Treatment of substance abuse and mental health disorders is as important as treatment of heart disease and diabetes.

Just like physical illnesses, these disorders need to be treated. Left unaddressed, their impacts on individuals, their health, their employment, their finances and their family and friends can be tremendous.

September is National Recovery Month, an annual effort to offer assistance and resources for those in need of treatment and support services for family, friends and colleagues. Recovery month is a joint effort of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Join the Voices for Recovery: Recovery Benefits Everyone, highlights that behavioral health is an essential part of health and one’s overall wellness and that prevention works, treatment is effective and recovery from substance use and mental health problems is possible.

If you or anyone you know is in need of assistance, these toll-free numbers and websites can direct you toward the appropriate resources.

  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or 1-800-487-4889 (TDD) – Provides 24-hour free and confidential information about substance use and mental disorders, prevention, treatment and recovery referrals (in English or Spanish).
  • SAMHSA’s Find Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment Website–Contains information about treatment options and special services located in your area.
  • SAMHSA’s ADS Center – Provides information and assistance to develop successful efforts to counteract prejudice and discrimination and promote social inclusion.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – Provides a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
  • – Offers live online support and contains an abundance of resources on alcohol and drug treatment services searchable by state.
  • Alcohol and Drug Rehab Treatment Resource Center – Provides information on key issues about alcohol and drug abuse, including interventions, rehab and treatment. Visitors must enter identifying information to participate in this website. /li>
  • Alcoholics Anonymous, 1- (212) 870-3400 – Offers assistance related to abuse of alcohol through regularly scheduled meetings at convenient locations throughout the country.
  • Narcotics Anonymous, 1- (818) 773-9999 – Offers assistance related to drug abuse through regularly scheduled meetings at convenient locations throughout the country.
  • About Recovery, 1-(877) 345-3370 – Provides a 24-hour helpline for addiction recovery and treatment.
  • National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing System, 1-(800)-HELP- (4357) – Provides a toll free number for alcohol and drug information and referral service.
  • Al-Anon(for family and friends of alcoholics), 1- (888)-425-2666 – Offers assistance to families and friends of problem drinkers through regularly scheduled meetings at convenient locations throughout the country.

Additional recovery resources are available from the Recovery Month website. Assistance may also be available through the Laborers’ Member Assistance Program (MAP), included in many LIUNA health and welfare plans. If there is not a MAP, you may still have substance abuse treatment coverage. Check your summary of benefits. In addition, the LHSFNA publishes a variety of posters, brochures and manuals about substance abuse, alcoholism and recovery. These are available through the Fund’s online Publications Catalogue.

[Janet Lubman Rathner]