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Mental Health Resources: Addiction


The following guide is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or give medical advice.

What is Addiction and Substance Use Disorder?

Drug addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects a person's brain and behavior and leads to an inability to control the use of a legal or illegal drug or medication.

All types of addiction involve compulsive behaviors. These are persistent, repeated behaviors that people carry out even if they don’t offer any real benefit.

(Mayo Clinic,; Healthline,

Types of Addiction


  • Substance Use Disorder


The DSM-5 now recognizes two behavioral addictions:

  • Gambling Addiction
  • Internet Gaming Disorder

Non-DSM recognized addictions include:

  • Exercise Addiction
  • Food Addiction
  • Sex Addiction
  • Shopping Addiction
  • Social Media Addiction
  • TV Addiction


Symptoms of Addiction

Symptoms of Substance Use Disorder

  • Feeling that you have to use the drug regularly — daily or even several times a day
  • Having intense urges for the drug that block out any other thoughts
  • Over time, needing more of the drug to get the same effect
  • Taking larger amounts of the drug over a longer period of time than you intended
  • 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
  • Continuing to use the drug, even though you know it's causing problems in your life or causing you physical or psychological harm
  • 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
  • Spending a good deal of time getting the drug, using the drug or recovering from the effects of the drug
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you attempt to stop taking the drug
  • Problems at work or school, including poor performance, lateness or absenteeism, and social dysfunction
  • Loss of energy or motivation
  • Neglecting one’s appearance

Behavioral Addiction

  • spending large amounts of time engaging in the behavior
  • urges to engage in the behavior even if it negatively affects daily life, responsibilities, or relationships
  • using the behavior to manage unwanted emotions
  • hiding the behavior or lying to other people about time spent on it
  • difficulty avoiding the behavior
  • irritability, restlessness, anxiety, depression, or other withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit
  • feeling compelled to continue the behavior even when it causes distress

(Mayo Clinic,; American Addiction Centers,; Healthline,

McFarlin Databases about Health

For a comprehensive list of McFarlin databases consult our A-Z Database List. Databases may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.

Treatments for Addiction

Residential Treatment (Rehab)


A medically managed detox program will help stabilize the patient and help them overcome the symptoms of withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. These programs may last a few days to weeks. Once stabilization is achieved, the patient may need an inpatient program.

Inpatient/Residential Rehab

Inpatient and residential rehab programs are live-in solutions where patients will receive supervised treatment and structured care plans to overcome their addiction. These programs may last anywhere from a few weeks to a number of months, and may be followed by outpatient rehab. Depending on the program, patients may receive 24/7 monitoring from a licensed professional.

Outpatient Rehab

Outpatient programs allow users to attend therapy and receive treatment on their own time as patients do not need to be on-site or live at the facility. Treatment may occur at a substance abuse treatment center, community health clinic, hospital-affiliated clinic, or other facility, meeting on a regular basis. Some outpatient programs may even offer night and weekend programs which make them a favorite for those personal, family, and/or professional responsibilities that may prevent them from attending an inpatient rehab.

Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT encourages clients to question and examine recurring thoughts in order to phase out those that are negative and unhealthy. People treated with CBT techniques learn to recognize and change their maladaptive behaviors. CBT can help people with coping skills, with identifying risky situations and what to do about them, and with preventing relapse.

Contingency Management (CM)

This drug addiction treatment method provides material rewards as motivation for desirable behaviors, such as maintaining sobriety.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

MI is a drug addiction treatment method of resolving ambivalence in recovering individuals to allow them to embrace their treatment efforts to best change their problematic substance use behavior. The purpose is to strengthen the client’s own motivation for and commitment to change in a manner that is consistent with said client’s values.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT teaches clients how to regulate their emotions to reduce the self-destructive behaviors that derive from extreme, intense emotions. DBT focuses on 4 skill sets that include distress tolerance, emotion regulation, mindfulness, and interpersonal effectiveness. DBT works to reduce cravings, help patients avoid situations or opportunities to relapse, assist in giving up actions that reinforce substance use, and learn healthy coping skills.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Utilizing “dual stimulation” exercises to discuss past trauma while simultaneously engaging other parts of the brain through bilateral eye movements, tones, or taps, EMDR helps heal the brain’s information processing system and promotes emotional stability and symptom reduction.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

REBT helps clients identify, challenge, and replace their destructive thoughts and convictions with healthier, adaptive thoughts. It helps patients understand their own thoughts and then helps to develop better habits and thinking in more positive and rational ways and gain healthier emotions.

Matrix Model

The Matrix Model employs a combination of various therapeutic techniques and was originally developed for the treatment of individuals with stimulant addictions. Therapists focus on rewarding good behaviors and teaching patients to believe in themselves; self-esteem, dignity, and self-worth.

Group Therapy

Many, though not all, self-help support groups use the 12-step model first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. Self-help support groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous, help people who are addicted to drugs. These programs rely on self-help treatment methods and involve anonymous group support from other people working toward recovery.

(American Addiction Centers,; Mayo Clinic,; Healthline,

McFarlin Books about Addiction

For a comprehensive list of McFarlin books about addiction consult our library catalog. Some ebooks may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.

Getting Help

You may want to get help for any mental health issue if it lasts for a long period of time or begins to interfere with your ability to function, such as eat, study, and have fun. TU has counselors who would love to help you with your mental health.

This site provides information about and contact information for TU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

If you are having a mental health crisis, the following sites provide help:


Call or text 988 - Oklahoma's statewide mental health lifeline