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An Overview

Substance use disorders occur the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes significant impairments at home, school, work, and/or with health.


Signs and Symptoms

  • Using the substance in larger amounts and for longer than intended.

  • Spending a significant amount of tie obtaining the substance

  • Experiencing cravings or strong desires to use the substance.

  • Repeatedly unable to carry out major obligations at work, school, or home due to substance use.

  • Wanting to cut down or quit but not being able to.

  • Continued use despite persistent or recurring social or interpersonal problems.

  • Stopping or reducing important social, occupational or recreational activities due to substance use

  • Continually using the substance in physically hazardous situations such as driving under the influence.

  • Consistently using the substance, despite knowledge of the substance causing persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems.

  • The need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve the desired effect, or a markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.

  • Feeling withdrawal symptoms


  • Alcohol Use Disorder

  • Caffeine Use Disorder

  • Cannabis Use Disorder

  • Inhalant Use Disorder

  • Opioid Use Disorder

  • Other Hallucinogen
    Use Disorder

  • Phencyclindine
    Use Disorder

  • Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder

  • Stimulant Use Disorder

  • Tobacco Use Disorder

Risk Factors

  • Family history of use

  • History of physical, sexual, emotional abuse

  • Early use (using in adolescence can lead to addiction)

  • Lack of positive supports

  • History of other mental health challenges

  • Exposure to trauma

  • Poor coping skills

Protective Factors

  • Strong connections with positive family members and friends

  • Development of positive coping skills

  • Involvement in pro-social activities (music, sports, clubs)

  • Occupational success

  • Strong spiritual connections

  • Available resources for early mental health intervention

Disclaimer: The information on this page is for educational purposes and should not be used to diagnose yourself or someone else. If you or someone you know is showing signs or symptoms which are causing disruption in their lives, please contact a mental health professional.

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