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Substance Use Disorders


May 29, 2023 Addictions

Psychosocial Workers

Substance use disorders generally involve behavioural patterns in which people continue to use a substance despite the problems resulting from its use. For some people, excessive or chronic substance use can lead to substance use disorders (SUDs). This includes the use of alcohol, cannabis, illegal drugs, or medications that affect the central nervous system. 

5 stages of addiction and sobriety

Precontemplation: The person is not close to considering a change. Usually there is a lack of introspection about the possible problematic use. 

Contemplation: The person recognizes that he or she has a problem with substance use, but is not convinced of the benefits of stopping. Consciously or not, they evaluate the benefits and risks of using/quitting. A motivational approach may be helpful to the person at this stage. 

Determination/Action: The person is ready and motivated to stop using. He/she puts in place strategies to stop, such as changing his/her environment, friends, activities, etc. 

Maintenance/Abstinence: The person wants to maintain his sobriety and wants to reconcile their relationships with friends and family. 

Relapse: Relapse is part of the withdrawal process and can occur at any time during maintenance and abstinence. If this happens, the person returns to the precontemplation or contemplation stage. 

Did you know that?  

In Quebec, approximately 4.3% of the population meet the criteria for a substance use disorder (excluding cannabis) in their lifetime and 0.5% in the past 12 months. For cannabis abuse or dependence, the rates were 6.4% and 0.5% respectively for these same periods. 

Consult the file


Institut national de santé publique du Québec