Abuse of alcohol, tobacco, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs is thought to affect around 21 million Americans, with prescription pain relievers being misused by 3.8 million people and over 27 million people admitting to using an illegal drug within the last month.

Our skilled doctors, psychiatrists, and therapists are experienced working with people suffering from drug abuse and dependence and work together to create an individualized treatment plan to help every patient transition back to a life free from drugs and addiction

What is Drug Abuse and Addiction?

Drug abuse is defined as an ongoing pattern of drug use in a way that causes harm to the user or others. This includes taking illegal drugs for their sedative, stimulating, or euphoric effects, taking prescription drugs for non-medical uses, or consuming alcohol in larger amounts or more regularly than occasional recreational consumption that’s acceptable in Western society.

When it comes to tobacco and alcohol, it can be difficult drawing the line between “normal” use and abuse, however, any use of illicit drugs or misuse of prescription medication may be considered drug abuse.

Drug addiction occurs after repeated drug use and causes the user to feel reliant on the drug, often interfering with their normal life. Drug addicts may go to extreme lengths to keep taking the drug, despite harmful consequences on their health, relationships, and career.

Some drugs may cause a physical addiction, where the user feels withdrawal symptoms such as body shakes, nausea, and stomach upsets if they go without taking the drug. Other drugs are psychologically addictive, which can cause intense cravings, depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

Warning Signs of Drug Abuse

Drug abusers often start out taking drugs recreationally and do not realize they have a substance abuse problem until they are addicted.

Signs and symptoms of drug abuse and addiction include:

  • Intense and regular urges to use the drug
  • Spending excessive amounts of money on buying drugs
  • Work, school, and home life suffering due to drug use
  • Stealing and other criminal activities
  • Poor performance or problems at work or school
  • Bloodshot eyes or neglecting physical appearance
  • Stolen or missing money or frequently asking to borrow money
  • Finding pills or drug paraphernalia
  • Track marks or bruises on the body
  • Changes in mood or behavior such as increased aggression
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Unusual sleeping habits
  • Weight loss or fluctuations
  • Missing prescription drugs that are prescribed to others


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Risks of Drug Abuse

Drug abuse and dependence can affect all aspects of the user’s life including physical and mental health, personal relationships, career, finances, and legal issues. The specific risks depend on the drugs that are being taken and the method of using them.

Physical health risks

  • Risk of contracting HIV, hepatitis, and other blood-borne diseases
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Lung disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Weakened immune system
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Seizures and brain damage
  • Birth defects
  • Overdose and death

Mental health risks

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Schizophrenia
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressiveness
  • Impulsiveness
  • Suicide

Other risks

  • Loss of job or exclusion from school
  • Legal problems due to crimes committed in order to support the drug habit
  • Financial problems
  • Increased risk of accident and injuries

Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug abuse treatment can help individuals to deal with physical and psychological awareness to break the cycle of addiction and free them from drug dependence.

The first step to recovering from drug dependence is to go through a detoxification process to remove all traces of the drug. During this process, patients will go through withdrawal in a safe and medically monitored process, after which they will be free from the physical symptoms of addiction and can focus on the psychological aspects of recovery.

Depending on the individual, we can help those trapped in their drug addiction with a combination of different types of counseling and therapy, including group therapy, family therapy, anger management, art therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

We offer a number of different programs in a JCAHO and DHCS accredited facility so you can be assured of the highest possible quality of care and the best chance of complete recovery from any kind of drug abuse problem.

Begin again and start your sober journey today.


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Call Today: 877-377-3702
9535 Reseda Blvd. Suite 300, Northridge, CA 91324

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