Mental Health Awareness: Addiction and Substance Abuse – Warning Signs

Michelle MachenOur Stories

Addiction is a chronic disease characterized by the craving and use of substances that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences. While people can become addicted to a wide variety of behaviors or substances, alcohol and drug addiction are the most prevalent and have the most severe consequences.

The initial decision to use alcohol or drugs is often voluntary for most people, but repeated use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges.

Substance Use Disorder is a growing crisis, impacting millions across age groups, gender, income levels and other demographics.

  • Nearly 20 million Americans suffer from Substance Use Disorder.
  • 18–25-year-olds are the most vulnerable. There has been a recent increase in new users in this age demographic.
  • Two-thirds of adults (65%) know someone who suffers from addiction, including more than 70% of millennials.

E(F)AP resources and assistance are available to U.S. and Canadian Mauser Packaging Solutions employees and members of their household through our benefit programs.*

U.S.: THE HARTFORD: Enhanced Ability Assist® - Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Call toll free 1-800-96-HELPS (1-800-964-3577) or visit

View EAP Flyer (English)
View EAP Flyer (Spanish)

Canada: Manulife – Homewood Health/Santé: Resilience® Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP)

Call toll free 1-866-644-0326 or visit

View EFAP Flyer (English)
View EFAP Flyer (French)

*Resources and assistance available regardless of enrollment in healthcare benefits.

Note: Similar programs may be offered in other countries through Company provided offerings or government healthcare systems. Check with your local Human Resources representative for available resources.

No one is sure why some people get into trouble with alcohol or other drugs. There are signs, however, when substances are taking control of someone's life. Some of these signs are easy to see while others are not.

If someone has one or more of the following warning signs, he or she may have a problem with alcohol or other drugs:

  • Getting drunk or high on drugs on a regular basis
  • Lying about things, or about how much alcohol or other drugs he or she is using
  • Avoiding you in order to get drunk or high
  • Giving up activities he or she used to do, such as sports, hobbies or hanging out with friends who don't drink or use other drugs
  • Planning drinking in advance, hiding alcohol, drinking or using other drugs alone
  • Having to drink more to get the same high
  • Believing that in order to have fun you need to drink or use other drugs
  • Frequent hangovers
  • Pressuring others to drink or use other drugs
  • Taking risks, including sexual risks
  • Having "blackouts" -- forgetting what he or she did the night before while drinking (if you tell your friend what happened, he or she might pretend to remember, or laugh it off as no big deal)
  • Feeling run-down, hopeless, depressed or even suicidal
  • Sounding selfish and not caring about others
  • Constantly talking about drinking or using other drugs
  • Getting in trouble with the law
  • Drinking and driving
  • Suspension from work or school for an alcohol- or another drug-related incident

If you or someone you know is suffering from a drug use disorder, consult with a doctor, medical professional, therapist, or counselor. For more information, contact your employee-assistance program (EAP) or login to the EAP online resources to learn more about treatment and help.