Connections: Children, Youth and Family Resources Banner


Chapter 8-L: Substance Abuse



Related Topics: Counseling: Individual, Group and Family | Support Groups


Go To: Table of Contents | Index of Agencies



People of all ages use drugs like alcohol, caffeine, nicotine and marijuana. Drug and alcohol use is a part of many people's lives. When it gets in the way of keeping a job, going to school, or just getting along with your family or friends, it becomes a problem.


Drugs or Alcohol are a problem if:

  • You are drinking or drugging to escape problems, to block out painful feelings, or using as a substitute for close relationships.

  • Your use has a bad influence on your relationship with others and is creating personal problems.

  • You break the law by using illegal substances, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drinking when you are underage, and/or stealing from friends or family to support your habit.

  • Your use exposes you to medical risks.

  • You can't get through the day without using either substance.

  • They are the most important thing in your life.


Did you know?

  • Chronic pot smokers can damage their lungs in a year or less while it takes 10-20 years of cigarette smoking to do the same damage.

  • THC affects the hormones which are part of the female reproductive system, and also lowers the sperm count in males.

  • The physical effect of smoking crack include extreme changes in blood pressure, increased heart and respiration rates, insomnia, nausea, tremors and convulsions.

  • An estimated 3.3 million drinking teenagers aged 14-17 are showing signs that suggest they may develop serious alcohol problems.

  • Alcohol abuse can cause permanent damage to health through brain damage-10,000 brain cells are destroyed by the alcohol from one drink. Brain cells do not replace themselves and the damage is permanent.

  • Alcohol is the most abused drug and alcoholism is one of the most serious public health problems in the United States today.

  • Ecstasy (XTC) is neurotoxic. It can produce long-lasting, perhaps permanent damage to the brain and produces memory impairment.




410-832-7094 (24 hour, 7 days a week answering service)
Al-Anon is an organization of persons whose lives have been negatively affected by someone else's drinking be it a family member or friend. Alateen is a fellowship of young Al-Anon members, usually teenagers. An anonymous program. No reference to names should be made.


Alcoholics Anonymous
8635 Loch Raven Boulevard, Suite 4
Baltimore, MD 21286-2309
410-663-1922 (24 hour answering service)
Assists those seeking help with a drinking problem through 12 step AA meetings with other alcoholics.


Associated Mental Health Specialists
110 East Pennsylvania Avenue
Towson MD 21286
Provides mental health therapy and outpatient substance and alcohol abuse counseling.


Awakenings Counseling Program
2 West Aylesbury Road
Timonium, MD 21093
410-561-5452 (Intake) or 410-561-9591
A treatment facility specializing in drug addiction treatment. Methadone maintenance and detoxification programs are available for those individuals addicted to a narcotic drug. The person is provided with Methadone or Buprenorphine, supportive counseling, group & family therapy.


Baltimore County Department of Health - Bureau of Substance Abuse
6401 York Road 3rd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21212
The Baltimore County Bureau of Substance Abuse offers both prevention programs and treatment services. Adolescent Treatment Services provides specialized services for Baltimore County adolescents and their families. Services include assessment, referral, early intervention and treatment. A variety of treatment services are provided either directly by the Baltimore County Department of Health or through contracted vendors. Placement into treatment requires a thorough assessment to determine the most effective treatment program needed. Services are provided to County residents based on their ability to pay. Service is not refused to those who cannot afford treatment. To find a substance abuse treatment program in Baltimore County, view the Directory of Substance Abuse Treatment Programs and Providers.


  • Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.)
    A peer to peer education program utilizing the power of young people to influence the decisions of their peers. Many schools have SADD chapters made up of students who work to educate their peers about the dangers associated with a variety of issues including alcohol, tobacco & other drugs, HIV/AIDS & violence.


  • Substance Abuse - Adolescent Services
    The Bureau of Behavioral Health at
    Eastern Family Resource Center
    9100 Franklin Square Drive
    Rosedale, Maryland 21237
    410-887-6465; TTY users call via Maryland Relay



Baltimore County Police Department - School Resource Officer Program (S.R.O.)
Public Safety Building
700 East Joppa Road
Towson, MD 21286
The School Resource Officer Program (SRO) is a successful partnership between the Baltimore County Police Department and Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS). The program has expanded from two officers in 1997, to at least one officer in every high school and middle school. Currently, there are 63 SROs assigned to BCPS middle and high schools.  Middle School SROs teach the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program and Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT).


Epoch Counseling Center
A comprehensive outpatient treatment and counseling program for substance abusers and people whose lives have been adversely affected by alcohol and other drugs. Provides a variety of drug-free therapeutic, preventive and educational services to teenagers, adults and their families. Buprenorphine Maintenance, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) treatment available.


  • Epoch Counseling Center Catonsville
    800 Ingleside Avenue
    Catonsville, MD 21228


  • Epoch Counseling Center Essex
    Stem - Ross Professional Center
    621 Stemmers Run Road, Suite E
    Baltimore, MD 21221


  • Epoch Counseling Center North Point
    Eastpoint Office Park
    1107 North Point Boulevard, Suite 205
    Dundalk, MD 21224


First Step, Inc.
8303 Liberty Road
Baltimore, MD 21244
Drug and alcohol information and counseling for children, adolescents, adults and families whose family members are using drugs or alcohol. Buprenorphine treatment; Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) treatment and education services available.


  • Cockeysville Center
    10400 Ridgeland Road, Suite 1
    Cockeysville, MD 21030


  • Reisterstown Center
    100 Owings Court, Suite 8
    Reisterstown, MD 21136
    410-526-7100 By appointment only


Mountain Manor Treatment Centers
Adolescent and Young Adult Residential Programs
3800 Frederick Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21229
410-233-1400 or 1-800-446-8833; Adolescent and Young Adult After Hours Line 410-330-8522
Residential and outpatient facilities and programs for treating persons of all ages with problems involving substance use.


Nar-Anon Family Groups
1-800-477-6291; E-MAIL:
Support groups for persons who know or have known a feeling of desperation concerning the addiction problem of a family member or friend.


Narcotics Anonymous Freestate Regional Service Center
217 North Warwick Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21223
1-800-317-3222 (24 hour hotline); 410-566-4022
A fellowship of men and women for whom drugs have become a major problem. They meet regularly to help each other stay clean. Self-help for drug addicts in a 12 step program.


Sheppard Pratt Health System
6501 North Charles Street
Towson, MD 21285-6815
Substance abuse counseling available as well as short to long-term inpatient care and day hospitals available for children and adolescents ages 5 through 18 and to adults. Offers substance abuse education and prevention programs aimed at youth, schools, faith based organizations and businesses, designed to prevent substance abuse.

Revised: March 15, 2018