U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Mental Health and Substance Use

Resources for Crime Prevention and Improved Reentry
Shutterstock (see reuse policy).

If you or someone you know needs mental health or substance use help, the following resources may be able to assist you.


1-800-662-HELP (4357)

Millions of Americans have a substance use disorder. Help is available. SAMHSA collects information on thousands of state-licensed providers who specialize in treating substance use disorders, addiction, and mental illness.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-TALK (8255) TTY: 1-800-799-4889

Access the 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. All calls are routed to the nearest crisis center in the national network of more than 150 crisis centers.

Featured Library

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Publications

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) promotes early intervention and treatment as healthier alternatives to detaining people with behavioral health conditions in the U.S. justice system. In doing this work, SAMHSA recognizes the balance of public health and public safety priorities. SAMHSA offers a wealth of publications and digital products focused on addressing mental health and substance use among individuals involved with the justice system.

Highlighted Resources

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails and Prisons

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (2020)

This toolkit provides correctional administrators and health care providers recommendations and tools for implementing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in correctional settings and strategies for overcoming challenges. Informed by real-world practice, the toolkit provides examples from the field that can be widely applied and adapted.


Rural Community Toolbox (RCTB)

Multiple Federal Agencies (2020)

With resources from 16 different Federal departments and agencies, the Rural Community Toolbox (RCTB) is a one-stop shop for those seeking help in building strong healthy, and drug-free rural communities. In addition to funding and technical assistance, the RCTB includes current information resources on over 40 key topics related to addiction in rural America as well as Federal resources about treatment and recovery support for individuals who have been impacted by substance use disorders.


Mental Illness and Substance Use in Young Adults

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA (2020)

Millions of young adults are living with a mental or substance use disorder and many either do not realize they have one or are not paying attention to the signs and not seeking help. Asking for help is a normal part of life, and no one should ever feel like they have to take on the world alone. If you are concerned that you or someone in your life may be drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with mental illness, there are resources available to help.


Interventions for Adults With Serious Mental Illness Who Are Involved With the Criminal Justice System

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (2012)

This systematic review of evidence on the comparative effectiveness of interventions intended to improve mental health and other outcomes of offenders with serious mental illness (SMI) is focused on on interventions provided to offenders with SMI who are detained in a jail, prison, or forensic hospital or who are transitioning from one of these settings back to the community.


Guidelines for Successful Transition of People with Mental or Substance Use Disorders from Jail and Prison: Implementation Guide

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA (2017)

This guide highlights the prevalence of mental and substance use disorders in correctional settings and provides behavioral health, correctional, and community stakeholders with examples of the implementation of successful strategies for transitioning people with mental or substance use disorders from institutional correctional settings into the community.


Resources for Families Coping with Mental and Substance Use Disorders

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA (2020)

Every family is unique, but all families share a bond that can be used to support one another during trying times.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for helping a family member who is drinking too much, using drugs, or dealing with a mental illness, research shows that family support can play a major role in helping a loved one with mental and substance use disorders.


Principles of Community-based Behavioral Health Services for Justice-involved Individuals: A Research-based Guide: A bridge to the possible

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA (2019)

This document is intended to assist community-based behavioral health providers in their clinical and case management practice with people with mental and substance use disorders who are currently involved with or have a history of involvement in the adult criminal justice system. The focus of this document is on services provided in the community rather than in institutional settings (i.e., jail, prison, or hospital). The information provided is appropriate for any staff providing direct services in community settings.


Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations - A Research-Based Guide 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (2014)

This booklet describes the treatment principles and research findings that have particular relevance to the criminal justice community and to treatment professionals working with drug abusing offenders. The guide includes research findings on addicted offenders, a series of frequently asked questions about drug abuse treatment for those involved with the criminal justice system, and a resource section that provides Web sites for additional information.