Balanced You recognizes October as National Substance Use Prevention Month and wants to highlight the importance of prevention in protecting people’s health and support those in recovery, as well as the family, friends, and community supporting them. We also remember those who have lost their lives to substance use and recognize the devasting loss for their loved ones.
Millions of Americans suffer from substance use disorders, which includes alcohol and tobacco dependency, non-medical use of prescription drugs, abuse of over-the-counter medications, and illicit drug use.
Early intervention helps prevent substance use disorders and reduce the negative consequences of addiction before they occur. Recovery can and does happen. Balanced You is here to help you understand what online and phone-based resources are available to support you or your loved ones in beginning, returning to, or maintaining recovery.
Insurance benefits for mental health and substance use disorders
Behavioral health and substance use are covered benefits under all King County employee insurance plans. Call your insurance provider to ask for information on medically assisted and other professional treatments. If you have general questions about what’s covered by your King County medical plan, contact King County Benefits at KCBenefits@kingcounty.gov or 206-684-1556.
- Kaiser Permanente members: KP offers a range of options for employees who may be facing substance use or addiction issues, including this new addiction care video on kp.org/recovery to learn more about our care options or take a self-assessment to see if they need support. For mental health and addiction care services, call 1-800-900-3277 (TTY 711), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for support in English and other languages at no cost. Kaiser can help you access crisis intervention and guidance, get referrals, and connect to many other resources. You can also log in to your online account to access care services.
- King Care/Regence BlueShield members: Regence provides multiple behavioral health and a list of substance use disorder programs and services that are covered by Regence. Call customer service at 800-376-7926 for help finding a qualified therapist or other health care provider. Access the Regence provider directory for both in-person and telehealth care options. You can search for behavioral health therapists, doctors or facilities that specialize in behavioral health or substance use disorders. Regence’s Behavioral Health Resources page provides a list of in-network telehealth options for Regence members.
- Making Life Easier Making Life Easier (MLE): Provides short-term counseling, legal and financial services, support for caregivers, and other daily living supports. Eight free counseling sessions per issue are provided for employees or anyone living in your home. MLE is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit the MLE website, username King County or call 888-874-7290.
- Mental Health Benefits and Resources for King County employees: King County and Balanced You are committed to creating a workplace that supports good mental health. Whether you’re seeking support for yourself or a loved one, there are many tools, programs, and resources available.
Many 12-step programs have shifted to online formats. Below is a sample of virtual meetings available. For a more comprehensive list of virtual recovery resources, as well as tips for starting your own virtual 12-step meeting, take a look at this resource sheet developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): Free 12-step program and support for recovery from alcohol use and addiction. For a list of Seattle-based meetings, visit the Seattle AA website or visit the Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous’ OIAA Meeting Directory for a list of hundreds of meetings in various formats, in many languages, happening 24/7.
- Heroin Anonymous: Free 12-step program and support for heroin use and addiction. For a list of Washington-based meetings happening throughout the United States visit the Heroin Anonymous website.
- Narcotics Anonymous (NA): Free 12-step program and support for drug use and addiction. For a list of Seattle-based online meetings, visit the Narcotics Anonymous website.
- National Eating Disorder Alliance Network Virtual Support Groups (NEDA): NEDA and partners organize these virtual support groups for those in recovery from eating disorders or disordered eating or body image issues. Support available for individuals as well as family members. Visit the NEDA website for more information.
- Unity Recovery: National organization offering free digital recovery meetings. Online recovery support groups available throughout the day specifically for family and loved ones, LGBTQ+ individuals and allies. All recovery meetings are non-denominational and are open to anyone. Visit the Unity Recovery website for more information.
Suicide prevention and crisis resources
While multiple factors influence suicidal behaviors, substance use—especially alcohol use—is a significant factor that is linked to a substantial number of suicides and suicide attempts. If you or someone you know are in danger, please call 9-1-1, or contact the resources listed below.
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Provides support for survivors of suicide loss and those affected by suicide. Visit afsp.org or call 206-523-1206.
- 988 Lifeline: offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing mental health-related distress. Visit 988lifeline.org or call, chat, or text 988 call.
Additional resources including resource directories and resources for families of people struggling with mental health and substance use disorder are listed below.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness, Washington (NAMI): Maintains a directory of community resources. NAMI also offers free programs, education, and advocacy work for those affected by mental illness. Visit namiwa.org.
- Washington Recovery Helpline: Provides phone-based emotional support 24 hours a day and offers local treatment resources for substance abuse, problem gambling, and other community services. Visit warecoveryhelpline.org or call 866-789-1511.
- Crisis Connections: Provides phone-based crisis intervention, peer support, and resources for King County and other communities. Programs include the 24-Hour Crisis Line, King County 211, Teen Link, and WA Warm Line. Visit crisisconnections.org or call 866-427-4747.
- Al-Anon: Free 12-step program for anyone who has been affected by someone else’s alcohol or substance use. Visit the Seattle-area Al-Anon website for a list of meetings.
- Mental Health America: The nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Visit mentalhealthamerica.net.
- Center for Addiction: Free and confidential helpline services for you and your loved ones struggling with addiction. You can connect to us in the following ways, with support available in English and Spanish. We’re available from 9 a.m. to midnight ET weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. ET on weekends. Text 55753, call 855-378-4373, or visit https://www.centeronaddiction.org.
If you have questions, or need assistance in identifying additional resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.