Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a broad term covering people who have addictions to alcohol and/or drugs. These addictions can greatly impact an individual’s life and can be life threatening. Find out more about each type of abuse including symptoms and resources in the blue bars below.



Click here to take a brief online survey to assess if you have a problem with alcohol.

 * Symptoms of alcohol addiction may include:

  • Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol you drink
  • Wanting to cut down on how much you drink or making unsuccessful attempts to do so
  • Spending a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol or recovering from alcohol use
  • Feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
  • Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home due to repeated alcohol use
  • Continuing to drink alcohol even though you know it's causing physical, social or interpersonal problems
  • Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies
  • Using alcohol in situations where it's not safe, such as when driving or swimming
  • Developing a tolerance to alcohol so you need more to feel its effect or you have a reduced effect from the same amount
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating and shaking — when you don't drink, or drinking to avoid these symptoms
 * Information from:



People who are addicted to drugs, either legal or illegal, are not able to control their drug use and may continue to do so even if the drug causes harm. Drug addictions are serious and can be life-threatening. Addictions can cause cravings and many people need additional support and resources to enable them to be successful in their quit attempt.

 * Symptoms of drug addiction may include: 

  • Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — this can be daily or even several times a day
  • Having intense urges for the drug
  • Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
  • Making certain that you maintain a supply of the drug
  • Spending money on the drug, even though you can't afford it
  • Not meeting obligations and work responsibilities, or cutting back on social or recreational activities because of drug use
  • Doing things to get the drug that you normally wouldn't do, such as stealing
  • Driving or doing other risky activities when you're under the influence of the drug
  • Focusing more and more time and energy on getting and using the drug
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug
* Information from:


Additional Information


On Campus Resources

Harm Reduction Group

Join this group to cut back on our alcohol and/or drug use. Open to all students. Learn more online at


Substance Abuse and Addiction Resources

  •    Denver Area Alcoholics Anonymous                                                       303-322-5636 

  • *Local AA Meeting Locations and Support Resources                                                                    
  • Valley Hope Denver/Parker                                                                                                         1-800-544-5101
    *Offers residential and outpatient treatment
  • Denver Health CARES
    *Offers detox and residential treatment                                                                                     303-436-6000
    *Best for patients with no insurance
  • Lutheran West Pines
    *Offers detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment                                                                    303-467-4080
  • Arapahoe House
    *Offers outpatient treatment                                                                                                      303-657-3700
  • Anschutz Medical Campus (CeDAR)
    *Offers detox, inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment                                                    720-848-3000
  • Porter Hospital’s Chemical Dependency Program
    Substance Intense Outpatient Treatment                                                                                   303-778-2541


Prescription Drugs Resources

  •                                                                                                                            1-888-338-4061