Christmas depression symptoms

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

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    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. NSDUH estimates allow researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and the general public to better understand and improve the nation’s behavioral health. These reports and detailed tables present estimates from the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).



  • Among the 133.1 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older in 2021, 60.0 million people (or 45.1%) were past month binge drinkers. The percentage of people who were past month binge drinkers was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (29.2% or 9.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (22.4% or 49.3 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (3.8% or 995,000 people). (2021 NSDUH)
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 15.1% (or 5.9 million people) were past month alcohol users. Estimates of binge alcohol use and heavy alcohol use in the past month among underage people were 8.3% (or 3.2 million people) and 1.6% (or 613,000 people), respectively. (2021 NSDUH)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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:

  • In 2021, 13.2 million people aged 12 or older (or 4.7%) used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. The percentage of people who vaped nicotine was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (14.1% or 4.7 million people), followed by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (5.2% or 1.4 million people), then by adults aged 26 or older (3.2% or 7.1 million people).
  • Among people aged 12 to 20 in 2021, 11.0% (or 4.3 million people) used tobacco products or used an e-cigarette or other vaping device to vape nicotine in the past month. Among people in this age group, 8.1% (or 3.1 million people) vaped nicotine, 5.4% (or 2.1 million people) used tobacco products, and 3.4% (or 1.3 million people) smoked cigarettes in the past month. (2021 NSDUH)
  • 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 2021, 3. 3% (or 9.2 million people) misused opioids (heroin or prescription pain relievers) in the past year. Among the 9.2 million people who misused opioids in the past year, 8.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers compared with 1.1 million people who used heroin. These numbers include 574,000 people who both misused prescription pain relievers and used heroin in the past year. (2021 NSDUH)
  • 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)
  • 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



  • In 2021, marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug, with 18. 7% of people aged 12 or older (or 52.5 million people) using it in the past year. The percentage was highest among young adults aged 18 to 25 (35.4% or 11.8 million people), followed by adults aged 26 or older (17.2% or 37.9 million people), then by adolescents aged 12 to 17 (10.5% or 2.7 million people).
  • 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)
  • 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: 01/05/2023

What is New Year depression and how to deal with it

Winter brings many changes to the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people: it gets colder, daylight hours are shortened, everyone gets to and from work in the dark. Of course, for many, the winter season is all about holiday traditions, gifts, and entertainment. Unfortunately, millions of people at the same time are forced to struggle with anxiety, despair and breakdown. nine0003

New Year's depression is a depressed state, accompanied by anxiety and unwillingness to participate in the general holiday. Scientists believe that this phenomenon has certain causes, and that it can and should be fought.

When should you sound the alarm?

New Year blues for many people is easy, without any consequences and ends by itself. Therefore, it is very important not to miss the moment when slight sadness and regrets about the unfulfilled develops into a real severe clinical depression. In addition, you need to know that it is after the New Year holidays that a disease called seasonal affective disorder often worsens. What signs should alert you? nine0003

  • constant depression
  • lack of strength, not going away even after rest
  • hypersomnia - the presence of excessive duration of night sleep, episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness in which the individual feels an excruciating need for food
  • decreased sexual desire.

If you or someone close to you has one or more of these symptoms, you need to see a doctor for help. nine0003

How to deal with New Year depression?

  • Try to set yourself realistic goals and objectives. Do not expect too much from the holiday: it will not radically change your life, and most likely, a miracle will not happen after the New Year's chimes. Don't expect your celebrations to be perfect: something can always go wrong and you need to be prepared for it.
  • Set yourself firm boundaries: too many party invitations? Too many financial costs? Set yourself a limit to save money and energy for your closest people. nine0018
  • Feeling lonely? There are many ways to get rid of the feeling of loneliness during the New Year holidays: chatting with friends and neighbors, walking together, going to the cinema, skating rinks and theaters, and even chatting on the Internet - all this allows you to get rid of sad thoughts and tune in to the festive wave.
  • Create new traditions. You can come up with some action that will be exactly your symbol of the holiday: a trip to the forest, buying yourself or your loved ones a long-desired gift, some kind of fun pastime together - all this will help get rid of old painful memories and create new ones that will be connected exclusively with a festive mood. nine0018
  • Take care of yourself: remember that during the New Year holidays it is better to limit food and drink, and, on the contrary, increase physical activity.

Causes of New Year's depression

Psychologists believe that there can be several reasons for New Year's depression. By the end of the year, a lot of cases at work accumulate; all people sum up the results of the past year, evaluating what was planned and what was not. The New Year holidays also carry a financial burden: you need to prepare for the holiday, buy gifts, organize a New Year's table, on which many Russians spend their last money, after celebrating the New Year, finding themselves "stranded". nine0003

Psychologists consider the fact that many people expect a "miracle" and noticeable changes in the New Year, but when nothing changes after the holiday, people are overtaken by powerful disappointment. Films with a New Year's theme can also contribute to the New Year's depression. Fairy tales with a happy ending and the triumph of good create unrealistic expectations not only for children, but also for many adults. And often a comparison of the surrounding reality with fairy tales plunges viewers into the abyss of new experiences that life is going downhill. nine0003

The situation can be aggravated by alcohol intake, which, as you know, only deepens negative experiences. In addition, an excess of communication with not very close people, which often happens at New Year's corporate parties, can also play a role: such communication drains strength and destroys the festive mood.

New Year's depression is most often a temporary phenomenon that passes as soon as the fuss of the New Year holidays is left behind. However, if you notice that the decline in strength and mood does not go away with time, and the symptoms of depression drag on for a long time, it is very important to seek professional help in time. nine0003

New Year's depression – TreatField

For some, the New Year holidays are a time of dreams, communication with family, gifts, magic. But for some, this period can be a difficult test. The mood deteriorates out of the blue, green melancholy rolls in, you react sharply to people rejoicing around, you want to hide from everyone and preferably for a long time. What is a "New Year's depression", why does this happen? And how can you help yourself deal with it? nine0063

The New Year Phenomenon: What happens when you get "Christmas depression"

You start to unconsciously count the remaining days until the New Year, and this causes tension.

You want to complete a lot of things, while experiencing stress and anxiety because you cannot do everything.

You hear information about New Year's discounts, succumb to the excitement of buying gifts, buy groceries, count the remaining money with excitement.

Pre-holiday fuss overtakes you already at the beginning of December, and you involuntarily speed up. nine0003

People around without any malicious intent ask: “Have you already decided how you will celebrate the New Year? Have you prepared a new dress?..” - and these are additional tasks that require a speedy solution.

In addition, the lack of sun makes itself felt: it impairs the production of serotonin, which affects good mood, and you can feel the accumulated fatigue on the physical level.

Recommended to see: 5 questions about hidden depression

The debriefing factor can be a huge burden. After all, you can’t deceive yourself: if this year has not met some big expectations, this leads to disappointment and a feeling of powerlessness.

All these factors can influence the development of "New Year's depression" and lead to despondency, apathy and unwillingness to do anything.

Risk zones: Who especially needs to look after themselves

  • If you are going through a difficult stage in your life right now, against the background of pre-holiday stress, your condition may intensify. This may relate to difficulties in relationships, a change of residence, the experience of the loss of a loved one, an age crisis. It is important to remember this and be careful with yourself, take care of the ecology of your emotional and physical state. Give yourself time, slow down, surround yourself with real care. nine0018
  • If you are a perfectionist at heart and try to organize and plan everything in your life perfectly, it may also be more difficult for you to cope with the "imperfection" of the situation. At a fast pace, plans can be violated, things can not end as we would like. This can only increase tension and irritation. Most likely, such people will be saved by a decrease in the value of expectations. Let your ideas fade into the background, and curiosity and creativity come to the fore, like a child. nine0018
  • Especially sensitive to the "New Year's depression" are people who had an unpleasant experience in the past associated with this holiday. And then the negative reaction is launched unconsciously, like a developed reflex. It would be good to work with a psychotherapist with such a painful experience and try to find a new understanding of the situation and other ways of coping, other than discouragement.
  • If not all of your wishes came true this year, and the stakes on them were high, this could be a risk zone for depression. Most often, they are fueled by some introjects that parents and other significant figures put into our heads. For example, that a woman or a man should be in time for their 30s. And if you don’t, then you don’t live up to certain expectations – and hello depression. This prevents you from truly freeing yourself and feeling the pleasure of “here and now”. Try to separate from how should be and choose your own unique way to live.

Recommended reading: Depression makes sense

Joking aside: Symptoms of clinical depression

In order not to start your condition and seek professional help in time, it is important to know the symptoms of true depression.

Your mood has been steadily lowered for two weeks, you feel steadily depressed. You physically slow down, your activity drops, you cannot work and do your usual things. You "badly think", you lose the clarity of thoughts, it is difficult to concentrate. nine0003

We also recommend reading: Depression! Where are you?

Clinical depression is accompanied by insomnia, loss of appetite, pointless anxiety, severe melancholy, mental pain. In such a state, it is difficult to live a familiar life, there is no joy, interest in hobbies is lost, fatigue is felt, it is impossible to “lift yourself off the couch”. In sex, there is a lack of excitement and desire. Own worthlessness is fueled by a constant sense of guilt. There may even be thoughts of suicide. nine0003

No two depressions are the same, and diagnosing depression in oneself is a very difficult task. If you notice this condition, it is important to seek the advice of a specialist. Sometimes a course of psychotherapy helps, but a drug solution to the problem is also possible.

What to do: How to save yourself from the "New Year depression"

  • Separate yourself from the general fuss. Hear yourself. What exactly do you want? How do you like to spend your holidays - with someone or in solitude? Do you like buying gifts, decorating the Christmas tree, or do you tend to do nothing more? nine0018
  • Reduce holiday expectations. The New Year is just a small stop in the natural course of life. Another day on the calendar, which you yourself can give or not give importance. It is not necessary to associate changes in life with this event - start living right now.
  • Slow down. If you tend to succumb to the general hype, try to physically slow down directly. Make time for yourself (morning ginger tea on the windowsill will help you), look around on the street around you (snow, birds, sky, beautiful people - notice what surrounds you), breathe deeply (let in the fresh morning air and do not rush to get up from bed). nine0018
  • Take care of your body. In a healthy body healthy mind! This is the main source of your well-being. This is the main assistant in any of your endeavors. Imagine how a caring parent takes care of a baby - give yourself affection, tenderness, feed delicious food, let's sleep, take for a walk, give a massage, pamper.
  • Change to active position. Do not wait for gifts, but become Santa Claus yourself for others who may need it. Any vigorous activity can shift the focus of attention from internal difficult experiences.
    Learn more