The term “substance abuse" describes a pattern of using drugs or alcohol that causes significant problems or distress for the individual who is using and for their loved ones. These problems may present themselves in a variety of ways depending on the individual. Recognizing the warning signs for when you or a loved one's substance abuse is becoming a serious problem could save someone's life.
Even casual use of drugs or alcohol can lead to dependency and addiction, as well as cause damage to a person's body and mind. Drugs and alcohol can be dangerous no matter the frequency of use.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), addiction refers to a genetic disease that causes the compulsive use of a substance despite its negative consequences. Attempting to stop the use of a substance that you are addicted to will result in withdrawal symptoms.
Substance abuse refers to the frequency in which substances are consumed and the dangers associated with that consumption. Substance abuse may be occasional, whereas addiction refers to the regular misuse of drugs or alcohol that becomes nearly impossible to stop without professional help.
If you or a loved one participate in the casual misuse or abuse of drugs and/or alcohol infrequently, this is identified as substance abuse. However, if you are unable to abstain from using drugs or alcohol and feel as though you cannot function without them, addiction has most likely begun.
Substance abuse can quickly turn into substance dependency (be it physical or psychological) if significant problems related to an individual's misuse of drugs are ignored. Both addiction and substance abuse can have adverse effects on a person's life. Both can lead to isolation, skewed decision-making and judgment, overdose, organ damage, and poor coping mechanisms, and mental health issues.
Being able to identify when substance use is becoming an addiction can be incredibly difficult, but could make the difference between life or death. Many times, people who abuse substances will be in denial and claim that their use has not turned into dependency or addiction. Because of this, talking to a loved one about your concerns around their substance use may cause them to become defensive or shut down the conversation, which can make it difficult to provide them with help. Looking out for signs that substance use is worsening into addiction can allow you or your loved ones to seek professional help and treatment sooner rather than later.
Here are some signs that a person's substance use may be leading to addiction:
Almost any substance can be abused, even asthma inhalers. But the term “substance abuse” usually refers to the misuse of drugs or alcohol. Some drugs are more commonly abused than others, just like there are drugs more addictive than others. Below is a list of commonly abused drugs and how the abuse can affect your mind, body, and spirit, even if you are not addicted to the substance.
As stated above, any substance can be abused. At Crescent Moon Recovery, we will meet you where you are, even if your drug or alcohol use has not fully turned into an addiction. Our professionals and therapists are trained to treat addiction to and abuse of many different drugs such as alcohol, prescription drugs, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, ketamine, MDMA, opioids, and more.
Just like how these substances can affect your health and livelihood in different ways, there are different therapeutic approaches that are used to treat various substance use disorders. We incorporate many different modalities in our treatment programs to ensure that our patients receive the help they need to address and conquer their addiction with our team by their side.
Crescent Moon Recovery understands that addiction affects every area of a person's life--physically, mentally, and spiritually. That is why it is important to address potential substance use issues and any co-occurring disorders with the help of professionals before the situation gets worse. We are aware that family dynamics and upbringing can play a large role in a participant abusing substances. That's why we offer family therapy to better understand the underlying causes surrounding a person's substance use and addiction. We know that co-occurring disorders can heavily affect a person's ability to stay sober following treatment. We have licensed professionals who can assess and treat dual diagnoses--such as substance use disorder (SUD) and any co-occurring mental health disorders--to help you better manage your symptoms without the use of substances that can lead to abuse and addiction.
Located in Fountain Valley, California, the national hub for a fantastic recovery community, Crescent Moon Recovery includes evidence-based and holistic treatment approaches that will work to rebuild the social, spiritual, and physical factors of your life following addiction. Not only is our location perfect for outdoor excursions like hiking, biking, surfing, and swimming, but it also is a great place to make lasting progress with our welcoming, supportive, community and evidence-based treatment therapies.
Substance abuse can lead to poor, life-altering, decision-making that can lead to addiction and cause damage to a person's mind and body. Getting ahead of addiction is ideal, so if you are concerned that you or a loved one is abusing substances, call Crescent Moon Recovery today at (714) 464-8474. We have many different treatment approaches that can be customized to a participant's unique needs to achieve our number one goal: getting you to lasting recovery.