Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find a list of commonly asked questions about substance use disorders. Click on the question you are interested in to read the answer. If you have a question you would like to ask, please send us a message and we will be happy to answer any and all questions you may have. 

What is addiction?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), no longer uses the terms substance abuse and substance dependence nor does it use the term addiction. Instead, it identifies substance use disorders, which can be mild, moderate, or severe. The level of severity, which is determined by the number of diagnostic criteria met by an individual. Substance use disorders occur when the repeated use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.

People who suffer from a substance abuse disorder can recover.  They often have to try different types of therapy in order to find the one that best works for them. Some may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy, support groups, and sometimes it may include medications that assist in refraining from drugs or alcohol.

Are prescription drugs dangerous?

All drugs present some risk.  If you have been prescribed a prescription drug such as a pain medication, sedative, or stimulant you should speak to your doctors about the risks.  It is extremely important to reevaluate your medications from time to time and keep an ongoing and direct conversation with your doctor.  Most people never intend to become dependent on drugs or develop a substance abuse disorder.  Just because a drug is legal doesn’t mean that it does not pose risks to your health.

Getting prescription drugs without a prescription is illegal and may subject a person to arrest and prosecution. Even if you acquire a prescription medication through a friend or family member most of these types of drugs without a valid prescription and medical supervision which makes them both unsafe and illegal.

What is Narcan?

Naloxone (Narcan) is a safe prescription medication that is used to block opioids in a person’s system and reverse an opioid overdose. It works on any opioid (prescription medications, synthetic opioids, and heroin) to block the effects of the drug.

Naloxone “steals the spot” of the opioid in the brain receptor site for approximately 30-90 minutes and also breathing to resume. 

Anyone can get a prescription for naloxone in CT through their doctor or a participating pharmacy.

It is extremely important to receive the required training and always make sure you call 911 immediately.

For more information on participating pharmacies and training click here

How do substance use disorders effect women?

While both men and women are affected by substance use disorder, treatment can differ between the sexes. According to, "Many life circumstances predominate in women as a group, which may require a specialized treatment approach. For example, research has shown that physical and sexual trauma followed by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is more common in drug-abusing women than in men seeking treatment. Other factors unique to women that can influence the treatment process include issues around how they come into treatment (as women are more likely than men to seek the assistance of a general or mental health practitioner), financial independence, and pregnancy and child care."

Are you or someone you love dealing with an addiction?

You are not fighting alone.

Norwich Unhooked partners with multiple local doctors, counselors, and hospitals in Norwich to help aid the community with substance abuse disorder treatment and prevention measures.