Substance Use Disorder

It's a powerful and complex disease.

Substance Use Disorder means you lose control of the use of a substance like drugs or alcohol, despite it harming you and others. Substance Use Disorder can be life-threatening. It’s important to remember that addiction is not about willpower or morality.
It is a powerful and complex disease that we treat at Palm Tree Clinic. People who have an addiction cannot simply quit, even if they want to, as substances can change the brain in a way that makes quitting physically and mentally difficult. Treating addiction often requires lifelong care and therapy.

Drug Addiction

While drugs are very different from each other, they all strongly activate the addiction centre of the brain. That is what makes these substances habit-forming, while others are not. 

Drugs that are commonly misused include:

Club drugs like GHB, ketamine, MDMA (ecstasy/molly), flunitrazepam (Rohypnol®)

Stimulants such as cocaine (including crack) and methamphetamine (meth)

Hallucinogens including ayahuasca, D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), peyote (mescaline), phencyclidine (PCP) and DMT

Inhalants including solvents, aerosol sprays, gases and nitrites (poppers)


Opioid pain killers such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine and morphine

Prescription drugs and cold medicines

Sedatives, hypnotics and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety medications)

Steroids (anabolic)


Alcohol Use Addiction

This is a medical condition involving frequent or heavy alcohol use. It’s also called alcohol dependence, alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse.
If you have Alcohol Use Disorder, you can’t stop drinking, even when it causes problems, emotional distress or physical harm to people around you. It is a disease of brain function and requires medical and psychological treatments to control it. Alcohol Use Disorder can be mild, moderate or severe. It can develop quickly or over a long period.