Addiction is the medical term used to describe a pattern of substance use that causes significant problems or distress, such as failure to attend work or school, substance use in dangerous situations (driving a car), substance-related legal problems or continued substance use that interferes with friendships and/or family relationships.

Substance abuse refers to the abuse of illegal (such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine) or legal substances (such as alcohol, nicotine or prescription drugs). When a person continues to use these substances, even when significant physical and social problems related to their use have developed, it is considered substance dependence. 


There are many types of substance dependency, but the most common are:

  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Cocaine/Crack
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates/Heroin
  • Polysubstance Abuse
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Stimulants/Amphetamines


For common signs of substance dependency, click here.

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