We at the William James College INTERFACE Referral Service are keenly aware of the shortage of mental health providers of color and how racial inequities exist in medical and mental health care. The College’s Black Mental Health Academy, Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health, and other programs and academic offerings are playing a critical role in reversing this trend. We invite you to read a statement from our Black Mental Health Graduate Academy Scholars, and to stand with us as allies to drive change and address systemic racism.

Substance Abuse across the Lifespan

The potential for individuals to abuse alcohol or drugs is not limited to a specific age group; teens, adults, and the elderly are at risk of over using, abusing, or misusing alcohol, illicit drugs, or medication to a point where it becomes unhealthy and possibly dangerous.  Substance abuse can be a lifelong struggle for some individuals and can affect not just them, but families and the greater community.  In addition, there are not only physical health risks from substance abuse, but also emotional and psychological problems that can arise from abuse.  Lastly, what substance abuse looks like and its causes are complex and can vary across age, drug of choice, and other individual and environmental factors.  Treatment for substance abuse requires multiple levels of interventions; from medication to individual and/or group treatment to family and community support.  With effective treatment and interventions, individuals can have a successful recovery.

Alcohol and drug use remain a problem in our society and affects a significant number of individuals across the lifespan.  According to the 2013 National Comorbidity Study on Adolescents, an estimated 21.6 million persons aged 12 or older (8.2 percent) were classified with substance abuse or dependence in the past year based on criteria specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV).  More specifically, 78.2% of U.S. teens had consumed alcohol, 47.1% reported drinking 12 drinks within a year, and 15.1% met criteria for lifetime abuse.  Later in the lifespan, 11% of adults between 50 and 64 and 6.7% of adults 65 and older reported symptoms consistent with alcohol dependence or abuse (Wang & Andrande, 2013).

Resource Organizations » Substance Abuse and Addictions

In Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline

Helpline: 800-327-5050

TTY: 617-536-5872

office: 617-279-2240

Email: helpline@hria.org

The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline is a Massachusetts resource providing free and confidential information and referral for alcohol and other drug abuse problems and related concerns. The Helpline is committed to linking consumers with comprehensive, accurate, and current information about treatment and prevention services throughout Massachusetts. Individuals may call the Helpline Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm to talk with a referral specialist. Language interpreters are always available.

Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program

Smokers' Helpline: 800-784-8669

The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program is dedicated to reducing the health and economic burden of tobacco use by: preventing young people from starting to smoke, helping current smokers quit protecting children and adults from secondhand smoke, identifying and eliminating tobacco-related disparities.

Organizations without hotlines

Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS)


Email: armsmgh@partners.org

The Addiction Recovery Management Service, offered by the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO), provides rapid access to information and support combined with outreach and care management for youth aged 15 - 25 and their families suffering from substance-related problems. ARMS supplements the traditional inpatient and outpatient continuum and bridges the gaps in disjointed systems of treatment with leading expertise and high quality care management. Building on the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) medical, clinical, and addiction research resources within the MGH Center for Addiction Medicine, ARMS facilitates comprehensive, research-informed, care maximizing the chances for youth recovery.

AIDS Action Committee

617-437-6200 (Boston office)

617-661-3040 (Cambridge Office)

AIDS Action Needle Exchange distributes and exchanges syringes to injection drug users (IDUs). Needle Exchange is one of four state-sanctioned and state-funded syringe exchange programs in Massachusetts. The program also operates a drop-in center where members can access risk reduction supplies such as crack kits, safer injection supplies, and condoms. Members can participate in periodic groups as well as receive individual risk reduction counseling, information and referrals to medical, substance use, and other social service providers. Needle Exchange is also one of the state’s pilot sites for the distribution of Narcan, a nasal spray distributed to IDUs and their network of supportive family and friends to reverse potentially fatal overdoses.

Alanon and Alateen

508-366-0556 (MA office)

(413) 445-5852 (Berkshire County)

Email: LDCOFMA@aol.com

Alateen and Al-Anon are 12-step support programs that help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of their loved one's addiction. Members meet regularly to learn a better way of life, to find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. Alateen offers support to adolescents affected by someone else's alcoholism. The only requirement of membership in Al-Anon and Alateen is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend. Visit the website for a list of meetings in your area.

Alcoholics Anonymous


Email: info@aaemass.org

Alcoholics Anonymous is 12-step support program for recovering alcoholics to share their experience, strength, and hope with each other so that together they may achieve sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership. Visit the AA website for a list of meetings in your area or www.aaboston.org.

Cambridge and Somerville Program for Alcoholism and Drug Abuses Rehabilitation (CASPAR)


Email: jlondergan@baycove.org

CASPAR is a nonprofit organization founded in 1970 in response to the need for community-based services for those affected by substance use disorders. Since then CASPAR has built a comprehensive array of outreach, shelter, stabilization, residential, aftercare, education, and prevention services to meet the needs of diverse populations through programs that are safe, accessible, and supportive. CASPAR serves a diverse population of high risk men, women, children and adolescents, most of whom are uninsured and indigent.

Casa Esperanza


Email: info@casaesperanza.com

Casa Esperanza is a recognized leader in developing holistic approaches to substance abuse treatment, with a reputation for having caring, highly skilled substance abuse counselors and other service providers. We now operate a residential treatment facility for 29 men; a residential treatment facility for 20 women and their children; 23 units of Supportive Housing for individuals and families; and a Relapse Prevention and Outpatient Services program, which provides aftercare services for individuals and families in recovery.
Understanding that recovery is a lifelong process, Casa Esperanza has continued to evolve to meet the unique, long-term needs of people in recovery, providing integrated, bilingual/bicultural tailored services to each individual and each family, including: affordable sober housing; parent-child education and reunification; job training, placement, and advancement; trauma counseling; and health and wellness services, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, tobacco cessation, nutrition and exercise. By focusing on whole people, not a single problem, Casa seeks to help families regain the lives they have lost and create a strong, supportive community for those who hope to follow in their footsteps.

Check Your Gambling

Check Your Gambling is a personalized feedback intervention for problem gamblers. The site presents a series of questions relating to your gambling activities and their consequences, and basic demographic details. Once you have completed the questions (which only takes a few minutes), you are presented with personalized feedback. This feedback includes a comparison of your gambling behavior with normative data; a summary of your overall rating along with a description of what it means (non-problem gambler, low-risk gambler, moderate-risk gambler, problem gambler); and a summary of cognitive distortions about gambling with a summary about the error of each belief. Also included are some suggested techniques that could be used to lower the risk associated with your gambling. The length of the feedback varies depending on your answers, but should take no more than 10 to 20 minutes to read.

Institute for Health and Recovery and Youth Central Intake and Care Coordination


Toll Free: 866-705-2807

TTY: 617-661-9051

Email: ihr@healthrecovery.org

The Institute for Health and Recovery is a statewide service, research, policy, and program development agency. IHR's mission is to develop a comprehensive continuum of care for individuals, youth, and families affected by alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, mental health problems, and violence/trauma.  They also operate the Youth Central Intake and Care Coodination service in which families can contact them to assist with referrals to youth residential services or to learn more about other youth substance abuse services.

Journey Recovery Project

The Journey Project is an interactive Web resource for pregnant and parenting women who have questions or concerns about opioid and other substance use. The Journey focuses on the stories of women with lived experience, offering information, hope, encouragement, and resources for every step of their perinatal journey. With videos, informational slideshows, resource links, and worksheets, the Journey Project seeks to empower and inform women about opioid and other substance use and pregnancy. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS), in collaboration with the Institute for Health and Recovery and the Center for Social Innovation, created the Journey Project.

Learn To Cope

508-738-5148 (Main Office)

508-801-3247 (Peer Recovery Specialist)

Email: ltc@learn2cope.org

Funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH), LTC has grown to have a full-staff who collaborate with communities across the state to spread messages of prevention, education, awareness and advocacy. Learn to Cope has over 9,000 members on a private online forum, 25 chapters throughout Massachusetts and most recently 2 chapters in Florida and 1 in Boise, Idaho. LTC families receive unique support and education from professionals and their peers. 

Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling

Office: 617-426-4554

Helpline: 800-426-1234

The Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling is a private, non-profit health agency dedicated to reducing the social, financial, and emotional costs of problem gambling. The Council has been instrumental in bringing the issue of problem gambling to the attention of the public and policymakers, offering resources to problem gamblers, their loved ones, and concerned members of the community. The Council offers a toll-free Helpline which provides live confidential caller responses (including treatment referrals) 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Middlesex Human Service Agency, Inc.


Email: info@mhsainc.org

The mission of Middlesex Human Service Agency, Inc. is to improve the quality of life and independent functioning of a wide variety of clients through the delivery of an extensive system of community-based substance abuse and social service programs. Programs include substance abuse recovery homes, inpatient alcohol education & treatment for adults convicted of two or more OUI offenses, shelter, food, & housing search assistance for the homeless.

MOAR- Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery


1-877-423-6627 (Toll-Free)

Email: maryanne@moar-recovery.org

MOAR offers a wide array of resources for those coping with substance abuse. Of these include acccess to prevention and treatment support, recovery homes, housing resources, educational resources, peer recovery support, family and youth services, and criminal justice addiction recovery support. 

New England Addiction Outreach


Email: NEAddictionOutreach@gmail.com

New England Addiction Outreach  is a New England based non-profit organization bringing recovery support to those struggling with substance abuse.  The organization provides Community Outreach including posting daily available BSAS funded detox and treatment bed listings.  They will also assist those struggling with addictions to try to navigate the system to find treatment placement including detox, CSS/TSS, Dual Diagnosis, Residential Treatment Programs, or Intensive Outpatient Programs.  NEAO also helps with Recovery Coaching by providing guidance during the early recovery process including peer support and referring clients and families to outside recovery supports (12 step fellowships, faith based fellowships, recovery support groups, counseling, etc.)  NEAO is a presence on Facebook, and Facebook messages are the best way to get in contact.

New England Region of Narcotics Anonymous (N.E.R.N.A)


Email: info@newenglandna.org

Narcotics Anonymous is a nonprofit 12-step support program for men and women recovering from their addiction to drugs. Members meet regularly to help each other stay clean. Membership is open to all drug addicts, regardless of the particular drug or combination of drugs used. There are no dues or fees for membership. Visit the NA website for a list of meetings in your area.

Suboxone (Buprenorphine) Hotline Office Based Opioid Treatment Program (OBOT) at Boston Medical Center


(617) 414-6926 (Program Coordinator)

Email: Colleen.LaBelle@bmc.org

This Hotline can make referrals and offer information on opiate and heroin treatment available in Doctors' offices statewide. Information regarding treatment options is available for both adolescents and adults.

The Gavin Foundation

857-496-7342 (Center Director: Roscoe Hurley)

857-496-0052 ext. 618 (Volunteer Coordinator: Rose Stone)

857-496-0052 ext. 618 (Community Resource Specialist: (Debbie Schezer)

Email: devinerecoverycenter@gmail.com

The Gavin Foundation is a multi-service nonprofit agency providing comprehensive, community-based substance abuse treatment, education, and prevention programs. We serve more than 5,000 individuals each year through our adult, youth and community programs. The Gavin Foundation works from a deep commitment to the community, including the widespread community of individuals and families in recovery.

Outside Massachusetts

Organizations with hotlines

Gamblers Anonymous

Massachusetts Hotline : 855-222-5542


Email: isomain@gamblersanonymous.org

Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop gambling. There are no dues or fees for Gamblers Anonymous membership. Gamblers Anonymous is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. It neither endorses nor opposes any cause. Its primary purpose is to help compulsive gamblers end their addiction through its 12-step program.

Mental Health America

1-800-273-TALK (8255) - 24-hour crisis center

Office: 703-684-7722

Toll Free: 800-969-6642

Mental Health America (formerly known as the National Mental Health Association) is the nation's leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Their work is driven by the commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need it; with recovery as the goal.

National Council on Problem Gambling



Email: ncpg@ncpgambling.org

The mission of the National Council on Problem Gambling is to lead state and national stakeholders in the development of comprehensive policy and programs for all those affected by problem gambling.  Their purpose is to serve as the national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families.  And their vision is to improve health and wellness by reducing the personal, social and economic costs of problem gambling.  The National Council is neither for nor against legalized gambling.  

On-line Gamers Anonymous


On-Line Gamers Anonymous is a self-help fellowship. They share their experience, strengths and hope to assist in recovery from the problems caused by excessive game playing, whether it be computer, video, console, or on-line. The community includes recovering gamers, family members, loved ones, friends, and concerned others. They know how powerful, cunning, baffling and destructive excessive game playing can be. It can be devastating to the real-world lives of gamers and to those close to them. OLGA/OLG-Anon provides a resource for open discussion, support, education and referrals. They advocate and provide a 12-Step Program of recovery. The OLGA/OLG-Anon website includes a directory of 12-Step meetings (both on-line and face-to-face), a list of relevant reading materials, links to recent media articles, and referrals to professionals in your area who specialize in the treatment of gaming addiction.

SAMHSA's National Helpline or Treatment Referral Routing Service

1-800-662-HELP (4357)

1-800-662-HELP (4357)

800-487-4889 (TTY)

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.  Their website also includes a searchable directory of drug and alcohol treatment programs showing the location of facilities around the country that treat alcohol and drug use problems.

Organizations without hotlines

Ben's Friends

Ben’s Friends is the food and beverage industry support group offering hope, fellowship, and a path forward to professionals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Ben’s Friends exists to provide a safe haven and an anonymous, judgment-free forum for workers in an industry that has one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the country. Ben’s Friends models acceptance and gratitude, and though unaffiliated with either AA or NA, shares an important commonality: the only thing you need to bring through the door is a desire to stop drinking or using. Ben’s Friends offers a safe and constructive haven for those grappling with and maintaining sobriety. By coming together, by starting a dialogue, and by acknowledging that substance abuse cannot be overcome in isolation or by willpower alone, Ben’s Friends hopes to write a new chapter in the lives of our country’s talented and dedicated food and beverage professionals.

Chefs with Issues

Email: kat@chefswithissues.com

There had never been a study that looked specifically at F&B, so the Heirloom Foundation partnered with Kat Kinsman and her Chefs with Issues project. Heirloom had a PhD epidemiologist and statistician review the findings in the Chefs with Issues survey and for the first time  could point to specific problems. They found higher instances of mental health issues, especially depression, anxiety, eating disorders and substance use. They found that the culture in kitchens made most people feel that they couldn't speak openly when they needed help. Those factors combined with long hours, an inability to take sick or personal leave, and minimal health benefits, were creating a hotbed for crisis.  This website, and related Facebook community, provides a forum for connection to others who are struggling as well as resources that have been particularly helpful for those in the food and beverage industry.

Families Anonymous, Inc.

Main Office: 800-736-9805

Local Contact: 617-825-8841

Email: famanon@familiesanonymous.org

Families Anonymous is a 12-step support group of concerned relatives and friends whose lives have been adversely affected by a loved one's addiction to alcohol or drugs. See the website for a list of local meetings in your area; online meetings are also offered.



Email: gamanonoffice@gam-anon.org

Gam-Anon is a 12-Step, self-help program for the family members, friends, and loved ones of compulsive gamblers. Gam-Anon's purposes are three-fold: To learn acceptance and understanding of the gambling illness; to use the program and its problem solving suggestions as aids in rebuilding their lives and, upon their own recovery, to give assistance to those who suffer.


Toll Free: 800-477-6291

Local: 310-534-8188

Email: wso@nar-anon.org

Nar-Anon members are relatives and friends who are concerned about the addiction or drug problem of another. Its program of recovery is adapted from Narcotics Anonymous and uses the twelve-step model. Nar-Anon members share their experiences, strength, and hope at weekly meetings. Joining is easy; just attend a meeting. There are no dues or fees. The only requirement for membership is that there is a problem of addiction in a relative or friend. Nar-Anon is not affiliated with any other organization or outside entity. Listings of local meetings as are available on the website.

Overeaters Anonymous


Overeaters Anonymous provides support to individuals struggles with issues surrounding food, whether it be compulsive overeating, under-eating, food addiction, anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or overexercising. The website has a list of meetings and support groups thoughout the US. It provides information on how to start the healing and recovery process. 

Sex Addicts Anonymous

Toll Free: 800-477-8191 (USA/Canada)

713-869-4902 (Outside USA & Canada)

Email: info@saa-recovery.org

As a fellowship of recovering addicts, Sex Addicts Anonymous offers a message of hope to anyone who suffers from sex addiction.  Local meetings provide an environment of acceptance, safety, and encouragement for learning how to apply the Twelve Step Program.  Although each group within SAA is autonomous, meetings typically consist of readings from recovery literature and sharing how the Twelve Steps have led to recovery for members. Meetings also offer opportunities for learning how to reach out and to serve other sex addicts.The only requirement for membership in SAA is the desire to stop addictive sexual behavior. There are no fees or dues. Local groups are self-supporting from voluntary contributions of their members.

The National Center On Addiction And Substance Abuse

(212) 841-5200

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse is a national nonprofit research and policy organization focused on improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of substance use and addiction. Founded in 1992 by former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph A. Califano, Jr, their interdisciplinary experts collaborate with others to promote effective policies and practices. They conduct and synthesize research, inform and guide the public, evaluate and improve healthcare, and analyze and recommend policies on substance use and addiction.   

YFIRES: Youth Firesetting Information Repository & Evaluation System


YFIRES is a data collection and national repository project developed by the International Association of Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation Burn Fund and funded through DHS/FEMA’s Grant Program Directorate for Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program - Fire Prevention and Safety Grants. The goal of this project is to create a centralized data collection tool that will assist youth firesetting intervention services in a number of disciplines (fire, mental health, law enforcement) and assemble a body of information that will enhance the national understanding of youth firesetting behavior and help in developing evidence-based intervention strategies.