Government of New Brunswick

What is a problematic substance use?

Problematic substance use, also commonly referred to “addiction”, can be defined as an ongoing use of alcohol or drugs (illegal or legal) such as alcohol, cannabis, opioids among others.  It occurs when there is a recurrence of patterns of harmful behaviors involving the use of substances.    When an individual spend most of her/his time, energy, and money on his/her substance use than engaging with his/her family and/ or friends, or fulfilling regular responsibilities, they might be experiencing issues with substance use.

I may have issues with substance use if I :

  • Spend money my family and I are counting on to gamble or buy drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Break promises to spend time with loved ones or hurt them in other ways, so I can feed my substance use.
  • Engage in excessive substance use when my gambling losses increase.
  • Be unhappy because I can’t stop my substance use.
  • Be unable to reach my goals.

When should I seek help?

  • I’ve tried many times, but I can’t change my ways.
  • I’ve changed my behaviour, but I’m still unhappy and feel something is missing.
  • I’m wondering if I need help. Now may be a good time to get it.

Who can help me?

In New-Brunswick, Addiction and Mental Health services are provided by the Réseau de Santé Vitalité and Horizon Health Network.  There are eight Addiction Services within the province with professionals that will guide individuals or loved ones impacted by gambling and/or substance use in their recovery journey.  Services available are detoxification, outpatient counselling and opioids agonist treatment.  The goal of these services is to help individuals stop, reduce or better manage substance use/problematic gambling, improve and better manage their mental health and have an improved quality of life.

Furthermore, Horizon Health Network and Réseau de Santé Vitalité each provide a live-in treatment service designed to help individuals with substance use issues and gambling related problems. They are located in Campbellton (Vitalité) and Saint John (Horizon).  These services are available to residents of all regions of New Brunswick.  They are designed for individuals over the age of 19 who are experiencing concurrent substance use/gambling and mental health issues and whose needs would be best addressed in a live in setting.   Services include group and individual therapy and focus on helping the individual develop relapse prevention and self-management skills.  Please contact your regional Addiction Services for more specific information on how to access these services.