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Need urgent help? Find support here.

Need urgent help?

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If you find yourself in need of immediate help, call Emergency Services – 911.

These are examples of situations that you should seek immediate help:

  • Thinking about ending your life or trying to end your life.
  • Feeling scared because you’re experiencing sensations that aren’t real and/or beliefs that can’t possibly be true.
  • Becoming unable to care for yourself, and it’s putting you at risk of serious harm.
  • Experiencing an alcohol or any other drug overdose.
  • Taking a dangerous combination of substances (like medications and alcohol).

Call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433), Live Chat or SMS/Text: Text 45645 anytime if you are considering suicide or are concerned about someone who may be. 

For other phone, chat or text support options, visit our Get Support section.

Depression & Substance Use

Discover how alcohol and other substances affect depression.

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Depression and drinking or using other substances

People experiencing problems such as depression may try using alcohol or other substances as a way to feel better. Some may not be aware that they are struggling with depression; they only notice that they feel good after they have had a few drinks or used substances.

Even though it feels like it might be helping, drinking alcohol or using other substances can actually make depression worse. Using alcohol or other substances as a way to deal with life’s challenges will only provide short-term relief, and the negative effects can cause further problems. Although you might be able to forget your troubles for a few hours, coping this way doesn’t build any long-term skills or strategies to deal with the challenges of depression.

Some facts

  • Alcohol is actually a depressant and lowers a person’s mood.
  • Alcohol or other substances only temporarily cover up symptoms and in the long run can make symptoms worse.
  • The brain has the ability to achieve the same feelings of well-being that people get from drinking or using other substances.

What you can do

What Next?

For tips, tools, and other support options to build healthier coping strategies check out these sections.