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Substance Addiction/Misuse/Abuse

About Substance Addiction/Misuse/Abuse

  • Many people use substances for a variety of reasons and to varying degrees. It is common for individuals to occasionally use substances (such as alcohol, recreational drugs, etc.) to relax, have fun, or to use as a means to cope with life stressors. Substance misuse/abuse refers to a pattern of substance use behaviours that become problematic due to an individual becoming physically and/or psychologically dependent on the substance where it begins to cause distress and/or impact their daily life.

  • Take inventory of your symptoms. The following are common symptoms of someone struggling with substance addiction:

    • A strong desire or urge to use the substance

    • Unsuccessful efforts to cut down on and/or control substance use.

    • Difficulties with fulfilling general life responsibilities (at work, school, home, etc.) due to substance use.

    • Withdrawing from previously enjoyed activities due to substance use.

    • Withdrawing from family, friends, and/or partner due to substance use.

    • Experiencing conflict (with family, friends, partner, coworkers) due to substance use.

    • Experiencing sudden changes in mood and behaviour, and having difficulty regulating oneself without the use of the substance.

    • Difficulties with eating, sleeping, memory and motivation.

    • Engaging in secretive behaviour to hide and/or use substances alone.