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These numbers reflect a dramatic increase over statistics recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic. The ripple effect will be equally dramatic.
The misuse of drugs and alcohol can trigger a long list of serious health problems. Cancer, stroke, and diseases of the heart, lungs and liver are a few. Anxiety, depression and schizophrenia are among the mental health conditions linked to substance misuse.
How do you know if drugs or alcohol are a problem for you or someone you love?
Here are some warning signs:
Anyone can be at risk for addiction, but some people have a higher risk. People with a family history of addiction are more likely to misuse drugs and alcohol. Substance misuse has a genetic link.
People with mental health disorders like anxiety or depression also have a greater risk. Many use drugs to cope.
Certain situations can also play a role in driving drug and alcohol use, including:
What should you do if you worry you may have a problem? Talk with your primary care doctor. Afterward, you might want to see a mental health professional. There are doctors who work in addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry. There are also licensed alcohol and drug counselors.
If you need help finding a health provider, call the number on the back of your BCBSMT ID card. We are here to help.
In case of emergency (overdose, trouble breathing, seizures or any other bad reaction from drug use) go to the nearest ER or call 911.
Originally published 1/2/2019; Revised 2022
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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