Substance Abuse

Changing the face of substance abuse through prevention and treatment
Learn more about how substance use disorder impacts the lives of nearly 20,000 people in Durham.  Scroll to find out how substance abuse prevention and treatment can make a healthier Durham.

Learn how substance abuse treatment can provide an opportunity for people to start a new life.

Keep scrolling to learn more.

Learn the story behind the Triangle Residental Options for Substance Abusers, or TROSA, and how TROSA impacts hundreds of families a year.

TROSA is a 2-year residential treatment program which provides effective rehabilitation.

Substance use disorder is a pattern of drinking alcohol or using drugs that harms one’s health, interpersonal relationships or ability to work.

Click below to check out an infographic on substance use and abuse in Durham.


We need your insight:

Your help is critical in building the content in this key issue area. Please leave a comment below and share with your friends.

What do you think the issues are in the area of Substance Abuse?

What programs have you seen providing sustainable and positive impact in the area of substance abuse?

What opportunities do you know of in Durham where other residents and institutions can get plugged in and make a difference?


DurhamCares depends heavily on our local expert service providers to author the landscape and scope of key issues in Durham in order to shine a brighter light on these areas.  That way, the greater Durham community can better understand the current issue, highlight what is currently being done, who is working in this space and give Durham action steps to support and get involved in the most strategic areas. We’re working on developing the best path for gathering the information, making it consumable for the masses, marketing it effectively and inspiring the community to drive engagement. Our process includes gathering as many stakeholders (non-profits, local government and businesses) working in this specific space to discuss the current issue in order to map the full scope of the need in Durham. We take this information and create a storyboard of the landscape and then create infographics that can be distributed electronically as well as live on our website where people can learn more about the issue, find out who is currently working in this space and drill down further on key opportunities to get involved.


DurhamCares is working to capture local examples of solutions in action in a variety of formats ranging from videos, photojournalist pieces, news stories, blogs, to case studies.  We want to feature Durham community members, volunteers, community groups and or businesses that have come alongside a nonprofit, school, neighborhood, etc. to invest their strengths, time, skills and resources to better love their neighbor in Durham.


Do you know of opportunities to impact workforce development?

What organizations have you seen involved in workforce development?



Click to watch this news story from WNCN to learn about Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, or TROSA.  TROSA helps hundreds of people transition from substance abuse each year.


Impact Substance Abuse Prevention

Durham T.R.Y. has several youth and adult programs that promote substance abuse prevention in Durham’s schools.  Join a coalition and get the message of prevention across to youth.

Improve well-being

Durham Wellness City has opportunities for community members to teach a Wellness Recovery Action Planning class, or WRAP class.  These classes are designed to improve well-being among those fighting substance abuse issues.

Impact the life of a veteran

Urban Ministries of Durham has a program designed to help veterans overcome substance abuse.  Hope-Believe Recovery is a rehabilitation program for adult homeless men and women.


Impact the Latino Community

Donate to El Futuro, to help members of the Latino community overcome substance abuse issues in a way that empowers and honors the Latino community.

Support long-term residential care

Donate to TROSA, a comprehensive, long-term residential substance abuse recovery program which helps hundreds of people each year.  It costs $75 a day for someone to receive treatment at TROSA; how many days can you give?

Support substance use prevention

Donate to Durham T.R.Y., a preventative program for youth that encourages a safe, healthy and drug-free Durham.

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  1. Elizabeth Poindexter

    Thousands of people abuse substances in Durham, and thousands more are at-risk of becoming addicts. Do you know of any programs or opportunities to help those abusing substances? What is the role of prevention and treatment?

    Let’s start a conversation here–let us know what you’re thinking!

    • Robert Thomas

      Hello all,
      According to the NCDMH/DD/SAS, 18,000 adults and 1,000 children in Durham County abused or were addicted to alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs in 2011, half by age 14, 75% by age 24. As the Quality Assurance Officer for the Criminal Justice Resource Center, I am acutely aware of the costs of addiction to individuals, families, neighborhoods and the community at large. SAMHSA has provided a unified definition of recovery: “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential”. This unified definition is useful because it recognizes that behavioral health is essential to overall health and well being. Through our services in the Durham County jail we are well aware that inmates experience mental health symptoms; at a rate 4-5 x’s higher than the general population (5.4% vs 16.9%) and that 75% have co-occurring SA disorders. It is also clear that individuals with chronic health problems have a high correlation with MH and SA disorders and a high rate of premature death.
      Clearly there are community Providers willing to help so why do so few access care? Why is it that addicts are more likely to die than seek treatment? Clearly the shame and stigma associated with these disorders remains a barrier and afflicted individuals are either shunned or their families become increasingly isolated and dysfunctional trying to maintain the “family secret”.
      When we look at the costs associated with untreated disorders how can we not support recovery? To this end the Criminal Justice Resource Center is again hosting a Recovery Month Celebration in September 2014. This is the 25th year SAMHSA has designated a theme for National Recovery Month. This year’s theme is “Reach Out, Speak Up, Join the Voices for Recovery’. In that spirit I am reaching out to any organization, self-help group or individual willing to participate in our community celebration. We hear too much about the devastating effects of active addiction, having face-to-face contact with people who are in recovery can go a long way to reducing the stigma and provide information for families and friends to guide those afflicted to appropriate resources..

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