about your health, and help you take whatever steps you’re ready to take. If you’re having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
For additional support, self-care tools to help manage stress and anxiety are available to everyone at no cost. Kaiser Permanente experts have also provided recommendations for managing addiction during the COVID-19 pandemic. And for the families, friends, and loved ones of people struggling with alcohol or drugs, support groups are available from organizations such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.
Substance misuse is a serious health problem, but with the right support, the journey to recovery is possible for everyone.