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Substance use

Last updated: November 30, 2020

Substance use is a serious public health problem that affects almost every community and family in some way. Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.

Addiction changes the brain. When addiction takes hold, the brain is rewired to function as if drugs and/or alcohol are life-or-death essentials for survival. It stops being a choice; it becomes a chronic, life-threatening disease like diabetes or arthritis.

But there is hope. Addiction care can be as effective as treatments for other diseases. There are many treatment models and levels of care to address the use or misuse of substances. Medication management, individual counseling, group counseling, residential and inpatient services, intensive outpatient counseling, and sober living facilities are all available to help a person work toward sobriety and maintain recovery.

For more information

National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:


Helpful videos

Dr. Corey Waller:

Changing Minds:


Local resources

Connections Adult Services offers answers, options, and support to help adults find treatment for mental health and substance use concerns. We can answer your questions, offer assessment, and provide referrals to providers in the community. Call 970-221-5551.
425 W. Mulberry St., Suite 101, Fort Collins

The CAYAC Team at Connections serves Larimer County youth up through age 24, as well as their families. Our goal is the early identification and treatment of mental health and substance use disorders that can affect health, happiness, family, and school. Call 970-221-3308; services by appointment.
425 W. Mulberry St., Suite 112, Fort Collins

North Colorado Health Alliance, Colorado Opioid Synergy–Larimer and Weld (CO-SLAW) helps connect to medication-assisted treatment and counseling services,