Substance abuse is the use of alcohol or drugs regardless of the negative consequences to you or your loved ones. Dependence frequently begins in denial that a problem exists.
Misperceptions persist about substance abuse treatment and recovery. Most harmful are the erroneous beliefs that nothing can be done until one has “hit bottom” with loss of health, job, home or family or that addiction stems from a moral weakness or lack of willpower.
The truth is that alcohol and drug problems respond better to early recognition and interventions. And as with other chronic and acute illness, cause and treatment are multifaceted and relapse does not mean that the person or the treatment has failed.
A decrease or discontinuation of using the substance is only the first step in a recovery process engaging medical, spiritual, environmental, social and psychological resources.