Substance abuse in Los Angeles is common and widespread. Casual or recreational use of drugs and alcohol may quickly lead to addictions that are difficult to overcome. Whether you are questioning your own substance use or you think that a loved one may have a substance use disorder, we can help to provide you with the information you need to take the next step.
What is addiction?
Drug addiction is a chronic brain disease that results in the compulsive use of drugs or alcohol after the structure and function of the brain is altered. Many people lose control of the battle despite the consequences of their substance use. It can be easy to lose relationships and your job after becoming addicted. The brain changes that occur as a result of drug use can make it challenging for you to avoid using drugs or alcohol, but a combination of medical and psychological treatment strategies like those implemented by substance addiction treatment centers can be effective. Substance abuse treatment should be ongoing and adjusted as a patient responds.
Some people can become easily addicted to substances while others don’t form a dependency on drugs or alcohol after a history of casual use. Several factors may influence whether an individual develops an addiction. These include genetics. Social pressure and behavioral influences from family members and friends can also make it easier to become addicted when it is learned by example or a cause of great stress in an individual. Physical abuse, early exposure to substances, and parental guidance (or parental neglect) are additional factors that increase the risk of an addiction.
Addiction treatment in Los Angeles can help an individual manage their addiction and successfully prevent a relapse. Drug use and addiction may be prevented with outreach programs targeted toward schools and communities. Both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs are available for teenagers and adults who want to begin the recovery process with professional help. Some insurance companies may cover the full cost of the treatment.
Recognizing addiction and substance abuse
Almost 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 12 struggles with substance abuse. Those living with a drug addiction will typically be compelled to indulge in drug use on a daily or frequent basis. You may have intense urges to use the substance or you may have developed risky habits without worrying about the consequences. You may not be meeting school or work obligations. You may find yourself going to extreme lengths and doing whatever is necessary to get a drug when you want to maintain your usage. If you have tried and failed to give up your habit on your own and have even experienced withdrawal symptoms as a result, you most likely have some degree of substance use disorder.
Those who have a family member or friend living with an addiction can look for common signs that include changes in the person’s everyday behavior. The individual may go to extreme lengths to bar their family members from going into their room and can also be secretive about their whereabouts during the day. Those who have an addiction often begin to demonstrate poor performance at school or work, which can result in bad grades or unemployment.
Developing an addiction can also lead to financial issues where the individual suddenly requests money or begins to steal. Meth, cocaine, and heroin are some of the most common substances that are abused.
Warning signs of addiction
Individuals who are suffering from substance abuse in Los Angeles can be diagnosed if they meet the criteria of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The individual undergoes a thorough evaluation, which includes an appointment with a psychiatrist and a licensed alcohol and drug counselor. Lab and drug tests are commonly used to assess drug use and also monitor the recovery process if the individual receives treatment. Insurance companies often cover the cost of outpatient or inpatient drug abuse treatment programs and follow the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to reimburse the individual.
If you suspect that your loved one has a problem with substance use, there are a number of indicators to watch for. The signs include failing to meet obligations or fulfill responsibilities, cutting back on social activities, taking more drugs than intended, developing a tolerance to regular dosages, and having physical withdrawal symptoms when the drug is absent.
After you have been diagnosed with an addiction by a medical professional, you can be referred to a drug addiction recovery center. Both inpatient substance abuse treatment programs and outpatient programs are available to provide you with tools and resources to build a new life and avoid relapse. Those who enroll in drug and alcohol inpatient treatment in Los Angeles will need to begin the first stage immediately, which involves drug detoxification. Support groups and individual therapy are also provided each day so that you can learn how to overcome the addiction and avoid common triggers upon completing the program.
Substances that cause addiction
Although many people may begin using a controlled substance recreationally, many drugs can become addictive. This is true with both illegal and prescription drugs. The main thing that all addictive substances have in common is that they flood your brain’s reward center with a neurotransmitter called dopamine. This creates a rush of pleasure that your body will first enjoy and later crave. The most addictive substances are typically the ones that cause the most extreme response and withdrawal symptoms. If you are struggling with substance abuse in Los Angeles, you can increase your odds of recovery with early intervention through drug treatment or alcohol abuse treatment.