What is addiction?
There are a lot of different ways to talk about drugs and alcohol use, but they have the potential to cause problems when things go unchecked. Here’s a look at the different types associated with behavioral health.
Substance Use: This includes tobacco, alcohol, and drugs (legal or illegal).
Substance Misuse: Using legal substances in an unhealthy or improper way, causing harm to ourselves and/or those around us.
Addiction or Substance Use Disorder: This is a disease which affects a person's brain and behavior. This leads to them not being able to control the use of drugs (legal or illegal).
What does an unhealthy relationship with drugs or alcohol look and feel like?
Some people will use drugs or alcohol at some point in their lives, either for fun or as prescribed by a doctor. In most situations this will not lead to problems, but some people can start misusing them and even become addicted to drugs or alcohol over time.
Different drugs have different dangers attached to them. Drug use can lead to dependence and addiction, injury and accidents, health problems, sleep issues, and other things. This can impact our lives in a lot of ways.
Signs of a problem with drugs or alcohol may include:
- Low performance at school or work
- Changes in physical health such as a lack of energy, bad coordination, tremors, or changes in how hungry someone is or how much they need or want to sleep.
- Sudden changes in behavior like who people hang out with and what they do. People who are addicted may become more secretive about where they are spending time and who they’re hanging out with.
- Mood swings, irritability, or depression
- Unusual hyperactivity, agitation, or giddiness, often followed by low motivation
- Unexplained fear, anxiety, or paranoia
Other changes in behavior related to drug or alcohol use can include:
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol while hiding the fact they use them
- Using drugs or alcohol even when it’s causing problems in relationships or other parts of life
- Legal problems related to drug or alcohol use
- High risk drug or alcohol use (i.e. driving while impaired or using drugs or alcohol while working)
When is drug or alcohol use a problem?
Resources for Problems with Drugs and Alcohol
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline 24/7 free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24/7.
Behavioral Health Services Navigation Line
When you call the Intermountain Behavioral Health Services Navigation line, you can expect to talk to someone who can help you access your needs and connect you with the right resources.
Dayspring Treatment & Recovery
Dayspring is an outpatient addiction treatment program that helps people recover from substance use disorder.
Live On provides resources for those struggling with suicidal ideation or other mental health concerns.
National Institute of Mental Health
Learn more about substance use disorder and associated mental disorders.
The Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator sponsored by the Subtance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can you help you anonymously seek behavioral health treatment anywhere in the United States.
USARA (Utah only)
USARA’s mission is to connect and inspire communities to advocate for addiction recovery. We envision a Utah where recovery community and connection are recognized as the most valuable assets for people to recover from addiction.