April 19, 2022

Understanding and Addressing Your Behavioral Health Care Needs: Substance Use Disorders

Shanira Griffith, LCSW, Landmark social work manager, shares tips for managing substance use disorders.

At Landmark, we focus on the big picture. We address patients’ medical, behavioral, and social needs. Our care is rooted in helping patients live their best and happiest lives, which is why behavioral healthcare is so important.

Landmark’s behavioral health team meets with patients to understand and care for their behavioral health needs, including substance use disorders.

What is a Substance Use Disorder?

A substance use disorder is a condition where there is uncontrolled use of a substance despite harmful consequences. Individuals with substance use disorders have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s) such as alcohol, tobacco or illicit drugs. They are unable to function day-to-day.  Use of the substance may continue even when it is causing or will cause problems. The most severe substance use disorders are sometimes called addictions.3


Provider meeting with patient

Tips to manage substance use disorders:

  1. Be honest with yourself
  2. Learn to relax in any situation
  3. Learn new skills to relieve tension
  4. Keep a daily journal and gratitude list
  5. Develop a strong support network
  6. Avoid high-risk situations where you are likely to relapse
  7. Exercise regularly
  8. Practice meditation
  9. Work with a sponsor and attend support group meetings


While these tips may help you manage your substance use, speak to your Landmark provider or primary care provider if the condition does not improve.  If you experience the following symptoms for long periods of time, let your care team know. They can create a care plan to help you improve the way you feel.


Share these concerns with your care team if they last longer than 2 weeks:

  1. Changes in appetite and sleeping patterns
  2. Slurred speech
  3. Impaired coordination or tremors
  4. Deterioration of physical appearance or changes in grooming practices
  5. Unusual odors on breath, body, or clothes
  6. Periods of excessive energy or restlessness
  7. Sudden changes in mood
  8. Increased agitation or anger