Have a question regarding DCF and the coronavirus? Email us at: DCF.COVID-19@ct.gov

V.I.T.A.L. Resources for Substance Misuse

Return to the V.I.T.A.L. Resources for Youth and their Caregivers Homepage

Get Help Now!  Call 800-563-4086  Or Text "CTRecovery" to 898211

Access Line is a twenty-four-hour access and entry line provides individuals with information on all statewide agencies providing in-patient substance use treatment.

Articles  Helping Yourself or a Friend  General Educational Material  Know the Signs  In-Home Care  Out-Patient/Residential Care  Youth-specific CT Facilities



Avoiding Drugs and Alcohol- Look at the way the pressure from the people around us has an effect!

"The power of peer pressure doesn’t apply equally to all kinds of peers. Studies and surveys find close friends hold more sway over behavior compared to acquaintances or strangers. More people reported trying alcohol at gatherings with close friends rather than large parties filled with strangers. Peer pressure still exerted an effect in scenarios with fewer close friends, but the connection of friendship empowered the effect."

See the full Article: Peer Pressure and Substance Abuse


HELPING YOURSELF OR A FRIEND  (From Partnership to End Addiction Website)

"If you are noticing problems in friend or family member’s work, health, family, finances, relationships, social functioning, legal issues, self-esteem or self-respect, you are not overreacting.

Continuing to use substances although such behavior is causing problems, is a problem in and of itself. It shows that substance use has become more important than the problems it causes. Someone who is unwilling to discuss the issue or consider whether there might be a problem is a strong indicator that a problem exists…."

  • Don’t bring up the subject when the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When people are inebriated, they are less able to understand logic and are more likely to be impatient, dismissive, angry, and blameful. Some people have poor impulse control and may act irrationally or violently if the subject is brought up while he or she is under the influence.
  • Don’t be under the influence of substances yourself.
  • Establish a time to talk when the two of you can have more than a few minutes alone. Your goal is to have a dialogue — a two-way conversation in which you can state your concerns and understand the person’s perception of the situation. Ask if you can set a time to speak in the next few days to discuss something on your mind. If the person responds by saying, “Now is fine,” tell them you’d prefer to set time aside and not be interrupted.
  • When you meet, tell your family member or friend that you care for him or her. Emphasize that you wanted to have this conversation because you’re concerned for their well-being.
  • List the behaviors you’ve observed, state that you are worried about the effect drinking or drug use is having and express concern about continued use.
  • Create a two-way dialogue so the person doesn’t feel lectured or badgered and use open-ended questions.
  • If the person states that there is definitely not a problem, ask to talk again at some point in the future. Your goal is not to convince the person that there is a problem, but to let them know that you believe there is one and that your belief is based on observable behaviors.
  • Don’t try to speculate, explore motives, or judge. It can sidetrack you from the main point.
  • Don’t expect a dramatic shift in thinking or behavior right away; this conversation may be the first time the person has thought about this problem.
  • Keep in mind that there is no quick fix – prepare yourself for the long haul.

Read further for excellent communication strategies and tips:  Helping an Adult Family Member or Friend with a Drug or Alcohol Addiction


General Educational Materials

This is a good place to start:  2-1-1 offers support, referrals, 24/7 hotline services, individual guidance, family intervention, access to sober homes, detox service, Inpatient and Day treatment programs. Get Help!  Get Screened!  Talk to Someone!  Anonymous services and support! 




Physical and Psychological symptoms may be noticeable and a good "tip off" that help is needed.

Psychological symptoms

When a person has a psychological or emotional craving for a drug, you may see certain symptoms. Your friend may:

  • See drugs as the solution, not the problem
  • Take the drug in larger amounts or over a longer time
  • Be preoccupied with getting drugs
  • Steal or sell their things to buy drugs
  • Feel anxious, grouchy, depressed
  • Withdraw from contact with friends and family
  • Lose interest in school, work, or hobbies
  • Socialize with others who abuse drugs
  • Have mood swings
  • Have problems at work and at home
  • Has trouble with relationships
  • Take part in dangerous behavior such as driving while drunk

Physical symptoms

When a person’s body becomes dependent on a drug, you may see some of the following symptoms:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Needs more drugs for the same effect
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Physical withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug

For more information, check out the whole article:  Helping a Friend with an Addiction










There are many residential substance abuse treatment programs for teens and young adults in Connecticut. The following links are just a handful of programs offered here in Connecticut.