After a disaster, using alcohol and other drugs might seem like a good way to help you cope with stress, pain, or to pass the time. But using alcohol and other drugs can put you at risk.
Short-term risks include:
Long-term risks include:
After a traumatic event, everyone reacts and copes differently. Use of alcohol and other drugs may increase as people look for ways to relax, calm down, or deal with a stressful situation. Other drug use means abuse of prescription medicine, over-the-counter medicine and illegal drugs.
After a disaster, there are times when no alcohol or other drugs is the best choice.
This includes when:
You might have a problem if:
If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these sentences, then your alcohol or drug use may be a problem.
For 24/7 confidential information about managing your alcohol or other drug use, support options, or referral services, call the AHS Addiction Helpline 1-866-332-2322 (toll-free).
For people in recovery, experiencing a disaster can trigger strong urges to drink or use again. For others, it makes them more committed to recovery. No matter what you’re going through, it’s important to make a choice to stay in recovery. Here are a few suggestions to help you:
If your self-help support group has been displaced or you’ve been forced to move out of your community, contact the 24-hour AA Multiple District Helpline closest to you for information about meeting locations or about setting up a new support group in your area at:
If you’re having trouble controlling your alcohol and other drug use, talk to a trusted friend, counsellor, support person in your life, your doctor, or healthcare provider. You can also call the Alberta Health Services (AHS) Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322 (toll-free).
If you’re having thoughts of self-harm while drinking alcohol, using drugs or taking medicine contact your doctor or healthcare provider right away or
Current as of: May 10, 2016
Author: Mental Health Promotion & Illness Prevention, Alberta Health Services
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