Substance Abuse

It is estimated that 1 in 7 individuals between the ages of 18 and 22 have a substance use disorder.  People who are addicted to alcohol or drugs, either legal or illegal, are not able to control their use and may continue to do so despite the harm caused. You can take an online survey to assess if you have a problem with drug and/or alcohol use and if additional support may be beneficial.

Symptoms of alcohol and drug addiction may include:

  • Being unable to limit the amount of drugs/alcohol you consume
  • Wanting to cut down on how much you use or making unsuccessful attempts to do so
  • Spending a lot of time using, getting or recovering from drug/alcohol use
  • Feeling strong urges or cravings
  • Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home due to repeated drug/alcohol use
  • Continuing to use even though you know it’s causing physical, social or interpersonal problems
  • Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies
  • Using drugs/alcohol in situations where it’s not safe, such as when driving or swimming
  • Developing a tolerance to a drug or 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, shaking, irritability, insomnia — when you don’t use, or you use or drink to avoid these symptoms

This interactive chart organizes the most abused substances into an easy-to-use periodic table of substances and provides information on effects, issues with withdrawal and detox and other pertinent information.

Substance Abuse Resources

Campus Resources

MSU Denver Counseling Center
Tivoli 651 | 303-615-9988

Auraria Recovery Community
Any Auraria student is welcome to join an all-inclusive recovery community which offers social support, peer recovery meetings and engagement activities across campus.
Contact: [email protected]


Auraria Police Department
24/7 campus Police Department. Dial 911 from any campus phone or 303-556-5000 or use Text-a-Tip – 720-593-TIPS (8477)
Administration 110 | 303-556-5000

OpiRescue App
Information on the signs of overdose or overmedication; supportive breathing techniques; explains how to administer Naloxone.


Local Resources

Support Groups

Cocaine Anonymous Colorado
Fellowship of people who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other through group meetings and individual sponsorship.

Colorado Al-Anon/Alateen Inc. 
Helps friends and families of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of a relative or friend.

Denver Area Central Committee of Alcoholics Anonymous
Fellowship of people who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other through group meetings and individual sponsorship.

People who support one another in living free of alcohol and other non-medically indicated addictive drugs through an alternative to 12-Step programs.

Marijuana Anonymous
A 12-Step oriented support model.

Nar-Anon Family Support Groups 
12-Step support meetings offered to relatives and friends who are concerned about the addiction or drug problem of another.

Nicotine Anonymous
12-Step fellowship of people helping each other live nicotine-free lives.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety
An alternative recovery method for those struggling with alcohol and/or drugs who are uncomfortable with the spiritual content of widely available 12-Step programs.

Shambhala Center of Denver
The Heart of Recovery meeting is an open group for those interested in relating meditation practice to addiction recovery.

SMART Recovery®
Helps people recover from all types of addiction and addictive behaviors.

The Phoenix
A sober active community that promotes recovery through community-building and physical fitness. They offer free fitness classes, outings and support groups.

Young People in Recovery  
Provide training and networks all individuals, families and communities working to recover and maximize their full potential.

Medical and Detox Services

Offers detox, inpatient and outpatient substance use treatment.

Centennial Peaks Hospital
Offering medical detox, partial hospitalization and outpatient substance use services. 

Center for Detox Treatment at Community Reach Center
Social detox treatment referral offered to residents of Adams and Broomfield Counties.

Colorado Wellness Recovery
An informational and treatment-finding resource focusing primarily on Colorado-based agencies and organizations.

Denver Health CARES
Provides social detox and residential treatment and accepts patients with no insurance.

Denver Springs
Offering medical detox, partial hospitalization and outpatient services for both adolescents and adults.

Jefferson Center’s Crisis and Recovery Center
Social detox, crisis intervention, and referrals to outpatient substance use and mental health services.

Lutheran West Pines
Offers medical detox, inpatient and outpatient substance use treatment.

Porter Hospital’s Chemical Dependency Program
Provides substance use intensive outpatient treatment.

Valley Hope
Offers medical detox, residential and other outpatient treatment for a variety of substance use issues. 

National Resources

National Institute on Drug Abuse
A national organization providing resources, information, research and free resources on different substances of use.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration 
A national organization providing information, resources, research and free print material around mental health and substance use issues.

Drug Rehab Services  
Helps people find the best services for you or your loved one through an easy-to-navigate directory.

SUPE | Substance Use Prevention Education
SUPE is a comprehensive online drug education and prevention resource. You can find articles, videos, quizzes for all ages and fields of work.