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Substance use

The facts

"Remember that just because you hit bottom doesn't mean you have to stay there." - Robert Downey Junior.

A substance use addiction refers to a person’s use or preoccupation with a substance that interferes with healthy functioning in areas of their life including social, vocational/work, financial, physical and mental health, family and relationships.

How common is it?

The four most common substances that people sought treatment for in 2019-2020 were: alcohol (34%), amphetamines (28%), cannabis (18%), and heroin (5.1%).

Are there different types of substance use disorders?

Addictions may involve the use of:

  • Alcohol

  • Cannabis

  • Tobacco

  • Hallucinogens

  • Inhalants

  • Opioids (heroin, oxycodone, morphine, or codeine)

  • Central nervous system (CNS) depressants (sedatives, hypnotics, or anxiolytics)

  • Stimulants (amphetamine-type substances, cocaine, MDMA)

  • Other substances


Non-substance use addictive disorders (such as gambling, internet, gaming, sex) may also involve substance use issues.

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