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Drug & Substance Use

To stay healthy and safe when making choices about using substances (like drugs or alcohol), it's really important to understand how they can affect your body and mind. This page can help you learn some basic information to start with, but it's also a good idea to talk to a doctor or another adult you trust to get more information and make sure you're making safe choices. it is important to know all the risks and possibilities before using any substances. 

*Legally, your doctor is not allowed to report any drug use you tell them about to the police. The one exception to this is if there is any concern about you seriously harming yourself or others. 

Substance Overview

Click each box for more information on how different substances can affect your health.

Smoking Cigarettes

Visit this website to learn about other common drugs including cocaine, heroin, ketamine, LSD, methamphetamine, mushrooms, and more!


Illegal or recreational drugs can be mixed with deadly substances such as fentanyl, which is one of the reasons it’s so dangerous. Learn how to reduce your risk while using street drugs here.

Drug Testing

"What is a drug test?" A drug test uses a sample of your urine (pee), blood, saliva (spit), hair, or sweat to determine if you are using a certain drug or substance. 

"Where can I buy a drug test?" Drug tests are available for purchase from a variety of places including Amazon, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. Make sure to carefully read the description of the drug test before purchasing as they all test for different substances.

Giving Consent

No one under the influence of drugs or substances can give consent to have sex.


This is because your brain is not functioning normally, which can lead to someone making decisions they wouldn't make sober. If someone truly wants to have sex with you, they will still want to when they are sober. 

Getting Help

If you feel that any of the substances you are using are having a negative impact on your life, you should consider cutting back or quitting completely. Staying sober or reducing your substance use can be challenging, but you and your body deserve to be healthy!  For many people, it is a great way to stop spending a lot of money on a habit and instead have money to buy other things you value and enjoy.  Each time you try to stop using a substance, your odds of success get higher.  If you notice you often use particular substances when you go to parties, you can try sharing your goal with your friends, so they can remind or encourage you to stick to your goals.  If you notice that you’re using substances because there are certain factors causing you stress in your life, you can try other methods of stress relief or mental health supportThis website provides more guidance on staying sober from various substances.

If you, a family member, friend, or a loved one is unable to stop using a substance despite experiencing negative effects relating to relationships, health, or well being, you or your loved one may be dealing with a substance use disorder. This is an involuntary disorder and is often classified as a disease— just like other types of diseases and disorders, external support and healthcare is often necessary to combat addiction. This might look like attending a peer support group, staying at a substance abuse rehabilitation center, or visiting a clinic specializing in recovery. If you’re worried about yourself or a loved one, you should talk to a trusted adult or your healthcare provider about the situation to find options that best fit your situation. Below are various resources in and out of Baltimore that offer support to people dealing with substance addiction. 

Resources for substance abuse

SAMHSA Hotline

SAMHSA stands for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. They have a 24/7 hotline that you can call and a text message referral service. English and Spanish are available.

Hotline Phone #: 1-800-662-4357

Text Referral Service: Text your zip code to 435748

Baltimore County Substance Abuse Services

Visit the linked website for a comprehensive list of Baltimore County services, including phone numbers for support groups and options for inpatient treatment.

Substance Abuse Helpline: 410-887-3224

Penn North

Penn North is a Baltimore nonprofit that offers addiction treatment services free of charge. You can drop in from 8am-8pm on weekdays or call the phone number below for more information.

Address: 1610 North Carey Street, Baltimore, MD, 21217

Phone: 410-728-2080

You can also make an appointment with a Violet healthcare provider and we can help connect you to resources. 

In case of emergency, remember that dialing 9-1-1 is always an option. 

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