WHAT WE TREAT Drug Addiction

The path to addiction is often accidental.
Recreational use. A prescription.
A way to manage stress and emotions.
Then – it takes over.

Call: 1 (831) 372-4366

TREATMENT IS A CHOICE

For most people, drug addiction – what we now call substance use disorder – develops as an emotional or psychological coping mechanism. It’s a survival strategy. When faced with overwhelming or painful feelings and circumstances, you use drugs for temporary relief – and it works.

Since it works, you keep doing it.

Meanwhile, the drug changes you. It rewires the part of your brain that determines what’s important. The changes in your brain cause you to prioritize seeking and using drugs over the things that matter most. You may choose drug use over work obligations, family responsibilities, school, sports, and friendship – without realizing that’s what you’re doing.

As the drug changes your mind, it also changes your body. Prolonged exposure to drugs can damage your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, digestive system, musculoskeletal system, endocrine system (hormones), and your immune system. Smoking drugs increases risk of lung cancer. Injecting drugs increases the likelihood of contracting infectious diseases such as hepatitis or HIV.

You can live with these changes in your brain, behavior, and body for years – until something happens that opens your eyes. It may be a health, family, or work crisis – or it may happen out of the blue. However it happens, in that moment, you realize your coping mechanism no longer works. Your drug use no longer offers temporary relief, but instead causes pain and suffering. Not only for you, but also for the people who love you.

That’s the moment you decide. Continue living in the cycles of addiction, or seek professional help to bring your mind, body, and spirit back into balance.

That’s the moment to choose treatment.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DRUG ADDICTION

If you’re uncertain whether you’ve developed a substance use disorder, consider the following list. Do you:

  • Experience intense cravings for the drug
  • Spend time planning how to acquire the drug
  • Use the drug daily, or more than once a day
  • Need to use more of the drug to experience the same effect
  • Think about the drug instead of things like family, work, or school
  • Spend money meant for things like food or rent on drugs
  • Lie to friends and family about your drug use
  • Drive while under the influence of drugs
  • Take drugs to avoid withdrawal symptoms
  • Steal money or sell personal possessions to get money for drugs
  • Withdraw from friends and family because of drug use
  • Experience problems at work, home, or school because of drug use
  • Continue to use drugs when you know they cause problems at work, home, or school
  • Find yourself unable to stop using drugs

You’re the only one who knows the real answers to these questions. If you haven’t reached a crisis moment, but you do engage in the behaviors and experience the thoughts we describe, we encourage you to take a long look at this list, be completely honest with yourself, and answer this question:

Do I have a substance use disorder?

EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENT FOR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER

If you answer yes to that question, we want you to understand you’re not the only one. Data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) show that in 2018, over 20 million adults in the U.S. were diagnosed with substance use disorder. In real terms, this means you probably know more than one person who has already walked a mile – or maybe more – in your shoes.

Data also shows that treatment works. The most effective treatment:

  • Recognizes and adopts the disease model of addiction: the disordered use of substances is a medical condition, rather than a character flaw, moral failing, or lack of willpower
  • Addresses the entire person: mind, body, and spirit
  • Integrates various modes of treatment – group and individual therapy and counseling, community support, lifestyle changes, family involvement, and in some cases, medication – into an individualized plan that’s dynamic, flexible, and can change over time.

At Beacon House, we embrace the concept of integrated, comprehensive treatment. Our holistic approach is entirely based on you. When you arrive, we conduct a full medical and psychiatric evaluation. We listen to you, learn about your goals for treatment, and work with you to create a plan tailored to meet your specific needs. Your plan will give you the tools you need to start your recovery journey with the best possible chance of living the life of your choosing – free from the cycles of addiction.