Alcohol & Substance Misuse

Overdose is preventable, substance use problems are treatable, & treatment is available

Accepting a problem can be difficult. When it comes to drugs and alcohol, trying to deal with those problems can be even harder. Sometimes you might need extra support.

If you think that you or someone close to you is having problems with prescription drugs, alcohol, or other drugs, you don’t have to face it alone. Help is always nearby in NYC.


What Is Substance Use Disorder?

Drug or alcohol use disorders (including addiction) can look different and affect people in different ways. Substance use or misuse can lead to addiction and have harmful effects on your health, behavior, and relationships.

Some signs that you or someone close to you might have a substance use disorder:

  • cravings for a substance
  • needing alcohol or drugs to function or feel “normal”
  • increased tolerance to a drug—needing higher doses or more of the drug to feel relief from cravings and withdrawal
  • strained relationships
  • neglecting responsibilities

Not all use of alcohol or drugs counts as misuse, but use or misuse of some substances can be risky and lead to addiction, overdose, and other harms. Taking prescription painkillers, for example, especially if they were not prescribed for you by your doctor, can reduce pain but can be dangerous and pose the same risks as illegal opioids like heroin.

Prevent overdose

If you know someone at risk of an overdose, NYC provides easy access to Naloxone, an emergency medication that reverses overdoses from opioids like prescription painkillers and heroin.

  • You can get Naloxone without a prescription at over 750 pharmacies across the city.
  • It’s covered by insurance.
  • You can get trained in overdose prevention and get Naloxone at no cost at an opioid overdose prevention program.
Find a prevention program

Getting Help

Substance use problems are treatable. If you or someone you know is having problems with painkillers, other drugs, or alcohol, help is available in the form of counseling, group therapy, in-patient and out-patient rehab, and medication.

Visit the NYC resources page to learn more about treatment options.

Get free, confidential help with NYC Well

A positive first step toward getting better is reaching out to someone who can help. NYC Well is a 24/7 service that offers free mental health support, including referrals on substance misuse information and treatment.

Learn more about NYC Well