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

Auraria Campus Recovery Community: Students are welcome to an all-inclusive recovery community that values all pathways to recovery and good living. Through “All Recovery” meetings, prosocial events, and health & wellness, we are building a network on campus and recovering as a community.

Please contact the group with questions at:

MSU Denver's Counseling Center’s Substance Use Group: “A Group With Real Substance”- This group will provide a safe space for persons to discuss, explore, and process in a safe environment issues surrounding the difficulties with substance abuse.  You can gain great benefits from working with other peers dealing with and managing substance abuse issues.  303-615-9988

 Emergencies and Safety

  • Auraria 24/7 Crisis & Victim Assistance Line:  303-615-9911 or text TALK to 38255
  • Text-A-Tip: 720-593-TIPS (8477)- If you are in a situation where you don’t feel safe or comfortable making a phone call, you can text the Auraria Police Department.

Substance Abuse and Addiction Resources

Crisis and Recovery Center | 4643 Wadsworth Blvd. Wheat Ridge, CO  80033  | 303-432-5525

offers walk-in detox services, crisis intervention services, and connection with outpatient substance use and mental health treatment


 Local AA Meeting Locations and Support Resources                                                                                               303-322-5636 

 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

 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