Chat room for lonely and depressed

SAMHSA’s National Helpline | SAMHSA

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  • SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

    Also visit the online treatment locator.

SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357) (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.

Also visit the online treatment locator, or send your zip code via text message: 435748 (HELP4U) to find help near you. Read more about the HELP4U text messaging service.

The service is open 24/7, 365 days a year.

English and Spanish are available if you select the option to speak with a national representative. Currently, the 435748 (HELP4U) text messaging service is only available in English.

In 2020, the Helpline received 833,598 calls. This is a 27 percent increase from 2019, when the Helpline received a total of 656,953 calls for the year.

The referral service is free of charge. If you have no insurance or are underinsured, we will refer you to your state office, which is responsible for state-funded treatment programs. In addition, we can often refer you to facilities that charge on a sliding fee scale or accept Medicare or Medicaid. If you have health insurance, you are encouraged to contact your insurer for a list of participating health care providers and facilities.

The service is confidential. We will not ask you for any personal information. We may ask for your zip code or other pertinent geographic information in order to track calls being routed to other offices or to accurately identify the local resources appropriate to your needs.

No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support.

  • Suggested Resources

    What Is Substance Abuse Treatment? A Booklet for Families
    Created for family members of people with alcohol abuse or drug abuse problems. Answers questions about substance abuse, its symptoms, different types of treatment, and recovery. Addresses concerns of children of parents with substance use/abuse problems.

    It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
    Assures teens with parents who abuse alcohol or drugs that, "It's not your fault!" and that they are not alone. Encourages teens to seek emotional support from other adults, school counselors, and youth support groups such as Alateen, and provides a resource list.

    After an Attempt: A Guide for Taking Care of Your Family Member After Treatment in the Emergency Department
    Aids family members in coping with the aftermath of a relative's suicide attempt. Describes the emergency department treatment process, lists questions to ask about follow-up treatment, and describes how to reduce risk and ensure safety at home.

    Family Therapy Can Help: For People in Recovery From Mental Illness or Addiction
    Explores the role of family therapy in recovery from mental illness or substance abuse. Explains how family therapy sessions are run and who conducts them, describes a typical session, and provides information on its effectiveness in recovery.

    For additional resources, please visit the SAMHSA Store.

Last Updated: 08/30/2022

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs

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Misusing alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can have both immediate and long-term health effects.

The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of millions of Americans. SAMHSA’s 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that approximately 19.3 million people aged 18 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year.



  • In 2020, 50.0% of people aged 12 or older (or 138.5 million people) used alcohol in the past month (i.e., current alcohol users) (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among the 138.5 million people who were current alcohol users, 61. 6 million people (or 44.4%) were classified as binge drinkers and 17.7 million people (28.8% of current binge drinkers and 12.8% of current alcohol users) were classified as heavy drinkers (2020 NSDUH)
  • The percentage of people who were past month binge alcohol users was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (31.4%) compared with 22.9% of adults aged 26 or older and 4.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that 139.7 million Americans age 12 or older were past month alcohol users, 65.8 million people were binge drinkers in the past month, and 16 million were heavy drinkers in the past month
  • About 2.3 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 in 2019 drank alcohol in the past month, and 1.2 million of these adolescents binge drank in that period (2019 NSDUH)
  • Approximately 14.5 million people age 12 or older had an alcohol use disorder (2019 NSDUH)
  • Excessive alcohol use can increase a person’s risk of stroke, liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, cancer, and other serious health conditions
  • Excessive alcohol use can also lead to risk-taking behavior, including driving while impaired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver daily


  • STOP Underage Drinking interagency portal - Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking
  • Talk. They Hear You.
  • Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts
  • Talking with your College-Bound Young Adult About Alcohol

Relevant links:

  • National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors
  • Department of Transportation Office of Drug & Alcohol Policy & Compliance
  • Alcohol Policy Information Systems Database (APIS)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism



  • In 2020, 20.7% of people aged 12 or older (or 57. 3 million people) used nicotine products (i.e., used tobacco products or vaped nicotine) in the past month (2020 NSDUH)
  • Among past month users of nicotine products, nearly two thirds of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (63.1%) vaped nicotine but did not use tobacco products. In contrast, 88.9% of past month nicotine product users aged 26 or older used only tobacco products (2020 NSDUH)
  • Data from the 2019 NSDUH reports that 58.1 million people were current (i.e., past month) tobacco users. Specifically, 45.9 million people aged 12 or older in 2019 were past month cigarette smokers (2019 NSDUH)
  • Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, often leading to lung cancer, respiratory disorders, heart disease, stroke, and other serious illnesses. The CDC reports that cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States
  • The CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health reports that more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking cigarettes

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use data:

  • Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey.  Among both middle and high school students, current use of e-cigarettes declined from 2019 to 2020, reversing previous trends and returning current e-cigarette use to levels similar to those observed in 2018
  • E-cigarettes are not safe for youth, young adults, or pregnant women, especially because they contain nicotine and other chemicals


  • Tips for Teens: Tobacco
  • Tips for Teens: E-cigarettes
  • Implementing Tobacco Cessation Programs in Substance Use Disorder Treatment Settings
  • Synar Amendment Program


  • Truth Initiative
  • FDA Center for Tobacco Products
  • CDC Office on Smoking and Health
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Tobacco, Nicotine, and E-Cigarettes
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: E-Cigarettes



  • Among people aged 12 or older in 2020, 3.4% (or 9.5 million people) misused opioids in the past year. Among the 9.5 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 9.3 million people misused prescription pain relievers and 902,000 people used heroin (2020 NSDUH)
  • An estimated 745,000 people had used heroin in the past year, based on 2019 NSDUH data
  • In 2019, there were 10.1 million people age 12 or older who misused opioids in the past year. The vast majority of people misused prescription pain relievers (2019 NSDUH)
  • An estimated 1.6 million people aged 12 or older had an opioid use disorder based on 2019 NSDUH data
  • Opioid use, specifically injection drug use, is a risk factor for contracting HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. The CDC reports that people who inject drugs accounted for 9 percent of HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2016
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Understanding the Epidemic, an average of 128 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose


  • Medication-Assisted Treatment
  • Opioid Overdose Prevention Toolkit
  • TIP 63: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Use of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder in Criminal Justice Settings
  • Opioid Use Disorder and Pregnancy
  • Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women With Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants
  • The Facts about Buprenorphine for Treatment of Opioid Addiction
  • Pregnancy Planning for Women Being Treated for Opioid Use Disorder
  • Tips for Teens: Opioids
  • Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Grants
  • Tribal Opioid Response Grants
  • Provider’s Clinical Support System - Medication Assisted Treatment Grant Program


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Opioids
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Heroin
  • HHS Prevent Opioid Abuse
  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network
  • Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) Network



  • The percentage of people who used marijuana in the past year was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (34. 5%) compared with 16.3% of adults aged 26 or older and 10.1% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 (2020 NSDUH)
  • 2019 NSDUH data indicates that 48.2 million Americans aged 12 or older, 17.5 percent of the population, used marijuana in the past year
  • Approximately 4.8 million people aged 12 or older in 2019 had a marijuana use disorder in the past year (2019 NSDUH)
  • Marijuana can impair judgment and distort perception in the short term and can lead to memory impairment in the long term
  • Marijuana can have significant health effects on youth and pregnant women.


  • Know the Risks of Marijuana
  • Marijuana and Pregnancy
  • Tips for Teens: Marijuana

Relevant links:

  • National Institute on Drug Abuse: Marijuana
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Centers on Marijuana
  • CDC Marijuana and Public Health

Emerging Trends in Substance Misuse:

  • Methamphetamine—In 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse Data shows that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • Cocaine—In 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
  • Kratom—In 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.


  • Tips for Teens: Methamphetamine
  • Tips for Teens: Cocaine
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse

More SAMHSA publications on substance use prevention and treatment.

Last Updated: 04/27/2022

Chatbot Kuzya will help you get over loneliness

Carlos Pintau / Istock

Hello, bot!

Kuzya is a friend of only a few hundred Muscovites so far. Every day he sends them a message, and if someone does not get in touch, he sounds the alarm. First of all, the chatbot is designed for moms and dads who are raising a disabled child alone, pensioners and people with serious illnesses who rarely leave their apartments and communicate with the world only through the Internet. All of them receive SMS from Kuzi in the morning. And not with on-duty phrases like how things are, but with wishes that can cause a smile.

For example: "I wish you, Maria, a good mood. And let neither the weather nor the looks of passers-by disturb your soul. Believe in yourself, be inspired! Will you try?", "Tatiana! Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. Come on love those who treat us well, forgive those who are wrong, and trust that everything happens for a reason. Shall we try together?" The question at the end of the phrase Kuzya did not pose by chance. It is enough to write a short "ok", and Kuzya will remind you that he is always there and in touch.

"Situations are different. Kuzya helps to prevent the most terrible cases, for example, when the mother of a disabled child feels ill and faints, and the child is unable to call an ambulance. It happens that he is unable to take care of himself and ask pensioners who have a narrow social circle, and a social worker comes once a week. As a result, they find themselves locked in their own apartment, like in a cage," says Lyudmila Baranova, head of the foundation's projects.

Muscovite Tatyana Usova was one of the first in the capital to start receiving messages from Kuzi. She alone brings up Denis, a disabled child with severe cerebral palsy. "My acquaintance with the foundation began in 2008, when we moved to Moscow from Vladivostok. I understood that only in the capital my child has a future. He does not walk, does not speak, does not move his arms, but he has an absolutely healthy head and With modern rehabilitation opportunities, the boy can achieve success," Tatyana shared.

They moved to the capital when their son was 8 years old. In the morning, Tatiana took him to school, and in the evening she did homework with him. It was necessary to pay for a rented apartment, earn a living, and Tatyana had to work even at night. Foundation volunteers sometimes helped her look after the baby. But the accumulated fatigue, constant worries about her son made themselves felt, as a result, one day she lost consciousness, ended up in intensive care. "I'm afraid of a repeat of this, so Kuzya, who controls the order in our small family, is simply necessary for us," says Tatyana.

After moving to Moscow, Denis was connected to a gaze control system, just like the famous English physicist Stephen Hawking, whom the boy wants to be like. Now the boy goes to school, participates in olympiads. Once, however, Tatyana missed several messages from the chatbot - she was with her son at the competition, and Kuzya raised the alarm. When the operators still managed to get through to Tatyana, she offered to add a new feature to her friend - turn it off for a while and not worry. Now, if you write "Kuzya, pause" in the chat and specify the number of hours, a message will come in response: "I will miss you. If you want to continue our dialogues earlier, just write to me: Kuzya, write, and I will be in touch again."

Photo: Help.Org

Always in touch

It's very easy to make friends with Kuzey. It is enough to fill out a short questionnaire on the foundation's website, indicating in it all the phone numbers of close people and neighbors. From the next day, Kuzya will already begin to send his kind letters. By the way, they are written by the entire team of the fund, which includes about 150 specialists. On behalf of Kuzi, they do not forget to congratulate their subscribers on their birthday and New Year, they are interested in the plans and dreams of their wards.

"In almost a year of work, nothing particularly disturbing happened. At the end of last year, however, the mother of a disabled child came down with covid. Volunteers were immediately sent to them, and the woman was introduced to telemedicine, connected with experienced doctors, and she quickly recovered If a critical situation arises, for example, a person does not get in touch during the day, and neighbors and relatives do not know what is happening to him, we turn to social protection, which has the right to call the police to his home and find out if trouble has happened. All this happens quickly - a maximum of two days," says Lyudmila Baranova.

You can answer Cuze with one or two words "hello" or "everything is fine". Those with coronavirus can send him "K19", and Kuzya will immediately connect them with an operator who will tell you what to do, or call a doctor.

In addition to single mothers and pensioners, there are also complete families among the subscribers, in which the father often travels on business trips or works on a rotational basis. “Soon Kuzya will not only be interested in business and health, but will also be able to answer questions, help on behalf of the foundation in various situations. For example, the foundation organizes online consultations with doctors, psychologists and lawyers from Moscow clinics, can also help with the delivery of products and medicines and patient care for COVID-19single mother, guardian or family member," added project coordinator Alina Komissarova.

Hashtag: anxiety in the big city

Inga Koryagina, an associate professor of marketing at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, is sure that the Kuzya chatbot is a very timely project that can revolutionize the attitude of citizens to psychological support during a pandemic.

Photo: Help.Org

"Kuzya helps relieve anxiety accumulated over two years of COVID-19. We still do not have a mass culture of seeking psychological help. If a tooth hurts, everyone knows that a dentist will help; if a head hurts, they drink a pill. When the soul hurts, it is customary to remain silent. Many regard going to a psychologist as a weakness. A chatbot is the first step in the formation of this culture. If people learn to talk about their problems with an electronic device, they will soon be ready to turn to a living professional." says the psychologist. To support the project, she proposes to launch a hashtag on the Internet: #anxietyin the big city.

Help "RG"

To connect to Kuza, fill out the form on the website or find the [email protected] bot in instant messengers (Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber), where you need to dial the command: "Kuzya, let's be friends" (without quotes and with spaces between words). Details can be found by calling the "hot line": +7(499) 383-02-44.

Would a depression chat room work for you? |

Depression chats are just one of the many tools modern technology offers to people with mental disorders. While they are useful to many, they are not without some problems. Can a chat room about depression work for you? If you're suffering from depression or caring for someone who's suffering from depression, find out everything you need to know about these resources here.

What is a depression chat room?


in real time. It is open to those who have been diagnosed with depression, those who are wondering if this disorder is affecting them, and those who care or love someone who is dealing with this condition.

Chats for depression can usually be found through a Google search. Simply using the search terms "depression" and "chat" is usually enough to open many pages offering this service. Many chat rooms are free to use. However, most of them will ask you to register with your email address and agree to certain terms before you can get started. During the registration process, you are usually asked to create a "screen name" or tag that identifies you in chat.

The aim of the Depression Help Chat is to support people with depression. The goal is for no one to feel alone. The medium aims to make users feel safe, understood, and supported by offering a place for people to discuss symptoms, life experiences, and feelings. Those who suffer from depression and experience a relapse of symptoms also often find support in doing so. Most users rely on the advice or resources of others present to get through day-to-day problems.

While a depression chat room is a place to find a sense of community, it should be used with the same care as any other online forum. Here's a look at the pros and cons of online depression chats so you can decide if it's right for you.



Not all depression chats are the same, but most of them have the same benefits. When used correctly, chatting for depressed people can mean the difference between hopelessness and hope. Here are just a few of the positives associated with this resource.

Social interaction

One of the most severe symptoms of depression is a lack of motivation or desire to stay active. For some, this manifests itself in the inability to maintain a career or friendship. For these people, interaction with colleagues, neighbors, and family often becomes overwhelming (despite the fact that they don't want to be alone). This is because depression can deprive a person of the desire to use social opportunities and make him believe that he is not needed by others and does not care about him.

Depression chat offers people suffering from social symptoms of depression a way to communicate with others without pressure. This form of interaction requires little physical effort (no showering or leaving the house) and the user has complete control over when the interaction starts and ends.

Chats do not require participation. One can sit and watch conversations for hours, only to intervene when they are ready to talk. Even in the darkest days of depression, chat rooms offer a place for someone in pain to maintain their boundaries while still reaching out for needed help when they need it.

Mutual Support

Depression Online Chat also helps connect depressed people with those who can clearly understand their situation. As sympathetic as friends, family members, and therapists may be, it is often difficult to explain what depression is, especially to those who have never lived with it.

Depression chats offer a place for people to express their feelings knowing that those reading on the other end understand them without much explanation. The ability to give advice and resources to one another is helpful for those who cannot find information on their own, and is often encouraging to hear the progress of others in the group.

Depression chats are especially helpful for those who suspect depression but have not been diagnosed. In these communities, these people find support in choosing treatment options and learn about what lies ahead for them. Similarly, caregivers of someone with depression find they can learn more about their loved one's condition without having them explain it. They can also interact with other people who care for people with depression and can discuss the unique challenges of playing this support role.

This is anonymous

Depressed people don't always show it. The Depression Chat is the perfect place to hide your identity but openly discuss your experience. There is no chance that a boss, family member, or friend will find anything unfavorable, and it is possible to separate your experience of depression from the rest of your life if they choose. For many, this creates a safe space where you can be yourself and talk about your world without repercussions.

It's easy

Everyone can find and use the depression chat room at any time. Most chat rooms are available 24/7 and the registration process usually takes 5 minutes or less. These online communities provide quick and easy access to people who care without much effort or planning.



Like everything on the Internet, good things come with bad things. Depression chats, when they work well, are valuable tools when it comes to helping someone through difficult times. However, they are not for everyone. Don't forget the cons too.

Bad advice happens

While most people have the best of intentions when it comes to talking to other people, it's likely that no one with a degree in psychology or medicine will be able to moderate the conversations that happen. This means that the information shared within the group is not always 100% correct or helpful.

When using these groups, it is important to understand that what works for one person may not work for another. Just because someone claims that a particular remedy, coping mechanism, resource, or alternative form of treatment worked or didn't work for them does not mean that it has the same effect for everyone.

Chat advice about depression is for guidance and education only. Any changes in treatment must first be approved by a doctor. Never replace advice from a doctor or therapist with advice received via chat. Most importantly, chat should never be the sole source of support for a depressed person.

You don't know who you're talking to

While anonymity is sometimes great, it can also be harmful when you can't track who is on the other side of your computer screen. Not everyone is who they say they are online, and depression chat lines are not immune to people with predatory habits.

It is very easy for a person to put on a supportive mask if they have bad intentions online. Sometimes depression chats fall prey to online trolls or people who try to intimidate or harass users. Sexual predators or those who are prone to abuse may try to find someone who can connect with someone they consider "weak" in this environment as well. The best way to avoid talking to these people online is to never give out personal information, use private chat features wisely, and only participate in moderated chat sessions.

They don't always help

While chat rooms tend to be places of encouragement and support, when enough people affected by this disorder interact with each other, it's easy to get caught up in negativity. It is important to know when to leave a chat due to depression. If the environment aggravates the symptoms or has any undesirable effect on the user's mental health, it's time to log out.

It's just as important not to care about someone in a virtual community. There is a difference between giving someone advice and support and being their only resource. Each member of the community is responsible for following their own mental health care plan, and no one should ever feel obligated to take care of anyone else.

If you think a depression chat room is right for you, remember this tip:

Depression chat room tips

Source: just like it.

  • Choose a nickname that does not reveal any personal information about you (birthdays, real names or location).
  • Never disclose personal information (including financial or banking information) to anyone you chat with.
  • Check with your healthcare professional for any advice you get.
  • Use only moderated chats.
  • Follow all chat rules and report anyone who isn't
  • Never rely on chat alone. Take advantage of other online support, such as Virtual Licensed Mental Health Professionals.
  • If you're in a crisis, check out depression hotline chat resources such as the National Suicide Prevention Line.
  • Depression chats are great resources for those who lack support or need a place to talk about their experiences without feeling pressured.

    Learn more