I am unmotivated 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

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    It's Not Your Fault (NACoA) (PDF | 12 KB)
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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. 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

How to stop suffering from failures and learn how to motivate yourself properly

Or how negative motivation harms you every day

Website editors

Katerina Vlasova, business coach, practitioner of psychological portrait, tells. There are two types of motivation: positive (“carrot in front”) and negative (so-called “carrot in back”). nine0003

If you have set goals or have been setting them for a long time, but constantly do not achieve them (sometimes even decades are involved), this is a sign that you have a negative motivation to achieve these goals, that is, it works from the opposite - not from the desire to achieve but out of fear, anxiety, a sense of duty, a desire to live up to someone else's standards, or fear of punishment. These are, in general, human needs that Maslow classified, and we are so arranged that we strive to satisfy them - to be safe, warm and treated with attention. nine0003

But with such an impulse to action, instead of going towards your goal with pleasure, you constantly have to prove to yourself and others that you are cool, you do everything right, you are no worse than others, everything is okay with you, and on this a huge amount of energy is wasted.

And now, let's say, on this path, some kind of failure happens to you, even if not at all fatal, just a mistake, but you immediately want to give up everything, run away, hide and never, never return to this path, in which every step gives you discomfort and worries. You feel that you are not cool, you seem powerless to yourself and rapidly devalue your past achievements, you begin to think that you will not succeed, and give up. Familiar, right? nine0003

Finding motivation after such a “failure” becomes a painful process – where can one get it, this magical power of inspiration? And in general, what kind of inspiration are we talking about if you have to grit your teeth again and set off towards new suffering? With this approach, everything turns into a test of will: going to the gym, and dieting, and learning a new business - it seems to you that you can succeed only by making a colossal leap at the limit of human capabilities. These last jumps and guilt when you gave up once again make you seriously doubt that it could be otherwise. nine0003

Is there life after such peak points? All resources were thrown at climbing to the goal, and after that it takes a long recovery of emotions and physical strength, and this all-consuming fear - and what if you don’t hold this level and roll back again, and again all over again! Just not this! I worked with a client who for almost a year could not decide to look for a new job after she was unexpectedly fired from a very good position in an international holding. She was depressed and incredibly afraid that this situation would happen to her again, in another company. But when we began to understand the situation, it turned out that she never liked her job and held on to it mainly because her parents and friends thought it was a dream career. nine0003

It took a while to figure out what she really wanted to do. As often happens, the answer turned out to be in a completely different direction, but when it was found, panic fear was replaced by enthusiasm.

If now you feel that you again need to exert yourself with all your strength, cheer up, pull yourself together for the sake of the cause, for the sake of the goal, endure, clench your fists and crawl forward, then you are just used to living with a carrot from behind. But you don't seem to like it!

No one likes to live like a hamster in a cage, running in one place, on an ever-spinning wheel, even the hamster himself, most likely, this is not a joy. But unlike him, you can realize how exhausting it is and how barbarically it takes away your strength and resources to earn money, create a family, and do what you love. And then you need to master the second type of motivation, which is associated with the realization of your desires. nine0003

And desires are what gives you pleasure (the root of the word is “will”, that is, freedom to do what you want, and having a choice).

And then neither the fear of a mistake, nor the anxiety that it will not work out is not needed - you just do what you love every day and enjoy it in the process, you go your own way, towards your dreams, and not a single step on this road does not leave you indifferent, does not frighten you and does not cause resistance. Even in moments when something goes wrong, you do not lose inspiration, enthusiasm and faith in yourself. nine0003

Yes, you need to learn this type of motivation, you need to change the system of your internal choices from “need” to “want”.

And you can start doing it right now. A few simple tasks will help you change the vector of your movement.

  • Answer the question honestly for yourself: is your goal (or goals) that you need motivation to achieve really yours? Why do you think so?
  • Write down 10 answers to the question why you need it.
  • Write down all the beliefs (related to your desires) that slow you down, and continue them with the word “but”.
  • Make a list of 10 of your wishes - things you just want to do, not because you have to. Ride horses, draw a picture, attend a vocal class, start writing a book or short stories? Why not! The main thing is that this is what you want.
  • Realize 1 wish from point 4 already before the New Year - this will give you a boost of energy and motivation! Remember this feeling and repeat endlessly! nine0038

There is no point in postponing the enjoyment of life, and there is no point in living in anxiety and tension, because both are a matter of your choice and the decision you made about how to live on. Only you decide.


How to motivate your child to learn: simple ways that will help you

Surely every parent has wondered at least once - how to teach a child to be independent without hassle and disappointment? How to teach children to do homework with joy, to make the learning process exciting for the children themselves. Our new blogger Anna Chirkova tells how to work with children's motivation. nine0003

In recent years, the practice of teachers shows that the number of children who do not seek knowledge is constantly growing. It appears even in primary school students.

Unwillingness to learn is manifested in the fact that children forget to do their homework, they have a mess in textbooks and desks, they draw in class, look out the window, talk with classmates, they are bored in class. Such children may blame teachers for their poor grades, but most often they do not care at all about poor performance. nine0003

Why do children not want to study? Even teachers with experience are not always ready to unequivocally answer this question, but we will try to give the simplest and most effective ways to motivate your child.

The reasons why children do not want to study are different, there are quite a lot of them. Let's analyze some of them.

What influences the unwillingness to study

1. The child is too small for school. Parents think that their children are ready for school if they see that they know a lot for their age. But even if your child is smart enough, and you think not to take him an extra year to kindergarten, this does not mean that he is psychologically ready for school. Most likely, the child will not be able to obey certain rules. In addition, it is more difficult for young children to sit for a long time in the classroom without moving. nine0003

2. Conflicts with teachers. Often, even the teachers themselves are not aware of the conflict with their pupils. They may notice that the student has poor academic performance, his behavior has changed, although, as it seems to the teacher, there was no conflict as such. In fact, the child could hear unpleasant words addressed to him or hold a grudge against the teacher's behavior. The child may feel depressed, feel fear, he develops a negative attitude towards the teacher. In most cases, children do not want to tell their parents about their fears related to school, this preserves the conflict and the difficulties associated with it. nine0003

3. Conflicts with students. If such a problem has already developed, then it can be very difficult to correct it without consequences for the child.

4. Physical defects. For example, stuttering, trembling of the limbs, and others. It is very difficult for children to get used to the idea that they are somehow different from their peers. It becomes especially difficult in cases where the shortcomings cause bullying and laughter from classmates. Knowing about his problem, the child does not want to become the center of attention, feel humiliated and once again appear at school. nine0003

5. Family conflicts. Scandals between parents and other family members. Often such a child closes in on himself due to experiences, he not only loses his motivation for learning, he is rarely interested in anything at all.

6. Pressure on the child from parents and relatives . We set high standards for children, sending them to the best schools where education is conducted at a higher level, we enroll in various sections. Just imagine how many sections parents try to send their children to without taking into account the opinion of the children themselves. Parents scream, get indignant, scold children if they bring bad grades or simply do not reach the results of their classmates. Think about it, maybe you are putting too much pressure on the children, forcing them to do what they do not want. nine0003

What factors influence interest in learning

1. Interest in the subjects studied . Often, children lose interest in studying some subjects just because they seem boring to children. However, you need to make it clear to the child that in all lessons they provide the necessary information that develops different skills, so it is important to study all subjects. There are many disciplines, the study of which requires more work. In this case, you need to find another motivation. Much depends on the teacher, who is able to explain complex things in simple language and thus simplify the learning process. nine0003

2. Method of studying objects . In elementary grades, it is much easier for children to learn with the help of active methods, discussions and games. The teacher should pay attention to the fact that tasks like “rewriting textbooks” and “working on our own” reduce interest in the subject, while creative and various unusual ones, on the contrary, increase.

3. Perception of information . Some children perceive information better through sight, others through hearing, others through images. The effectiveness of teaching children largely depends on the type of perception of information. Parents themselves can choose the ways of teaching the child if they understand his peculiarities of perception of information. nine0003

4. Teacher's interest . When a teacher intrigues students with a personal example, shows a positive attitude towards the subject, then children also become interested in what they are taught. When they know that they will hear something funny or interesting in class, they look forward to these items with joy.

What are the types of motivation

Motivation is one of the most important conditions for successful learning. The most significant for students are the following motives:

  • cognitive, that is, the desire to know more, to become erudite;
  • communicative - expanding the circle of communication through an increase in the intellectual level and new acquaintances;
  • emotional;
  • self-development - disclosure of one's abilities and talents;
  • student position;
  • achievements;
  • external - rewards, punishments.

In addition, motives are divided into external (social) and internal (cognitive). An example of extrinsic motivation: "I need to pass the exam so that my parents don't scold me." Intrinsic motivation: "I really like literature lessons, so I read every free minute, I learn something new with every book I read." nine0003

There are two more types of motivation - stable and unstable. An example of sustainable motivation: "Since the day I entered the drawing school, I have never regretted that I chose this particular section. " Unstable: “I went to a concert, I also wanted to play some instrument, I started studying, but after a while I quit.”

Most often, children's motivation is unstable due to the fact that they are very emotional. It is very easy to interrupt old ones with new emotions and impressions.

It is very difficult for a child who is not interested in learning to apply the acquired knowledge in practice, and the lack of motivation for the learning process leads to chronic academic failure. Why is this happening? Often the parents are to blame. nine0003

Of course, only you can choose how to properly raise your child, but his and your life depends on this choice. Not all parents realize what mistakes they make in the process of motivating their children. Consider not all, but the most relevant of them, which are most often found among parents.

1. Lowering your child's self-esteem, programming for failure. This happens when you tell a child that nothing good will come of him, that he will become a janitor if he does not study well. Such words lead to an underestimation of self-esteem, in case of any failures, the child lets go of his hands, completes what he started at the slightest problem. nine0003

2. Deception and intimidation . If you use such methods, the connection and trust between you and your child will be destroyed.

3. Excessive requirements, not taking into account the child's capabilities . The parent may think that the child is lazy or “not studying on purpose”, while there may be specific reasons (mental developmental features, illness, fatigue).

4. Gifts in exchange for good academic performance . There are many downsides to this method. The child quickly develops a habit of getting what he wants through good grades. In the future, he may begin to demand a reward and fulfill your requests only after receiving what he wants. Such children are only aimed at receiving presents, and not at good studies. nine0003

5. Motivated by success . Often, parents assure the child that all his actions should be aimed at success and high status in society. In the future, such children grow up to be people who do everything for the sake of success and money, and not because it brings them positive emotions or is aimed at helping loved ones.

6. Excessive load in different activities and sections . Modern parents like to plan their children's schedule as tightly as possible so that they spend their time with benefit every day. The child's psyche may not be able to withstand such a load, so you will get a complete lack of interest in classes. nine0003

How to increase motivation to study

1. Educate your child in a playful way

Play is a unique instrument of pedagogical influence. If the child does not want to learn or something does not work out for him, you can always come up with a game in which he will be able to complete the tasks you have given.

These can be intellectual exercise games, training games based on competition. They show schoolchildren the level of their preparedness and fitness. By comparing with the opposite team, students themselves see their gaps in knowledge, this encourages cognitive activity in them. nine0003

The game form does not involve standard student assessment, so even lagging children can be interested.

2. Support the child in his hobbies

Do not impose your favorite activities, let him pursue his hobby. Help children discover their hidden talents or develop those they already have, let them freely choose what interests them.

3. Small rewards, not big rewards

Encourage the child, praise for the result, but do not do it in the form of money and in the form of expensive gifts. Otherwise, the time will come when the child wants to sell you the results of his labor at a higher price. For example, the rule "For every correct task - 1 candy" works much better than "For every five in the diary - a cake." Candy is a kind of guarantee that difficult homework is done in an atmosphere of trust, which in itself is already a motivation. nine0003

4. Be interested in what your child has learned in school, not in his grades

Show him how to apply what he has learned, discuss his stories together. Encourage your child to think and discuss as often as possible. Remember that any grades are a subjective thing, this is not an indicator of your child's knowledge, but only his assessment by teachers.

A child does not have to be an excellent student, he has the right to receive bad marks. If he himself was upset because of the deuce - support and never scold. After all, first of all, you should be his friend and partner. nine0003

5. Minimize stress

Tell the children how you yourself overcame difficulties in school, how you coped with difficult tasks. Show what you have achieved now that you have walked this path. Talk together about your failures and fears.

The child should always know that he will be heard, and problems will not be exaggerated. Explain that stress is an integral part of life, teach how to cope with it so that in the future the child can overcome it himself.

Motivation for learning does not develop overnight, sometimes it takes a lot of effort and time. If you have missed something in raising your child, it is never too late to start building your relationship on the basis of trust and understanding.

Do not motivate your child with distant and illusory goals incomprehensible to his age. Every parent must find where the potential of their children lies. Try to reveal his talents from different angles, give him the opportunity to prove himself. Look for inclinations in your children for some kind of activity, show by your own example that we are learning new things all our lives, that there are many interesting things in life. nine0003

Do not forget that in no case should you beat, humiliate, yell at a child, because school will end sooner or later, but your relationship will remain. According to the research of E. N. Volkova, the majority of children living in families in which severe physical, emotional, and other types of violence are used have signs of a delay in physical and neuropsychic development.

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