What is substance abuse?
Substance abuse occurs when individuals consume legal and illegal drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication excessively, to the point that they experience negative impacts on their physical and mental health. Substance abuse includes getting drunk from alcohol or getting high from drug use.
While substance abuse may be manageable initially, it can quickly develop into substance addiction and chemical dependency. When a person develops a substance addiction or becomes chemically dependent, they have a physiological reliance on the substance in order to function normally.
Substance abuse issues can affect anyone, regardless of age or economic status. However, several risk factors can make people more likely to engage in substance abuse. These risk factors include:
- Poor social relationships and support systems. When people do not have strong relationships with family and friends, they may engage in substance abuse in an attempt to substitute help from others.
- Having a family history of substance abuse and addiction. Genetic factors can predispose a person to substance abuse issues.
- Sudden life changes and negative events. Events such as losing a job, losing a loved one, or getting seriously injured can result in a person turning to substance abuse as a way to mask their pain and challenges.
Substance abuse problems can lead to issues in many areas of a person’s life. These issues include damaged relationships with loves ones and financial difficulties from excess spending to support substance abuse habits. In some cases, the effects of substance abuse can be overwhelming and lead to suicidal thoughts. If you or someone you know needs immediate counseling, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255. If anyone is in immediate danger of self-harm, please call 911 immediately for in-person assistance.
What are the signs and symptoms of substance abuse?
The immediate signs and symptoms of substance abuse are the side effects of whatever substance the individual takes. Drugs such as marijuana may cause a person to have red eyes, poor coordination, and anxiety. Alternatively, drugs such as cocaine may cause heightened alertness, dilated pupils, and restlessness.
However, when people discuss substance abuse, they are often not concerned with the immediate side effects of an individual substance. Instead, they refer to issues associated with the broader behavioral patterns of alcohol and drug abuse. These signs and symptoms include:
- Deciding to attend social interactions and events based on the substance’s availability.
- Engaging in risky or illegal behavior, such as stealing, to obtain the substance.
- Taking on debt to engage in further substance abuse.
- Neglecting relationships with loved ones to have more opportunities to engage in substance abuse.
- Becoming irritable or anxious when access to the substance is uncertain.
Also, some people may experience additional mental health conditions while engaging in substance abuse. Clinicians refer to patients who experience substance abuse and other mental health conditions as having a dual diagnosis.
How OC Specialty Health & Hospitals can help treat substance abuse
Substance abuse can quickly escalate into larger problems, including substance addiction and chemical dependency. Accordingly, it is essential to get help with substance abuse challenges as soon as possible. People who face substance abuse challenges can access a range of evidence-based treatment programs at licensed behavioral health hospitals.
At OC Specialty Health & Hospitals, our team has decades of experience helping patients overcome substance abuse issues. We also have experience treating substance addiction, chemical dependency issues, and a variety of mental health conditions in dual-diagnosis patients.
Our treatment programs for substance abuse include inpatient services and outpatient services. Our inpatient services are appropriate for patients who need immediate stabilization and 24/7 monitoring. People who suffer from chemical dependency benefit from our inpatient chemical detox programs and medication management services. Our outpatient services include partial hospitalization services and intensive outpatient programs. Our outpatient offerings allow people to access the care they need for substance abuse issues while maintaining home routines and, in some cases, work schedules. Additionally, outpatient treatment programs provide necessary ongoing care to patients who recently completed inpatient substance abuse programs.
Treatment programs for substance abuse at OC Specialty Health & Hospitals include individual and group talk therapy sessions. During each treatment session, our behavioral health specialists work with patients to understand the underlying issues and behavioral patterns that result in substance abuse. Patients then learn how to interrupt those patterns and avoid engaging in substance abuse. Additionally, our treatment programs include education and counseling components for family members, ensuring that each patient has a supportive home environment after treatment.
Get treatment for substance abuse at OC Specialty Health & Hospitals
Getting started with substance abuse treatment at OC Specialty Health & Hospitals is easy. Our team understands that each patient has unique challenges and needs, and we provide a customized treatment plan for each patient.
The first step toward treatment is to contact the OC Specialty Health & Hospitals team. You can call us directly at 949-900-8600 (Aliso Ridge) or 714-243-9000 (Anaheim) at any time. A team member is available 24/7.
We can help answer any question you have about our substance abuse treatment programs and our behavioral health hospital. Additionally, a member of our team can help schedule you or a loved one for a free mental health assessment.