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Substance Abuse & Addiction Treatment

Posted in Substance Abuse & Addiction Treatment on November 1, 2016
Last modified on May 12th, 2019

Substance abuse: The harmful use of  addictive substances including alcohol, illicit drugs like heroin, cocaine, and hallucinogens, and prescription drugs such as painkillers.

The Right Step offers individualized treatment for people struggling with drug and alcohol abuse and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our medical and behavioral experts assess the needs of each client and create a treatment plan that addresses their physical, mental and spiritual health. Using a structured approach based on 12-step recovery principles and evidence-based medical models, our multidisciplinary treatment team provides you the expert care and relapse-prevention tools needed for long-term recovery. From inpatient detox and rehab to intensive outpatient programs and aftercare, we offer specialized addiction treatment to help you change destructive behaviors. You’ll recover alongside peers sharing similar struggles and engage in a wide range of treatment approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, individual and group therapy, meditation, music and art therapy, and psychodrama.

How Chemical Dependency Develops

After repeated use of addictive substances like alcohol or illicit drugs, a person may develop a dependency on them and experience a strong desire to continue drinking or taking the drug being abused. A family history of addiction and/or underlying mental health disorders and trauma can also help perpetuate the use of substances. It often becomes increasingly difficult to control use of the substance, which can lead to dependence and addictive behaviors. The substance abuse persists despite dire consequences including a wide array of harmful physical effects, damaging behavioral patterns and broken professional and personal relationships.

At The Right Step, we understand how substance abuse can wreak havoc on parents, siblings, children and friends of the addicted person. Our customized treatment plans consider a variety of factors including:

  • Duration of abuse
  • Type of substance dependence
  • Age
  • Physical and mental health
  • Co-occurring mental illness
  • Past trauma
  • Desire to change and willingness to undergo treatment
  • Adequacy of social support system
  • Personal beliefs and preferences
  • Work and family life
  • Plans for ongoing care

Stats and Facts

  • Tragically, there were more than 46,000 drug-related deaths in 2013, half of which were attributed to prescription painkillers and heroin.1
  • Drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., with more overdose deaths in 2014 than in any other year on record.2
  • Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs exact a significant financial toll on our nation, with more than $700 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and healthcare.3

Substance Use Disorder

In May 2013, the diagnostic term substance use disorder was implemented by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and has gradually replaced other terms such as substance addiction and substance abuse disorder. This diagnosis was specifically designed to allow doctors to simultaneously address both addictive and non-addictive dysfunctional substance use in clients.4 From a diagnostic standpoint, the APA has designated four major categories to define substance use disorders: impaired control, social impairment, risky use and pharmacological indicators (tolerance and withdrawal).5

How Drug Abuse Leads to Addiction

Drugs and alcohol negatively impact a person’s brain chemistry. Many illicit drugs flood the brain with dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. This overstimulation induces feelings of euphoria and happiness. With continued drug use, the brain adjusts to the excess dopamine by making less of it and/or reducing the ability of cells in the reward circuit to respond to it. The high the person experiences decreases and they develop a tolerance, requiring more of the substance to achieve the dopamine high they now crave and stave off withdrawal symptoms. Long-term substance abuse also affects brain functions that control learning, judgment, decision-making, stress, memory and behaviors.6

We Can Help

Since 1990, we have helped thousands of people struggling with substance abuse rebuild their lives. We know that addiction affects everyone in its path. That’s why our drug abuse treatment programs not only address the needs of clients, but also the needs of  loved ones and families. Our compassionate treatment teams are committed to helping clients achieve long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol and enjoy healthy, rewarding lives in recovery. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, we are here to help you find and stay on the right path to recovery. Call us today for a complimentary, confidential assessment. 844-877-1781

  1. DEA Releases 2015 Drug Threat Assessment: Heroin and Painkiller Abuse Continue to Concern. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website. https://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2015/hq110415.shtml Published November 4, 2015. Updated October 1, 2016.
  2. Overview of an epidemic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/index.html Updated March 2016. Updated March 14, 2016. Accessed October 1, 2016.
  3. Trends & Statistics. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics Updated August 2015. Accessed October 1, 2016.
  4. Substance Use Disorders. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/substance-use Updated October 27, 2015. Accessed October 1, 2016.
  5. The Diagnostic Criteria for Substance Use Disorders (Addiction). Mental Help website. https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/the-diagnostic-criteria-for-substance-use-disorders-addiction/ Updated April 25, 2016. Accessed October 1, 2016.
  6. Drug Facts: Understanding Drug Use and Addiction. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction Updated August 2016. Accessed October 1, 2016.
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