Substance Abuse Crisis


Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.(ACASA)

(585) 593-6738

Clarity Wellness Community

24 Hour Crisis Hotline: (888) 448-3367

Council on Addiction Recovery Services, Inc.(CAReS)

(716) 373-4303

Frequently Asked Questions

I need help, where can I go to get help?

You can contact your local substance abuse treatment center or clinic. There are also several self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These meetings are set up to support you through recovery by people who are going through it themselves. It is important to reach out to those around you who will provide support and understanding as you begin recovery, such as parents, siblings, trusted friends, teachers, or even another recovering addict or alcoholic.

What can I do to help my loved one?

Talk to your loved one compassionately, and try not to argue. Show them that you are concerned and that you are there for them. Love your child unconditionally while maintaining healthy boundaries. Do not enable them, which means do not make it easy for them to use or take advantage of the situation. Do not provide money or other items of value. Be a good role model yourself and discuss the importance of honesty. Be supportive! Start connecting with people and services that can help them obtain sobriety. In addition, it is important to get help for the whole family to promote a healthy environment for everyone.

Am I an addict?

If your life has become unmanageable or turmoil surrounds yourself, and relates to your substance use, there is a possibility of addiction. Sometimes, we set out to do something in moderation, and end up doing it excessively. Usually if there is a problem, family or friends become concerned, and they often can see significant personality changes and behavior before you do. Most addicts cannot follow through with their responsibilities and often put substances before work, school, friends, or family. Substance abuse can also cause you to make irrational decisions such as lying, stealing, or even breaking the law.

Am I always going to be an addict?

Many believe once an addict, always an addict. However, this does not mean permanent abstinence cannot be achieved. Addiction is a treatable disease. Though you will always have addictive attributes, by working a program and taking the necessary steps in recovery you can have a better life. It starts by admitting that you have a problem and you need help.

How can I tell if someone is on drugs?

People who use drugs and alcohol tend to be less motivated, moody, act irregular, or their appearance changes drastically. Physically they could have slurred speech, dilated pupils, or glassy eyes. You may notice a change in behaviors that are different from the norm, losing interest in activities and hobbies, keeping unsavory friends, and a change in attitudes. They may act secretive and dishonest such as saying they will be in one place and really at another. You may find money missing, or they are asking or borrowing money for things more often. You know your loved one better than anyone does. If you notice any changes that cause you to suspect that there is something wrong, it is important to come out and ask him or her directly if they are abusing drugs or alcohol.

Why do people who abuse alcohol or drugs behave badly?

Once drugs are introduced to the body, a person’s mood and judgment are altered which may cause them to act in irrational ways or make poor decisions. Drugs and alcohol prevent them from thinking clearly. It is important to understand that the chemical they are using changes the way they perceive, how they act, and how they communicate. Every aspect of the person is changed due to how the drug reacts in the body.

Is it my fault that my child is an addict? No. The user is responsible for their own actions. When drugs are used excessively, it is almost impossible to control the temptation and drive to use. The addict or the parent has little control over the situation.  However, you may want to consider removing any alcohol and/or prescription or over the counter drugs from their reach. If you are a drinker or drug user yourself, consider getting help or quitting your own behavior that could influence a child or loved one.