About Substance Abuse

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Substance abuse is something that is often taken lightly in society today, but it is dangerous and easily leads to unhealthy behavior, dangerous side effects, and addiction. Clinically, substance abuse is defined as any act of using drugs or alcohol in an unsafe way, but for most people, substance abuse is synonymous with addiction.

If you or someone you love is caught up with substance abuse and you need help, California Highlands Addiction Treatment can lead you in the right direction to recovery. We work with individuals and families to provide customized treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

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Substance Abuse vs. Addiction

There is a difference between the terms substance abuse and addiction. According to the National Institutes of Health, substance abuse is defined as a, “maladaptive pattern of use indicated by…continued use despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, occupational, psychological or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the use [or by] recurrent use in situations in which it is physically hazardous.”

Someone who uses and abuses drugs and alcohol is not necessarily addicted to them, but substance abuse can easily lead to addiction. The more a person uses drugs or drinks alcohol, the more their body gets accustomed to using the substance and begins to depend on it. When the person crosses over to needing the substance to function in their daily life, experiences withdrawal symptoms when they stop using, and constantly craves more of the substance, we say they are addicted to it.

Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

Someone who abuses drugs or alcohol will try to hide their actions. They will naturally be embarrassed and ashamed and will often pull away from family. Loved ones will notice a change in behavior, as the person becomes moody, withdrawn, and secretive. They may experience a negative change in performance at work or school, may have a new group of friends, and may frequently get caught lying or stealing money for drugs.

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Our clinicians are adaptive and have a breadth of treatment modalities to effectively treat the needs of each individual client.

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If your loved one is being controlled by addiction, don’t let this continue on any longer.

TAKE ACTION

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Drinking or drugging more than a person wants to, for longer than they intended, or despite telling themselves that they wouldn’t do it this time.

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Spending less time on activities that used to be important (hanging out with family and friends, exercising, pursuing hobbies or other interests) because of the use of alcohol or drugs; drop in attendance and performance at work or school.

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More likely to take serious risks in order to obtain one’s drug of choice.

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People struggling with addiction are known to act out against those closest to them, particularly if someone is attempting to address their substance problems; complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates

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Going out of one’s way to hide the amount of drugs or alcohol consumed or one’s activities when drinking or drugging; unexplained injuries or accidents.

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Serious changes or deterioration in hygiene or physical appearance – lack of showering, slovenly appearance, unclean clothes.

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A family history of addiction can dramatically increase one’s predisposition to substance abuse.

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Over time, a person’s body adapts to a substance to the point that they need more and more of it in order to have the same reaction.

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As the effect of the alcohol or drugs wear off the person may experience symptoms such as: anxiety or jumpiness; shakiness or trembling; sweating, nausea and vomiting, insomnia, depression, irritability, fatigue or loss of appetite and headaches.

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Even though it is causing problems (on the job, in relationships, for one’s health), a person continues drinking and drugging.

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6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems (NCADD).

88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use (NCADD).

52 Million people in the US, over the age of 12, have used prescription drugs non-medically in their lifetime (SAMHSA).

5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem (9.3 percent of persons aged 12 or older) (SAMHSA).

Only 2.6 million—11.2 percent of those who needed treatment—received it at a specialty facility (SAMHSA).

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Types of Substance Abuse

There are countless types of substances that are abused, and this is one reason why substance abuse and addiction are so common, and why people of every background and age range struggle with addiction. The most common types of substances that are abused are:

Alcohol. Alcohol is the most common substance that is used and often abused, and because it is legal for adults to drink, people often fail to see the danger in using this substance. People who abuse alcohol can quickly become dependent on it, leading to alcoholism. It causes impaired coordination, trouble concentrating, and loss of good judgment.

Marijuana. Marijuana is the second most abused substance. It is used by teens and adults throughout the country. It causes issues with memory, distorted thinking, and impaired coordination.

Prescription Drugs. Prescription drug abuse is on the rise in our country. Drugs in this category that are commonly abused include prescription painkillers, stimulants, and tranquilizers. This type of drug abuse can quickly lead to dependence, drug seeking behavior, and long term health issues.

Heroin. Heroin abuse is a huge concern in society today, because this drug is closely related to prescription painkillers. With the rise in painkiller addiction has come the rise in heroin abuse as well. This type of drug use causes slowed breathing, clouded thinking, and a heavy feeling in the arms and legs.

Stimulants. These drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamine, give the user a fast high, a burst of energy, and a boost in mood. This drug abuse can also cause anxiety and confusion, and rapid or heart beat. Stimulants are highly addictive and cause dependence.

Study drugs. Drugs like Ritalin and Adderall are prescribed for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), but are also abused by those that don’t have the condition. These stimulants increase a person’s concentration and energy, which is why they are abused by students who want to improve their academic performance.

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When Substance Abuse Turns to Addiction Treatment is Necessary

Although some people try to function despite their substance addiction, this is not a healthy way to live. Addiction is a progressive disease, meaning once a person is addicted, they continue to get worse and experience more and more issues as a result. Addiction needs to be treated.

Someone who abuses drugs or alcohol will almost always give excuses as to why they don’t think they should get treatment for their problem. First of all, they will deny there is a problem. Then, they will say they can stop whenever they want. They might get angry at anyone who tries to get them to accept help, and they will downplay the issue and any trouble they have gotten into because of it.

If you or a loved one is abusing drugs or alcohol, now is the time to get help. The mistake too many people make is waiting too long. We at California Highlands would like to offer you treatment for substance abuse that is compassionate, clear, and effective. We welcome your input in your treatment, and will work with you to design a plan that works for you. Please contact us at (888) 969-8755 to learn more about our rehab program and how it can help you

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Get Help for Addiction Today (888) 969-8755

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Treatment with Dignity and Respect

At California Highlands, we understand the science behind addiction and how it affects people and families:
families like yours and people like you. You are an individual and we know there is much more to you than addiction.
We will treat you as an individual, and help you nurture your own goals and desires for life.
Our goal is to help you get back to where you want to be in life, without the distractions of addiction.

We create individualized treatment programs for everyone who experiences our residential treatment program.
We do not adhere to any religion, and your spiritual and personal beliefs are respected. In fact, we will teach you how to use your own strengths and beliefs to achieve a life beyond your imagination.

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