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Care for Alcohol and Substance Misuse

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Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and drugs such as opioids can have both immediate and long-term health effects. The misuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans.

  • Excessive alcohol use can increase a person's risk of developing serious health problems in addition to those issues associated with intoxication behaviors and alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
  • Tobacco use and smoking do damage to nearly every organ in the human body, often leading to lung cancer, respiratory disorders, heart disease, stroke, and other illnesses.
  • Marijuana has not only immediate effects like distorted perception, difficulty problem solving, and loss of motor coordination, but also effects with long-term use such as respiratory infection, impaired memory, and exposure to cancer-causing compounds.
  • Opioids reduce the perception of pain but can also produce drowsiness, mental confusion, euphoria, nausea, constipation, and, depending upon the amount of drug taken, can depress respiration.

Opioid misuse represents a unique challenge. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Understanding the Epidemic, an average of 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Opioids include prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, and codeine. While many people benefit from using these medications to manage pain, prescription drugs are frequently diverted for improper use.

As people use opioids repeatedly, their tolerance increases and they may not be able to maintain the initial source of the medication. As a person's tolerance increases and access is diminished, they may switch from prescription drugs to cheaper and more risky substitutes like heroin. These substances vary in purity and strength, which increases the risk of serious medical complications or overdose.

Retrieved from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Resources

If you need assistance or just someone to talk to, the Hokie Wellness team is available to help you. Call Hokie Wellness at 540-231-8878 or send an email to hokiewellness@vt.edu to speak to a wellness team member.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is part of Virginia Tech's health benefit plan. Services are provided to benefited employees who seek assistance with substance abuse. A member of the Hokie Wellness team can schedule a confidential, individual appointment to help you connect to an EAP provider.

The Family Therapy Center of Virginia Tech offers low-cost, high quality psychotherapy and counseling to thousands of couples, families, and individuals. Therapists specialize in working with couples, families, and individuals in emotional distress. Call them at 540-231-7201.

Psychological Services Center at Virginia Tech offers a variety of mental health services to any member of the community. Our assessment and treatment techniques are empirically supported to be effective and safe. The PSC charges for services on a sliding scale. Call them at 540-231-6914.

New River Valley Community Services provides information concerning community based mental health and substance abuse services. Phone number: 540-961-8400

  • Outpatient Short-Term Counseling Services: Staff provides psychotherapy, education, crisis intervention and case management to clients with a wide variety of mental health and substance abuse problems.
  • Stepping Stones - Intensive Outpatient Services: This program is designed to provide what an individual would get in terms of education and therapy from a traditional residential substance abuse program while allowing the person to stay at home and continue with his or her regular job or school.
  • After Care and Relapse Prevention: This service provides education and treatment to individuals who have a history of relapsing. Most of the service is provided in a group format but individual sessions are included.
  • New Life Recovery Center (Residential Substance Abuse Services): The residential rehabilitation services at New Life Recovery Center provide treatment for addicted individuals in a residential environment so they can be removed from the situations in which they are most likely to relapse at a time when they are the most vulnerable.

Alcoholics Anonymous - There are AA meetings in the Blacksburg area every day.

Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator - The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is a confidential and anonymous source of information for those seeking treatment facilities for substance use/addiction and/or mental health problems in the United States or U.S. Territories.