Substance Use

Substance Use

NOTE: Most substance abuse treatment requires the individual to be ready to engage in treatment. Often times, when individuals are ready to seek services, there may only be a small window of time when they are open to accepting help. Therefore, researching a plan in advance (so it could be implemented as soon as the individual seeks help) is key to success. 

Families and loved ones of those struggling with addiction often note the important role of support groups like Learn to Cope, Al-anon or Narcanon. Support groups don’t merely provide emotional support, but also provide access to a community of individuals with first-hand knowledge of resources and techniques for getting treatment for persons struggling with addiction.


General Resources


  • Medication Disposal
    • Disposing of old medications, including opioids, is a key step in prevention of substance abuse. Medications can be dropped off at the box in the lobby of the Sudbury Police Station located at 75 Hudson Road.
    • Some local pharmacies also have prescription and over the counter medication drop boxes to dispose of unneeded or expired medication. Please call your local pharmacy to inquire if they participate.


  • Tips for Managing Controlled Substances
    • Keep medications out of sight to visitors to your home and out of reach of children, teenagers and anyone at risk of abusing substances. Be particularly mindful of anyone new coming into your home, such as people visiting for an open house when your house is on the market, professional cleaners and other service professionals.
    • Be aware of the number of pills left in pill bottles to ensure that others are not using your prescribed medication
    • When picking up medication from the pharmacy, be sure to count pills before taking your first dose. Call the pharmacy immediately if you do not have the correct number of pills.



  • Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education HelplineProvides information on different treatment options and referrals to specific programs and services from a vast number of resources for both those with insurance and those without. Can also provide information on support for loved ones of a person managing alcohol or substance use.
  • Advocates Crisis SupportCan provide mental health or emotional support during times of crisis. Multi-disciplinary staff provides mobile crisis interventions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at Advocates clinics, in homes, schools, and other community settings. 
  • Narcan (Generic name: Naloxone)
    • Narcan is a narcotic blocker. It is available in nasal spray form and is used to treat opioid overdoses by temporarily blocking opioid receptors in the brain. After use of Narcan, the overdose victim should get immediate medical attention*. The medicine has no effect in people who are not taking opioid medications.
    • Available at local pharmacies for a fee and may be supplemented by your insurance. If you are concerned about a loved one or community member at risk of overdose, please call your local pharmacy for more information.


*According to Massachusetts state law: β€œA person who, in good faith, seeks medical assistance for someone experiencing a drug-related overdose shall not be charged or prosecuted for possession of a controlled substance under sections 34 or 35 if the evidence for the charge of possession of a controlled substance was gained as a result of the seeking of medical assistance.”


Support for Loved Ones

  • Supporting a Loved One Coping with Substance Use
  • Section 35 Civil Commitment Process – Information on how to request a court order to have someone treated for an alcohol or substance use disorder.
  • Learn 2 Cope – A peer-led support network for families dealing with addiction and recovery; resources for meetings, education, recovery, grief and more
  • Al-Anon -Support for anyone who has a friend or family member who is going through substance abuse, including teen and adult support groups.
  • Institute for Health and Recovery (IHR) – A statewide service agency that provides care for individuals, youth, and families affected by alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, violence/trauma, mental health challenges and other health issues.
  • Recovery Centers of America – Free consultations for families of loved ones, friends of the addict or alcoholic, and the addict and/or alcoholic themselves.