How does substance abuse affect people differently?

When you search the definition of substance abuse online you’ll often find that it is an overindulgence in, or dependence on, an addictive substance, especially alcohol or drugs. But what does this really mean, and why do some people become addicted to drugs, while others do not?

Substance abuse or addiction, like any disease, varies from person to person on its effects and symptoms. While substance abuse has a wide range of effects, one of the greatest risks is dependence. What was once a casual drink on a Friday night, or an occasional indulgence in your drug of choice, can quickly become an everyday occurrence.

There isn’t one single factor or characteristic that determines if you may become addicted to drugs or alcohol.  Addiction doesn’t discriminate: it doesn’t factor in your economic class, race or geographic location. So what risk factors can play a role, and which of these factors can we control? When looking at addiction there are many variables to consider such as your genetics, the environment around, and the drug itself. Below is a quick chart that details each of these categories listed:

substance abuse or addiction

Please call us today if you have any questions about our substance abuse and addiction services at (970) 494-4200 or visit our website at

We also offer an Open Support Group for people whose loved one abuses alcohol or other drugs. It is free, and you or your loved one do not have to be enrolled in SummitStone services to attend.  The group meets every Tuesday at our office at 114 Bristlecone Drive in Fort Collins from 5:30-7 p.m. Share experiences, encouragement and resources for substance abuse and addiction in Larimer County. Drop-in or call (970) 494-4379 for more details.


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