Substance Abuse

There are three categories of substance abuse:

Use – The occasional use of alcohol or other drugs without developing tolerance or withdrawal symptoms when not in use.

Abuse – The continued use of alcohol or other drugs even while knowing that the continued use is creating problems socially, physically, or psychologically.

Dependence – At least three of the following eight factors must be present:

  1. Substance is taken in larger amounts or over longer periods of time than the person intended.
  2. A persistent desire with unsuccessful efforts to control the use.
  3. Large periods of time spent obtaining, taking, or recovering from, the substance.
  4. Frequent periods of intoxication or detoxification especially when social and major role obligations are expected (school, social situations, etc.)
  5. Continued use even while knowing that the continued use is creating problems socially, physically, and/or psychologically.
  6. Increased tolerance.
  7. Withdrawal symptoms.
  8. Substance taken to relieve withdrawal symptoms.


Website Resources
National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens
The science behind drug abuse.

National Institute on Drug Abuse
The science of drug abuse and addiction.

Parents. The Anti-Drug
Provides information on drugs and parenting teens.

Published Resources
Promoting Resilience Helping Young Children and Parents Affected by Substance Abuse, Domestic Violence, and Depression in the Context of Welfare