Specialty Behavioral Health

What is substance abuse?

One of the core features of both substance abuse and dependence is the continued use of a substance even though it has significant negative effects.

Substance abuse is a pattern of use that is associated with problems in:

  • Work
  • School
  • Relationships
  • Health
  • Legal situations

Often times, people with substance abuse do not recognize that they are having problems stemming from their use and are unwilling to seek or accept treatment. As a result, the pattern of substance abuse is usually first recognized by family members, loved ones, or co-workers.

See Links and Suggested Readings for more information about the causes of Substance Abuse and Dependence.