Substance Misuse/Addiction

Home Disorders Substance Misuse/Addiction
Recovery picture id828156290

What are Substance Use Disorders?

While certain substances are legal for consumption depending on one’s age (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, nicotine) and/or prescribed for specific medical conditions, individuals who partake in substance use may go on to develop a Substance Use Disorder (SUD), which can significantly impact one’s quality of life.

There are 10 separate classes of drugs, including: alcohol, cannabis, stimulants, hallucinogens, caffeine, inhalants, opioids, sedatives, hypnotics, tobacco, and other or unknown substances.

Despite there being 10 separate classes of drugs, each drug activates the brain’s reward system, creating a “high” feeling and for some individuals, the sense of euphoria or pleasure associated with certain drugs may be so profound that they can no longer control their substance use. Consequently, they may continue to use substances despite negative consequences, including difficulty to attend to daily responsibilities or harm to one’s physical health.

Symptoms of substance use disorders include:

  • Feeling that you need to use the drug regularly (e.g., daily and/or several times a day)
      • Experiencing intense urges/cravings to use the drug
      • Tolerance of the drug (i.e., needing more of the drug to get the same “high”)
      • Inability to control or stop substance use and/or using more than intended
      • Impairment in various areas of your life due to drug use (e.g., interpersonal conflict, financial struggles, academic or work related problems)
      • Continuing to use the drug despite the harm it is causing
      • Engaging in risky behaviors to obtain the drug
      • Engaging in risky behaviors when under the influence of the drug
      • Spending significant time obtaining the drug, using the drug, or recovering from the effects of the drug
      • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when attempting to stop taking the drug

      Drug addiction can often start with experimental use of substances in social settings or from exposure to certain prescription medications. The risk of addiction can vary depending on drug (e.g., opioids and nicotine have higher risk for addiction).

      There are several additional factors that may play a role in developing drug addiction:

      • Family history of addiction
      • Individuals who experience difficulty regulating their emotions and/or engage in impulsive behaviors
      • Family attitudes/beliefs about substance use
      • Exposure to peer groups that encourages drug use
      • Pre-existing mental health disorder, such as depression, ADHD, or PTSD
      • Age of onset of substance use (individuals who begin uses substances in adolescence are at greater risk for developing addiction during adulthood)


      Make an Appointment or a Referral

      Please contact our Director of Intake Services at 212-595-9559 (ext.1) or 914-385-1150 (ext.1), or fill out the form above, with any questions regarding eligibility, for further information, or to make a referral. If you are a current patient at CBC, please speak to your individual therapist to see how this group may be of added benefit to you.