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Substance Use Recovery Resources for May Mental Health Awareness Month

Updated: May 21, 2019

The challenge of substance use disorder is an issue that many people in the US are dealing with. Many are affected through personal use, or are affected by a friend, loved one, or family member who is struggling with substance use disorder. For years there has been a stigma against those who suffer from substance use disorders. This negative portrayal has severely impacted the ability of those affected to seek help.

However, substance use disorder is like any other mental health disorder, and for May Mental Health Month, we here at Austin STRONG: Relationship Building Center have partnered with to bring some resources to light.


It’s been estimated that 2.5 million people use illegal drugs and another 1.3 million abuse alcohol in Texas every year. As a consequence, 14% of all deaths in Texas in the last 10 years were due to drugs and alcohol, and there were almost 25,000 crashes involving drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Unfortunately, only 11% of those who need treatment are getting it. This may be due to misconceptions about rehab or individuals not understanding the process. Rehabilitation can be intimidating to those without first-hand experience, but knowing what to expect can help you or a loved one make the decision to get help.


1. Acknowledgement

Recovery begins when you realize that you have a problem and decide to get help. Addicts may need relatives and friends to help them understand the reality of their situation.

2. Assessment

Rehab starts with the screening process to determine the severity of the addiction. This is where you will start to uncover the underlying causes of your addiction and when a unique plan is developed for treatment.

3. Detoxification

Detox allows the body to cleanse itself from any drugs’ lingering toxins. Medications may be used to safely wean the body off its dependencies.

4. Therapy

Rehab is spent learning how to cope with underlying psychological issues and behavioral responses to drugs. Key goals are identifying your triggers that lead to substance abuse and learning how to avoid them.

5. Aftercare

Recovering addicts need a plan to stay involved in various accountability programs or counseling to build on their progress and to maintain sobriety. Examples of aftercare are 12-step programs, sober living homes, and outpatient counseling

6. Abstinence

Recovery includes a lifelong commitment to be completely clean from drug usage through continued effort and by overcoming the challenges that lead you back into the addiction cycle.

While recovery is a lifelong process, the major component of recovery, the rehabilitation process [steps 2-5] can be completed in a few months.


It’s important to know that there are quite a few different types of treatment centers that will change your individual experience during the rehab process. Overall, there are three basic decisions you need to make when choosing a rehab center.

What to Consider When Choosing a Rehab Center

There are many different types of rehab programs and treatment options to consider. Here are a few of the decisions you need to make:

A) Service Setting: Will you be considering residential inpatient programs or outpatient programs?

B) Specialized Rehabs: Are you interested in holistic rehabs or rehabs for dual diagnosis, or just alcohol and drug detox? Are you a Veteran?

C) Rehab Lengths: Are you looking for a shorter rehab length (30 days) or a longer-term option (60, 90, or 120+ days)?

The main factors that determine which rehab options will be best for you are the severity of your addiction and your unique personal and financial situation.

For more information on how to make all of these decisions, read our guide to Choosing the Right Rehab


>Start by contacting your referral center

In Texas, the first step is to contact the Outreach, Screening, Assessment, and Referral Center (OSAR) in your region. The OSARs are located at the Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) in the 11 regions serviced by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). To find the contact information for the OSAR/LMHA in your area, visit the DSHS website.

The purpose of the referral centers is to determine what type of help each individual needs, and what resources are available for each person. The referral center is also the first point of contact for anyone who may need assistance paying for treatment. Keep in mind that those who qualify for Medicaid can take advantage of the Substance Use Disorder Benefit.

>Use our database to find a treatment center near you

This tool lists all of the treatment centers in the state of Texas recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Input your zip code and select the filter icon to find relevant rehabs near you.

>The Highest Rated, Low-Cost Rehabs in Texas

If the cost of rehab is a barrier for you (as it is for many) and you don’t have insurance, there are still ways for you to get help. The cost of addiction always outweighs the cost of rehab, and there are options available for anyone who’s struggling to afford treatment. While cost is often a limitation for many, it doesn’t have to hold you back from getting help. Here is a guide to the low cost rehab options in Texas.


SAMHSA (2017) identifies four major domains that support recovery:

Health: Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms...and, for everyone in recovery, making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.

Home: A stable and safe place to live that supports recovery.

Purpose: Meaningful daily activities, such as a job, school, volunteering, family caregiving, or creative endeavors, and the independence, income, and resources to participate in society.

Community: Relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love, and hope.

Recovery is recognized as an individual process with no prescribed timetable. Each person’s journey is unique, and each person in recovery chooses supports, ranging from clinical treatment to peer services, that facilitate recovery. (Texas Health Steps)


Although addiction can feel like an unbeatable enemy sometimes, there are so many people and resources who want to help you win that war! You do not have to suffer in shame and silence. There is help! There is hope for recovery and a new life beyond addiction.

It can be discouraging when you are in the throes of active addiction to think of all the things that you would need to do to change your life. But as the old saying goes, "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Just like anything else, you can start by taking the first step. Your life is worth it!


This article was written as part of Austin STRONG: Relationship Building Centers' series for May Mental Health Awareness month, 2019. All the information in this article is found on the website. Thank you to Julie Constance, Community Outreach at for bringing our awareness to this important resource for Texans! is a community organization dedicated to empowering people suffering from substance abuse addiction with tools and resources to start their personal journey toward recovery. We create and publishes comprehensive, unbiased, free web-based resources that have been featured and is referenced by many governmental agencies and organizations across the web.

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