Safe, simple, and anonymous way to get answers for questions on drugs, addiction, and recovery

Do you have questions about drugs and how you, your friends, and your family are affected?

The Yates Substance Abuse Coalition (YSAC) is providing question boxes at a variety of locations around the county for any questions or concerns you may have regarding the drugs or substances you have seen or heard about.

If substance abuse is affecting you or people you care about, you will want to learn more factual information from professionals who can provide real answers. Your privacy will be protected. The question submissions are completely anonymous; no need to sign your name. The information will be shared without indicating who asked the question or raised the concern.

The first locations you will find the boxes are where it is natural to seek answers — the community and school libraries. Placed there for easy access, it is a simple matter to just slide a written question inside the locked box. The messages will be picked up every two weeks by a YSAC member, and the answers will be posted to the websites, Facebook pages, and locations listed below within the next week.


• Penn Yan Public Library

• Yates County Youth Bureau

• Yates County Public Health

• On the office windows of the Council on Alcoholism & Addiction of the Finger Lakes at 112 Main Street in Penn Yan.

Here are some answers for questions already raised:

How to help yourself with your drug addiction

You don’t recover from an addiction by stopping using. You recover by creating a new life where it is easier to not use. You don’t have to change everything in your life. But there are a few things and behaviors that have been getting you into trouble, and they will continue to get you into trouble until you let them go. The more you try to hold onto your old life in recovery, the less well you will do.

Avoid high-risk situations.

Some common high-risk situations are described by the acronym, HALT:

- Hungry

- Angry

- Lonely

- Tired

How do you feel at the end of the day? You’re probably hungry because you haven’t eaten well. You’re probably angry because you’ve had a tough day at work or a tough commute home. You may feel lonely because you’re isolated. You don’t have to be physically alone to feel lonely. And you’re tired. That’s why your strongest cravings usually occur at the end of the day.

Here’s another way of looking at high-risk situations.

You need to change:

• People. (People who you use with or who are related to your use. People who you have conflicts with, and who make you want to use. People who you celebrate with by using. People who encourage you to use either directly or indirectly.)

• Places. (Places where you use or where you get your drugs or alcohol.)

• Things. (Things that remind you of your using.)

Coping skills

Two important coping skills for recovery: The ability to relax and manage stress; the ability to change negative thinking.

Recovery requires complete honesty. You must be 100 percent completely honest with the people who are your supports: your family, your doctor, your therapist, the people in your 12-step group, and your sponsor. If you can’t be completely honest with them, you won’t do well in recovery. When you’re completely honest you don’t give your addiction room to hide. When you lie you leave the door open to relapse.

Recovery isn’t about one big change. It’s about lots of little changes. (

Need help?

Call the Alcohol/Addictions Crisis Center at FLACRA 315-462-7070