Substance Use

Nobody plans on problems related to substance use. Some believe they can control their use of drugs and/or alcohol and they can use them whenever they feel like it. However, as soon as they want to change their behaviour, it proves to be very difficult.
This loss of control over substance use may stem from genetic and psychosocial factors related to both physical and social environments. This dependency is characterized by the following behaviours: loss of control with use of alcohol and drug, compulsive use and ongoing use, although side effects and intense cravings are known.

Loss of Control

Control is characterized by the limits each person has set when consuming or during related activities (such as time, money, quantity, etc). If a person realizes he or she can no longer respect these limits, it is generally agreed that there is no longer control over substance use.


Compulsion is the link between need and pleasure. Are substance use and related behaviours based on need rather than pleasure? If the need, either physical or psychological, is stronger, then the criteria for compulsion has been met.

Negative Effects

Negative effects are one of the criteria for dependency: they can be related to relationships, material and financial aspects, social interactions,  etc.

State of Intense Need

This state of withdrawal is present when the person reduces or stops substance use. The symptoms can be both physical and psychological.

Maison Fraternité has over fifty years of experience in the treatment of substance use, other addictions and concurrent disorders.