Depression due to failure

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. 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

Five rules for experiencing failure

It happens like this: in the morning you come to work, and the general calls you right away and meets you with the words “We will have to part with you!”. The first reaction is shock. The second is anger. The third is fear. And only later the thought comes to mind: “Why did this all happen right now and specifically with me? I am a loser!..".

The rarest case when this algorithm fails. One can only envy people who can, without a shadow of embarrassment, respond to the CEO’s statement, “I dreamed about this for so long!”, one can only envy. Most of us experience any failure more or less painfully. And this, as psychologists say, is completely normal. It is not normal when a person does not notice his failures at all - it means that he simply does not realize what is happening to him. Or so used to these failures that he stopped seeing them - this is the other extreme. Both of them are a reason for the intervention, if not of a psychiatrist, then of a psychologist.

And what about those who see their failures and seriously worry about them? There is only one answer: you need to learn to experience them properly! Sitting and shedding tears over a suddenly cut short career or a failed project is useless. But what is useful?

Rule one. Not to be ashamed of failure

The reasons why we tend to feel bad about our failures are most often to be found in our childhood. A small child is not used to mourning for a long time if something does not work out for him. In extreme cases, he will cry for a short time - and then he will find another occupation for himself. Or he will repeat the action that led to a negative result, again and again, until he succeeds - or is not convinced of the futility.

The experience begins when the child realizes failure, usually as a result of parental evaluation. "Well, you failed! I told you! .. ”- this phrase becomes familiar. And with it, shame becomes habitual. I failed - what will my parents say about me! Classmates! Colleagues! Wife!..

Don't be ashamed of your failure! Start seeing it as you did in early childhood: just as an unexpected negative outcome. There is nothing to be ashamed of: failures happen to everyone. Shame is the first cause of fear. Fear is the main reason for repeating failure. Are you sure you want to repeat them?

Rule two. Talk about failure

This rule is also based on our childhood experience - only positive this time. What does a child need if he has failed? So that mom or dad listened to him, regretted and said that everything would be fine!

An adult needs it no less. Well, perhaps in other forms, but the essence of something from this does not change. If you have failed, do not try to experience it alone. You need a listener, you need someone to whom you can tell everything. The more and more detailed, the better. And do not be ashamed of your desire to receive sympathy - it is really needed now! It is better for men to forget about their “male complexes” for a while: at this moment it is more important to help yourself than to break yourself.

If it is difficult to reach out to friends or relatives, you can look for a listener among unfamiliar or completely unfamiliar people. Up to the point of telling about your problem on some forum. There are even special communities designed specifically for such situations. You just have to remember that talking about failure turns it from your personal disaster into something you don't have to deal with on your own. And from such an angle, any failure somehow shrinks and turns pale.

Rule three.

Understand failure

In addition to moral relief, talking about failure will help you understand why it happened to you. Indeed, by sharing your problems, you willy-nilly begin to choose words and formulations, which means you will begin to analyze what happened. This will be the fulfillment of the third rule. To make failure easier to survive, it really needs to be understood. After all, understanding what exactly happened leads to understanding why it happened. And knowing the reasons for the failure, you can, if not avoid it in the future, then at least prepare for a possible repetition.

Why is it important to understand the origins of one's failure? First of all, because every failure has two types of reasons: objective and subjective. Without analysis, we will not be able to figure out what was more in our failure - our mistakes or external circumstances. As a rule, we indiscriminately blame everything either on ourselves or on the fate of the villain - and we are wrong in both the first and the second. Is it worth it to blame everything on yourself and brand yourself a loser? Is it worth blaming life for everything and cursing it for disliking us? The answer to both questions is no!

Rule four. Accept failure

So, you calmed down, shared your problems with a friend or stranger and tried to figure out why this all happened to you. What's next? The most important thing at this stage is to understand that any success, like any failure, falls to our lot because we deserve it.

Not in the sense of “failure is a punishment for what I did or didn't do”, no! But in the sense that any failure is a consequence of the chain of our actions and decisions. Some of them were right, some were wrong, but these were our actions and decisions, and not someone else's!

But it would be strange to punish yourself for being who you are. And if we accept ourselves, then we must accept our failures. In the end, every failure will certainly, sooner or later, but will be compensated by good luck. And this success will also be, figuratively speaking, our handiwork.

Rule five. Overestimate failure

Let's go back to the beginning of our conversation. So, in the morning your boss called you and said that you were fired. Catastrophe? More likely no than yes! Indeed, with the money received upon dismissal, for example, you can take and go on an extraordinary vacation! Or at least go to a restaurant in the evening and throw a small banquet on the occasion of your release from the work routine. But more importantly, if you can look at failure as a "hint" from fate. Perhaps the story of the dismissal, she tells you that you are not doing your job? Or maybe now, having taken up the job search, you will receive the offer of your dreams, which would not have been discussed until you looked up from your desk.

In a word, any failure is, first of all, a reason to stop, to step back, so to speak, to the margins of everyday life. And from there, look at yourself a little from the side and think in which direction to start after this stop. Agree: to understand this by accepting your failure, analyzing its causes and realizing that in any case you will not cope with problems alone, is much easier.

According to legend, Vladimir Vysotsky decided to become an artist after a freshman spilled coffee on the blueprints he had been working on all night. No one knows how famous the engineer Vysotsky would have become if life had turned out differently. But the country, most likely, would have lost the actor Vysotsky. And it would seem that such an insulting failure - drawings filled with coffee! ..

How to survive failure and move on: 5 tips

As a coach, I work mainly with CEOs of large companies, their families or media personalities. All these are successful people - active, focused on victory, profit, recognition, super-result and scale. But, as we know from folk wisdom, the higher you fly, the more painful it is to fall - such people have a lot of risks of failure.

That is why it is so important to react correctly to defeats and move on. As Churchill said, “Success is the ability to move from one failure to another without losing enthusiasm.” It is important to look at the situation of failure in the perspective of the rest of your life - to accept that this is part of the game.

Hello, I need help

Clients come to me at various stages of failure. In some cases, a person does not yet understand that, figuratively speaking, the train is already going to the cliff, although this is obvious to everyone around.

Sometimes they come soon after the defeat, and sometimes after a while: everything has already happened, it's time to let it all go, but it is here that a person begins his personal hell.

How dangerous it is to “get stuck” in failure

Everyone reacts to failure in different ways, but for many in such a situation, a whole range of different feelings is replaced: despair, numbness, anger, pain, disappointment.

And what is especially dangerous is to get stuck in these emotions for a long time. Our brains are wired so that when we do something wrong, we experience negative feelings — this is how the psyche helps us learn from mistakes. Therefore, in order to “let go”, it is important to draw conclusions. “Everything, everything, I learned!” This is how our brain perceives it.

If a person does not get out of this state for a long time, this can have serious consequences for his body. So, neuroscientists came to the conclusion that stress causes long-term changes in the human brain: the balance between the white and gray matter of the brain changes, new neurons die in the hippocampus - the area of ​​the brain that is responsible for learning, memory and emotions. It also increases the production of cortisol - sometimes called the stress hormone - which in turn leads to changes in metabolism and other health problems.

It turns out to be a kind of vicious circle: failure and severe stress lead to changes at the physiological level, and they, in turn, complicate the way out of a difficult situation. The consequences can be the most serious - deterioration in physical health, depression, alcoholism, unstable emotional state and outbursts of anger. At such moments, a person can label himself as a loser, which will then affect his whole life.

However, it is important to remember that we have a huge compensatory potential: if a person does not “bury himself” after a failure, he will be able, thanks to this story, to become many times smarter, more efficient, capable and emotionally stronger - which means that he will be able to achieve a success that he never even thought about.

Here are some green ways to handle failure.

1. Contact a specialist. If a person is already stuck in feelings of defeat, a good option is to go to a coach or a psychotherapist. With a specialist, you need to develop a plan to return to yourself - to your strength, talent, luck. This will give a person the opportunity to act: our brain is so arranged that it reacts even to small victories and steps forward. The stress hormone will be replaced by happiness hormones - dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, endorphin - it will be easier for a person to move on.

2. Physical activity. In a stressful situation, you need to maintain the same physical activity and even introduce a new one. It sounds trite, but this is the basics of biochemistry: sports help to remove cortisol and promote the production of hormones of happiness. For spiritual strength, physical strength is needed, and for a general rebirth, a good form.

3. Stories about failures of very successful people. Sometimes it helps to listen or read how people who are successful now experienced failures before, how they got back on their feet - and how everything worked out for them in the end. This will give us hope. And where there is hope, there are plans for a new life.

4. Accepting what you have no control over. There is no need to blame other people, even those who caused pain - while you scold them, you are only wasting your strength, because you are fixated and cannot develop further.

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