Substance Use Prevention

What is Substance Use?

Substance use is the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances (substances that can affect how the brain works), including illegal drugs, and misused prescription drugs. It also includes the use of substances like alcohol, tobacco products and marijuana.

Substance abuse can result when a person is using a substance in a way that is not intended or recommended, or because they are using more than prescribed. 

What is Harmful Substance Use?

Substance use can cross the line into substance abuse if use cases impairment such as:

  • Not being able to meet responsibilities such as school, work or family needs
  • Continuing to use despite harmful effects or health issues
  • Risky use
  • Worsening relationships with friends and family
  • Difficulty in controlling use

Substance use disorders (SUDs) affect millions of Americans. In 2019, 20.4 million people aged 12 or older had an SUD in the past year, including 14.5 million who had an alcohol use disorder and 8.3 million who had an illicit drug use disorder, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Tobacco products are used by 58.1 million Americans according to the same survey.

People who have a substance use disorder should not be blamed for suffering from the disease. All people make choices about whether to use substances. However, people do not choose how their brain and body respond to drugs and alcohol. Treatment and recovery is possible, and millions of people seek treatment and live healthy, positive lives in recovery.

How is Broomfield Addressing Substance Use?

Broomfield Public Health and Environment works at the local level to address substance use among adults and youth. Learn more at:

Safe Storage Tips

To keep opioids and other medication safe in your home, follow these tips:

  • Keep prescriptions in a secure, preferably locked location; medication safes are an optimal storage option. 
  • Monitor medications so you know how much has been used and how much should remain in the bottle at all times. 
  • Always use the medication’s original container. Make sure the label remains attached and all child-resistant caps are secured.
  • Do not share your medication with others.
  • Safely dispose of any unwanted or expired medication.

To properly dispose of any unwanted or expired medication in your home, follow these tips:

How to Safely Dispose of Unused or Expired Medicine

Resources