Substance Abuse

Alcoholism and drug addiction often lead to disastrous effects, such as depression, anxiety, physical ailments, relationship conflicts, financial problems, and legal trouble.

Substance use disorders span a wide variety of problems, such as:

Substance use disorders span a wide variety of problems, such as:

  • Taking the substance in larger amounts than you planned to
  • Taking the substance for longer than you planned to
  • Wanting to cut down or stop using the substance but not managing to
  • Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from use of the substance
  • Cravings and urges to use the substance
  • Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of substance use
  • Continuing to use, even when it causes problems in relationships
  • Giving up important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of substance use
  • Using substances again and again, even when it puts you in danger
  • Continuing to use, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by the substance
  • Needing more of the substance to get the effect you want (tolerance).
  • Development of withdrawal symptoms, which can be relieved by taking more of the substance.

Having two or more of these symptoms (above) indicates that you should seek help.

Substance Abuse Can Be Controlled

Evidence-based treatment for substance abuse includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), behavior therapy, mindfulness informed therapy, and eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR). The benefits of therapy can be enhanced with participation in 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, medication, herbal supplements, exercise, and meditation.