Substance Use Disorders

Substance use disorders are diagnosed when someone abuses or is dependent upon alcohol or other drugs. People with mental illnesses are at greater risk for substance use disorders, and the effects of drugs can be more damaging among people with mental illnesses.

Below are common symptoms of substance abuse and dependence:

  • Substance Abuse:
    • Drug use that interferes with obligations at school, home, or work (e.g., absences from class or work, poor grades, academic probation)
    • Being under the influence of a drug in situations where it may be dangerous (e.g., driving, operating machinery)
    • Legal problems as a result of drug use (e.g., arrests for possession or disorderly conduct)
    • Drug use that leads to or exacerbates arguments or fights with friends, housemates, co-workers
  • Substance Dependence:
    • Increased tolerance: needing increased amounts of the drug to get high
    • Withdrawal symptoms* when cutting down on the drug (e.g., shakiness, nausea or vomiting, sweating, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, irritability)
    • Using the drug to avoid having withdrawal symptoms
    • Using the drug in larger amounts or over a longer period of time than originally planned
    • Difficulty cutting back on drug use
    • Spending a great deal of time obtaining, using or recovering from the effects of the drug
    • Spending less time on school work or recreational activities (e.g., sports) because of drug use
    • Using the drug despite knowing that it causes or makes a physical or mental health problem worse

*Note: If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms in early sobriety or cessation of use, it is important to talk directly to a medical professional as some of these symptoms could be life threatening.


Want to learn more about substance use disorders?

Campus Recovery Program (CRP)


CRP provides holistic, tailored support to Michigan students who are in recovery from alcohol or other drug problems.If you are a student in recovery or are curious about recovery, give us a call.

CRP is not a clinical treatment program; rather it is a recovery support service. CRP staff do not provide clinical treatment or therapy. Students who need treatment may be referred elsewhere prior to admittance to CRP.  See the list of local treatment providers below or give us a call with questions.

Our mission is to provide a supportive community where students in recovery can achieve academic success while enjoying a genuine college experience, free from alcohol and other drugs.

As a member you would get:

  • Connections with other recovering students
  • Involvement in fun, sober events (on and off-campus)
  • Recovery support and accountability through case management, including weekly check-in, support for transitions into campus, etc.
  • Opportunities to be of service
  • Connections to resources for academic wellness and support
  • Access to the lounge, a safe, supportive space where you can relax and recharge
  • Opportunities to debunk stereotypes and myths about addiction and recovery


UHS Alcohol and Other Drug Programming
Here you can learn about alcohol and other drug-related health concerns, educational initiatives, environmental strategies plus collaborative efforts between the U-M campus and Ann Arbor community.

UM Depression Toolkit
he Depression Center Toolkit provides information, tools, support, and resources to guide you through your mental health journey.

A mental health resource database designed by CAPS.

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcohoism

The NIAAA website has publications, news, research, and clinical trial information related to alchol abuse.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The SAMHSA website has information and publications on substance abuse and mental health issues. There are also tools for finding treatment services nearby.

Alcoholics Anonymous

The webiste covers information on the organization, tests to decide to AA is right for you, and directions for finding meetings nearby.


The purpose of Al-Anon is to provide support for the families and friends of alcoholics. The website provides information on the organization and how to find meetings.




At Wit’s End: What You Need to Know When a Loved One Is Diagnosed with Addiction and Mental Illness by Jeff Jay, 2007
Addresses the needs of families dealing with co-occurring psychiatric and addictive problems.

Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism by Alcoholics Anonymous, 2001
Describes A.A.’s program of recovery and tells the stories of men and women who have used it successfully.

Women Under the Influence by National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, 2006
Written by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, this book analyzes substance abuse in women of all ages based on years of research.

College of the Overwhelmed by Richard Kadison, 2004
This book is written as a guide for students, parents, and others that work with them. It explores the many different stress factors college students face that cause so many of them to suffer from mental illnesses. It also offers some tips for helping students beat stress, and succeed in the college setting.

Beyond Addiction: How Science can Help People Change: A Guide for Families by Jeffery Foote, 2014
This book offers a science-based guide to helping individuals overcome addiction by offering motivational strategies to help loved ones change.

The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress, and Anger that Trigger Addictive Behaviors by Rebecca Williams, 2012.
The author provides readers with ways to cope with loss through cognitive behavior therapy, dialectical behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy.

Talking with College Students About Alcohol: Motivational Strategies for Reducing Abuse by Scott Walters and John Baer, 2006.
This book offers easy to apply guidelines for assessing and working with college-age drinkers. It describes ways to engage in conversations about alcohol, motivational counseling, and preventive interventions.

For treatment and support options, see our find treatment services section or our support resources section.


Get Help Now - Crisis Text Line 741-741 // Call U-M Crisis Phone Line: (734) 936-5900 or (734) 996-4747