Medically Reviewed By: Benjamin Caleb Williams RN, BA, CEN
Written By: Phillippe Greenough
Article Updated: 05/13/2021
The COVID-19 epidemic has caused many difficulties in the lives of those struggling with addiction or mental health issues. The isolation created by the epidemic can create very dangerous circumstances for those who may need help. Because of the changing landscape of the mental health world, we have created a comprehensive resource center for anyone who is in need of help.
In This Article:
There can be many increased risks due to the societal and behavioral changes that we’ve all had to make in response to COVID-19. The isolation that we have all experienced recently can be dangerous for those who are in precarious positions regarding their mental health or substance abuse. Some of these risks and dangers include unexpected withdrawal, people attempting self-detox, overdoses, and an increased risk of suicide. All of these problems can present unique risks, and we have compiled a list of resources to help those who may be struggling.
Many people will seize the moment during the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic and seek to lessen or quit their drug use. There are resources to help people navigate the complicated world of withdrawal and detox. Help is available to all who are ready to accept!
Periodic Table of Drug Withdrawal
Features an in-depth breakdown of withdrawal symptoms and timelines for the 38 most addictive drugs. Know the warning signs as self-detox can be fatal.
Alcohol and Drug Foundation: Home-Based Withdrawal
A look at withdrawal and self-detox including risk reduction strategies and information about when this strategy may or may not be appropriate.
Finding treatment can be an intimidating prospect, but luckily, there are many tools to make this as easy as possible. These can take the form of resource guides, tips, or treatment center locator tools. These include finding a detox center, a crisis center, or general mental health or human services.
SAMHSA: Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
A tool to find the nearest behavioral health treatment centers to you. Search by address, city, or ZIP code.
A tool for finding a substance abuse treatment center near you. Includes resources and information about different types of treatment, payment options, and possible co-occurring mental health issues.
The authority on withdrawal and detox. Detox is the first step towards recovery.
Caregiver Action Network: Tips for Family Caregivers and COVID-19
Resources for those who are caring for family members or loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Alcohol Treatment Navigator
A tool for finding local treatment options for yourself or a loved one that may be struggling with alcohol addiction.
Critical service facilitator that can help someone find local health, social, and human services resources or organization. Available in both the U.S. and Canada by simply dialing “211” on a phone.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Health Center Map
An interactive map that lists federally licensed and accepts Medicare and Medicaid patients for a variety of health services.
HUD.gov: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a resource page to help people experiencing homelessness during the COVID pandemic. Includes links to find homeless shelters, shelters specifically for those with AIDS, public housing agencies, and more.
US Department of Veterans Affairs: Substance Use Disorder Program Locations
A treatment locator tool that can find treatment centers for someone struggling with a substance use disorder in all 50 states and a variety of US territories.
The Salvation Army
A Christian organization that helps those struggling with homelessness or drug addiction problems find shelter, food, employment, and may refer people to further medical help if necessary.
Drug overdose is one of the most common forms of preventable deaths in America today, and overdoses have increased since the pandemic began.
NOTE: If you or a friend or family member overdoses, the first step is always to call 911 immediately. The resources below are for informational purposes, and are not intended as medical advice in the event of an overdose.
Here are some resources that help us reverse this troubling trend:
NYC Health: Prevent Overdose
Tips and advice for what to do if you, or someone you know, overdoses. Includes the preferred first response, information, and additional resources that may be helpful in the event of an overdose.
Prevent & Protect: Where to Get Naloxone
A free resource for finding information about opioid overdoses and where to get naloxone; a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose. Contains information about the legal status of naloxone state-by-state and a tool for finding naloxone near you.
International Overdose Awareness Day: Overdose Basics
An overdose information and awareness organization that provides a wealth of resources about overdoses from alcohol, opioids, other depressants, and stimulants.
The team at ShatterProof.org has an excellent guide on naloxone and Narcan, the FDA-approved medications for reversing opioid overdose.
Isolation and quarantine can have a negative impact on anyone. This can be especially so for those who are actively using drugs or alcohol, and there are steps someone can take to reduce risks and stay safe.
The Harm Reduction Coalition: COVID-19 Guidance for People Who Use Drugs and Harm Reduction Programs
A hub containing several different guides for managing substance use during these trying times including specific guides for drug users in general, IV drug users, and stimulant users.
The team at DanceSafe.org has a vast library of harm reduction guidelines for different drugs as well as information and tools for testing drug purity. DanceSafe also has their Party In Place initiative to address the impact the pandemic has had on the electronic music and dance community.
Centers for Disease Control: COVID-19 Questions and Answers For People Who Use Drugs or Have Substance Use Disorder
A guide with links to further resources about using drugs during the COVID pandemic. Includes guidance on best practices, advice on safe using habits, and general harm reduction strategies.
World Health Organization: Alcohol and COVID-19, What You Need to Know
A guide to safe alcohol use during the pandemic including safety guidelines, myths or misconceptions, and some specific things to avoid.
Yale Program in Addiction Medicine: Guidance for People Who Use Substances on COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
A harm reduction guide for those who use drugs or alcohol in pandemic conditions including certain safety precautions, advice on safer use habits, and general risk reduction information.
Death by suicide is a major problem in the United States, and the isolation and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in a mental health crisis. Everyone can play a role in preventing death by suicide:
America Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Mental Health and COVID-19
We are in the midst of unprecedented times for people who suffer from mental illness. The AFSP has valuable resources for navigating the challenging situations the COVID-19 pandemic has created.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Maintaining and Enhancing Your Mental Health and Well-Being During the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak
The VA has shared veteran-specific tools for suicide prevention and mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
NAMI – The National Alliance on Mental Illness
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has resources on how to make a difference. With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc in many communities, these tools will be more important than ever.
Many healthcare services are moving increasingly towards telepresence and video conferencing due to the recent pandemic.
UCLA Health: Getting the Most Out of Video Therapy
A resource page that provides tips and advice for getting the most benefits out of video therapy.
SAMHSA: Virtual Recovery Resources
A hub for many different virtual and telepresence mental health options.
A teletherapy service that can provide virtual therapy and support for mental illness, addiction recovery, and a variety of other mental health issues.
Telehealth service that provides a variety of psychiatric services through videoconferencing and telepresence.
Recover Online: A Path to Sobriety
An online approach to addiction recovery that provides virtual assessments, educational videos, and teletherapy sessions.
Bright Heart Health: Telemedicine Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Currently available in 16 states, this is a MAT via telemedicine treatment program which hopes to become available in more states in the near future.
A telehealthcare provider that may provide medication-assisted treatment through telepresence for those suffering from opioid use disorder.
SAMHSA & DEA Diversion Control Division: Use of Telemedicine While Providing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
As of 2008, telemedicine can be used to assess and prescribe medications for an MAT approach to detox and recovery. This can be extremely useful and potentially life-saving, especially during the COVID pandemic.
TalkSpace and BetterHelp
Well-reviewed and trusted resources. Online mental health providers have never been more important than they are now. Thankfully, there are a number of online counseling and mental health services options available.
This is a strange time, to be sure, and the current public health crisis can add stress and anxiety to anyone’s life. For those already struggling with any sort of stress of anxiety-related mental health issues, it can be critical to staying on top of your mental wellbeing. Here are some resources and tools to help reduce stress, anxiety, and give some peace of mind during a very strange time.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: COVID-19 Information and Resources
Tips and guidance for stress reduction and preparedness during the pandemic.
USC Suzanna Dworak-Peck School of Social Work: Addiction and Recovery – How Mindfulness May Help
An article detailing how mindfulness practices can help reduce stress, benefit addiction recovery, and provide tools to aid relapse prevention.
A free mental health video conferencing service provided during the COVID pandemic. Join classes and speak to a live, trained therapist in a group therapy setting.
A virtual reality therapy solution that uses music therapy, mindfulness practices, and serene visuals to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and manage anxiety in a remote and virtual manner. Currently offering a free Happinss Stay Home app during COVID.
Check out the World Health Organization’s #HealthyAtHome campaign for information on how to manage your mental health and wellness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Stress and Coping
A comprehensive COVID-19 guide including how to effectively manage stress for yourself or loved ones.
All Mental Health: Supporting Your Mental Health During Coronavirus
A set of guides for helping reduce stress, promote healthy relationship boundaries, aid relaxation, and constructively deal with emotions.
Harvard Medical School: Coping with Coronavirus
An in-depth guide and web series to maintaining positive mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shatterproof: How I’m Coping with COVID-19 and Physical Distancing as a Person in Long-Term Recovery
A non-profit organization that aims to inform addiction policy in America, they have a guide about staying mentally and spiritually fit during isolation and quarantine.
The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health has put this excellent tool kit for helping families, children, and youth who may be struggling during the pandemic.
World Health Organization: Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Advice for the Public
A comprehensive guide to COVID-19 and how to stay safe, connected, and healthy during this pandemic. Information is provided for stress reduction, childcare, and preparedness in the face of quarantine and isolation.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Parent and Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019
Information for families and caretakers to provide security to their loved ones and reduce their own stress. Available in a variety of languages.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty
An article about mental health and wellness during COVID-19 with links to connect with local chapters of the AFSP searchable by ZIP code.
Columbia University: Coping with COVID-19 – Turning the Mind Towards Acceptance
An article about stress reduction and promoting peace of mind in the days of COVID. Includes links to helpful therapies and practices that you may do at home to get some relief.
National Institute of Mental Health: Shareable Resources on Coping with COVID-19
A hub to resources about healthy habits, helping teens cope, and anxiety reduction strategies.
Virtual meetings have become extremely popular recently. While many of us had little experience with virtual meetings prior to COVID, they have become some people’s primary lifeline to stay connected and healthy during quarantine and isolation. Here are some resources to find virtual meetings or start some of your own.
Intergroup Association of AA of New York: Setting Up Online Meetings – Help!
Information and step by step instruction on how to set up a virtual meeting through Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Free Conference Call.
AA Online Intergroup Meeting Directory
A meeting list of over 1,000 virtual meetings a day. Search by day, format, language, or search for a meeting by name.
CA Online Meeting Directory
A list of virtual Cocaine Anonymous meetings and links to join. Dozens of meetings per day all around the world.
In The Rooms
A virtual meeting directory that lists 12 step, non-12 step, and a variety of other virtual addiction recovery approaches. These include recovery meetings for substance abuse, eating disorders, gambling addiction, and more.
LifeRing Secular Recovery
A secular recovery group focused on overcoming addiction through peer support and positive habits, they have multiple virtual meetings per day, 7 days a week.
SMART Recovery – SROL
A 12-step program alternative that offers fellowship and support for those who live with addiction. The SROL is the official online support system for the SMART recovery community that can be an ideal option for those who are under quarantine or shelter-in-place orders.
The idea of addiction recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic may seem daunting, but it can be done. Now more than ever it’s important to connect and tap into the power of the people and resources who are here to help.
Mental Health America: Mental Health and COVID-19 Information and Resources
A comprehensive set of guides to help someone struggling with addiction during the COVID pandemic. Includes guides on general substance use disorders, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs, and a variety of potentially co-occurring mental health issues.
Massachusetts Consultation Service for Treatment of Addiction and Pain
A hub for maintaining sobriety and recovery during COVID with links to online meeting resources, recovery aids, and guides for those who are still actively using drugs.
Forums, resources, and a free audio library of people telling their stories of recovery. Includes speakers from many different recovery fellowships.
Abuse of any kind is a horrible thing, and due to the isolation imposed by COVID-19, some people may be at increased risk. Spending long periods of time with a current or past abuser can be a very difficult experience. Here are some resources for staying safe and finding help if necessary.
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network: Safety and Prevention
An organization that provides support and guidance for survivors of sexual assault. They have multiple resources, such as “Self Care After Trauma” information and tips.
National Domestic Violence Hotline: Staying Safe During COVID-19
Resources and advice for creating a safety plan, practicing self-care, and tips on staying connected through this pandemic.
A national organization that aims to help children and families be free of abusive situations and living conditions. They provide a wealth of resources and guidance towards finding help and care.
People in the LGBTQ community may have a difficult time during COVID, especially young people. Having to quarantine with friends or family who may not understand or approve of an LGBTQ lifestyle can be extremely stressful. Here are some resources to maintain mental health and wellness for LGBTQ people during COVID.
The Trevor Project: LGBTQ Youth and Suicide Prevention Resources
Resources for LGBTQ teens and young adults with support services, resources, and information about coming out to friends and family. Staying quarantined with a family who may not understand or agree with someone’s lifestyle can be difficult. Their guide “How LGBTQ Youth Can Cope With Anxiety and Stress During COVID-19” may be a very valuable resource during this difficult time.
A variety of support, connection, and community resources for transgender people, by transgender people.
Our nations’ heroes are no less immune to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented. The pandemic has provided us an opportunity to serve those who have served our country. These addiction and mental health resources were created specifically for veterans and their families.
Veterans Crisis Line
is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support veterans and those who may be concerned about the wellbeing of a veteran. The crisis line can be used any time someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts, displaying aggression or uncharacteristic behavior, or engaging in risky behavior including drug and alcohol use. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 for help.
Veterans Affairs COVID-19 Guide
The US Department of Veterans Affairs has offered this COVID-19 guide for veterans and their families.
Veterans Affairs’ Video Connect Program
Remote telehealth services and real-time access to your VA Care Team. This program will help you save time and reduce your risk during these uncertain times.
A resource for navigating the immense change that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought. This guide was put together specifically for military families and children.
Support for veterans, by veterans. Getting involved in supporting veterans and their families can make a difference!
Support groups have never been more necessary. The pandemic hasn’t stopped people from finding support and fellowship. Groups offering support for substance use disorder to mental wellness are closer than you think.
Here are some resources for finding support groups near you:
The original 12 step program, their site provides meeting finders, recovery resources, and a bookstore for getting involved in recovery, even during the pandemic.
A 12 step program primarily focused on those in recovery from heroin addiction, their site provides online meetings guides, literature sales, and how to stay safe in physical meetings while maintaining safe, social distancing practices.
The CA site provides resources for online meetings, physical meetings directories, and event schedules during the COVID pandemic.
Crystal Meth Anonymous
A recovery fellowship for those in recovery from crystal meth addiction, or any other drug for that matter, whose site provides directories of meetings, both in-person and virtual, and resources for staying sober during this pandemic.
Resources for those in recovery from marijuana addiction, this site provides meeting schedules, readings and literature, as well as guidance towards staying safe in recovery during COVID.
A variety of resources for people in recovery from drug addiction including meeting guides, literature sales, and a variety of NA resources.
Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous
Resources and information for those in recovery from food addiction including meeting guides for both in-person and virtual meetings, literature sales, and support resources.
Resources for those in recovery from food and overeating addictions including information about the fellowship, meeting guides, and OA news and events.
Information for those in recovery from a gambling addiction including a meeting finder, a helpline, and resources for starting recovery.
This site has information and resources for those in recovery from a mental illness or emotional troubles and includes meeting guides, information about EA, and ways to get involved.
A 12 step fellowship for those in recovery from codependency issues and relationship problems whose site provides meeting guides, frequently asked questions list, and resources for newcomers.
Al-Anon and Alateen
Support groups for children and family members of alcoholics and drug addicts. A valued resource for years, these programs are of vital importance during these times.
Women For Sobriety
A non-profit organization that aims to help women in recovery from drug or alcohol addictions. Their site provides online meetings, community resources, and information about the programs they offer.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Offers a list of support groups around the country that can offer mental health support for those struggling with the stresses COVID-19 has brought upon our society.
Aside from phone numbers or websites, there are also apps for helping someone with substance abuse and mental health issues as well. There are meeting finders and media resources available through a variety of apps on both iPhone and Android.
COVID Coach: Download for iPhone or Android
An app for veterans or anyone else who is having a hard time maintaining their mental health or practicing healthy self-care during the pandemic.
Litesprite & Sinasprite: Download for iPhone or Android
A game that integrates CBT and a variety of other therapeutic techniques to turn therapy into a fun mobile game. Play anywhere, anytime, and improve your mental health at the same time.
HereNow Help: Download for iPhone or Android
A mental health and recovery support app that helps people connect with treatment providers anywhere, anytime.
Am Mindfulness: Download on iPhone or Android
A meditation and mindfulness app that is free during the COVID pandemic.
Mindfulness Coach: Download for iPhone or Android
Originally developed for veterans or active service members, this mindfulness app can help someone develop mindfulness and meditation practices. This can be especially beneficial during quarantine and isolation during the pandemic.
Sober Grid: Download for iPhone or Android
A free social network for those in addiction recovery. With an option for public or private posting, you can find others in recovery near you, connect with others around the world, and receive 24/7 peer support coaching.
PTSD Coach: Download for iPhone or Android
A tool for those with PTSD that provides information, connections to support, and tools to manage the stresses of PTSD. This can be especially useful during quarantine or isolation.
PTSD Family Coach: Download for iPhone or Android
Designed for those living with people suffering from PTSD, this app provides information on PTSD, tips for self-care, information about helping a loved one, and helping someone find treatment.
KeepAppy Wellness Gym: Download on iPhone or Android
A mental health and wellness app that uses a variety of innovative tools and techniques to promote healthy habits and reduce stress.
Pink Cloud AA Meeting Finder: Download for iPhone or Android
Meeting locator app that lists Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, and Al-Anon meetings near you based on your location.
Meeting Guide: Download for iPhone or Android
Find Alcoholics Anonymous meetings based on your location, or search by ZIP code or city.
AA Big Book: Download for iPhone or Android
The big book of Alcoholics Anonymous in a free, digital format for reading anytime, anywhere on your phone.
AA Speakers Free Audio Tapes: Download for Android
A free catalog of recorded Alcoholics Anonymous speakers for listening anytime.
AA Speakers – Speaker Tapes: Download for iPhone
Currently a paid app, AA Speakers contains hundreds of hours of AA speakers for listening anytime.
During the pandemic, many community service roles were vacated. The sad irony is that community volunteers have never been more necessary. Giving back to the community in the form of volunteering can be a great way to help people who suffer from addiction or mental health-related issues.
Volunteer Match offers a great way to find volunteer opportunities in your community. Volunteering can be a way to overcome stress, improve mood, and feel good during a time of great uncertainty.
The American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has been there to support the community for over 100 years. The most urgent need is supporting blood drives. During the pandemic, obtaining an adequate blood supply has been a challenge.
NAMI – The National Alliance on Mental Illness
NAMI – the National Alliance on Mental Illness – has volunteer opportunities available across America. Connecting with others and supporting NAMI’s vision of erasing the stigma of mental illness has never been more important.
At a time when there are many people who are isolated and lonely due to quarantine or shelter-in-place orders, online communities and group forums are extremely valuable.
An online community that aims to connect likeminded individuals who are looking to stay sober. This platform offers recovery coaching, online meetings, monthly challenges, and thought-provoking questions to help individuals form connections and find sobriety online.
An online recovery forum that welcomes all kinds of approaches to recovery. Search for groups by the drug of choice, recovery type (12 steps, Christian, etc.), and get information on all different kinds of recovery options.
A recovery-focused social network and information resource that aims to foster connection between people in recovery and help them find local recovery resources.
An online community and forum for mothers who are in recovery from addictions that provide support, connection, and further resources.
Toll-free and ready to help during this time of need.
Click Here For A List of Emergency Services Phone Numbers in Different Countries for People Travelling Abroad
911: Emergency services in the United States, Mexico, and Canada including ambulance services and paramedics.
999: Emergency services in a variety of countries including the British Isles and several countries in Africa and the Middle East.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
24/7, free support for anyone in crisis, or contemplating suicide.
National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
With trained counselors available 24/7, 365 days a year, this hotline is a resource for help, support, and guidance for anyone suffering from domestic abuse.
Trans Lifeline: 877-565-8860 / 877-330-6366
A 24/7 peer support service operated by trans people for trans people in crisis.
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990
24/7 crisis counseling for those who are struggling due to any disaster, natural or man-made.
Crisis Text Line: U.S. & Canada – 741741 / U.K. – 85258 / Ireland – 50808
A text hotline for anyone in crisis. Text HOME to the applicable number above to be connected with a trained crisis counselor.
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
24/7 counseling and support as well as optional local resources for finding appropriate health care nearby, or a forensic examination. They will also guide someone through the next steps and what to do next after they are safe.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
Available 24/7 in the US and Canada, this hotline can offer help through professional counselors and safety and assistance resources. Multi-lingual services provided through interpreters.
Caregiver Help Desk: 855-227-3640
A resource for anyone who is caring for a family member, friend, or loved one. Advice and caregiver resources are available 7 days a week from 8:00 am-7:00 pm Eastern Time.
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