Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is the excessive use of alcohol or other mood-altering drugs or substances which can lead to dependence, causing potential physical and mental harm. Individuals who abuse continue the use of alcohol or addictive substances despite negative consequences.


  • Need for increasing amounts of alcohol or other addictive substances
  • Using larger amounts or using over a longer period of time
  • Unsuccessful efforts to cut down on alcohol or drug use
  • Spending a great deal of time recovering from the effects of alcohol or drug use
  • Frequent absences from work or school due to effects of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving or operating machinery while under the influence
  • Continued use even though family or relationships are deteriorating as a result of the alcohol or drug use
  • Taking increasing amounts of prescription or non-prescription medications; this can include pain relievers, tranquilizers, sedatives, stimulants, cough and cold medicines
  • Taking multiple types of drugs
  • Using illegal substances despite potential consequences