Substance abuse support

Let’s face it: Many of us have taken up some not-entirely-healthy habits over the past couple years. And who can blame us? We’ve been dealing with unprecedented levels of fear, uncertainty, and social isolation. It only makes sense that we’d try to take a little comfort in the things that bring us pleasure — like binge-watching multiple series while consuming a pint of Rocky Road and a glass or two of wine.

But there’s a difference between occasional TV and ice cream overindulgence and an unhealthy dependency on alcohol or drugs. To make sure you haven’t crossed that line, you may want to do a quick pulse check. If you think you might have a problem, you have plenty of ways to connect with the right resources.

Signs of substance abuse

How do you know if you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem? Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Using or drinking larger amounts or over longer periods of time than planned
  • Continually wanting or unsuccessfully trying to cut down or control use of drugs or alcohol
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of drugs or alcohol
  • A strong desire to use drugs or alcohol
  • Ongoing drug or alcohol use that interferes with work, school, or home duties
  • Using drugs or alcohol even with continued relationship problems caused by use
  • Giving up or reducing activities because of drug or alcohol use
  • Taking risks, such as sexual risks or driving under the influence
  • Continually using drugs or alcohol even though it’s causing or adding to physical or psychological problems
  • Developing tolerance — needing to use more drugs or alcohol to get the same effect, or using the same amount of drugs or alcohol but not getting the same effect

Having withdrawal symptoms if not using drugs or alcohol, or using alcohol or another drug to avoid such symptoms

Most frequently abused substances

How do you know if you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem? Here are some signs to watch for:

  • Using or drinking larger amounts or over longer periods of time than planned
  • Continually wanting or unsuccessfully trying to cut down or control use of drugs or alcohol
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of drugs or alcohol
  • A strong desire to use drugs or alcohol
  • Ongoing drug or alcohol use that interferes with work, school, or home duties
  • Using drugs or alcohol even with continued relationship problems caused by use
  • Giving up or reducing activities because of drug or alcohol use
  • Taking risks, such as sexual risks or driving under the influence
  • Continually using drugs or alcohol even though it’s causing or adding to physical or psychological problems
  • Developing tolerance — needing to use more drugs or alcohol to get the same effect, or using the same amount of drugs or alcohol but not getting the same effect

Having withdrawal symptoms if not using drugs or alcohol, or using alcohol or another drug to avoid such symptoms

1Johns Hopkins Medicine, Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependency.

2Johns Hopkins Medicine, Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependency.

Where to get help

Once you’ve acknowledged the problem, the next step is to seek help. Here are some of the best resources to turn to:

  • Your doctor. Talk to your primary care physician about your symptoms. They can perform an assessment and determine whether a referral to inpatient or outpatient services may be in order. Most substance abuse services are covered to varying degrees by Lenovo’s Cigna and Kaiser plans.
  • Employee Assistance Program. Make an appointment to talk to an EAP counselor. It’s free and confidential! Your counselor can direct you to the appropriate treatment services.
  • Substance Abuse Helpline. Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to get referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. The service is confidential, free, and available 24/7.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous. Visit the A. website to take a self-assessment and to find an A.A. chapter near you.