Substance abuse treatment

What Is Your Poison?


Substance Abuse

man carrying ape on backSubstance abuse can be defined as a pattern of the harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. What may have once been an occasional recreational use has become a more consistent pattern of abuse.

Sometimes the substance abuse progresses to the point that the person becomes addicted or dependent upon the substance. In other words his tolerance has grown such that he now has a habit which requires regular use to avoid withdrawal symptoms.

A person can also be a substance abuser and not necessarily be “dependent” upon the substance. He can, for example, get trashed on random occasions.

In other words this form of substance abuse has to do with excessive use of drugs or alcohol intermittently. Here the substance abuser simply is not responsible in the way he or she uses drugs or alcohol and will become inappropriately altered, causing himself, friends or family embarrassment and potential harm.


How Does It Happen?

In a climate where alcohol is everywhere, pills are often over prescribed, pot is almost legal and street drugs are pretty easy to score, a vulnerable person can get caught up in an addictive, compulsive loop.

When someone finds that they are no longer in control of using whatever it is they are using, we generally see them as a substance abuser.

In our society there is a tendency to overdo things. We seek out newer and better experiences, we want more space, we crave more excitement, and we seem to need more attention.

Some people almost always want more, often not satisfied or grateful for what they actually have. The dissatisfaction with oneself can be the beginning of a downward spiral.

Instead of looking within and soul searching (through therapy, religion or any other means available) the person seeks comfort in the escape substances appear to offer.


Some Serious Questions

You may have been using substances for a long time or you may have become a more recent substance abuser. In any case, either you or someone you love may be reading this information and looking for a solution.

You will want to consider your answers to the following questions to get a better sense of where you stand.

Do Any of the Following Scenarios Apply to You?

  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence)?
  • Fighting with a spouse or even strangers while under the influence?
  • Being arrested due to substance abuse?
  • Causing embarrassment to yourself, your family or friends while under the influence?
  • Being late for or not being able to show up for work or social events because of your substance use?
  • Thinking about using throughout the day?
  • Obsessing about how to get your drug of choice?
  • Have friends or family members asked you to cut down or stop?
  • Are you anxious or depressed about what you are doing to yourself and your family?

What Are the Treatment Options?

Depending on how far along a person is in their substance abuse or addiction there are several treatment options.

Detoxification: Detox is necessary when a person has become dependent upon the substance and needs to go through a medical withdrawal. This process can last several days (or longer dependent on what drug has been used) and needs to be conducted under tight medical supervision. It can sometimes be done on an outpatient basis but that is determined in the assessment.

Inpatient Rehabilitation: This level of care is used when someone is deemed unable to function in his normal environment. He can determine that on his own but often it is determined with the help of his family and a professional. Inpatient programs can run from about 30 days to several months and are designed to help the client learn to use and incorporate good coping strategies and restructure his perspective on life.

Intensive Outpatient Programs: These are programs requiring the client to come to outpatient treatment meetings several times a week over many weeks. It has a group therapy component as does the inpatient treatment program.

AA or NA Meetings: Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are self-help group meetings based on the AA 12 step program. They offer the recovering substance abuser a community of likeminded folks who are typically at different levels of recovery. These programs are often part of any of the treatment options because it offers the client a place to go and people to talk to whenever he feels the need.

Individual Therapy: There are those clients who choose not to go to a rehab facility. They may decide to tackle the business of staying clean and sober with the help of a professional who understands the process. If the client is a candidate for outpatient detoxification we can work together with the help of a medical doctor trained in addictions. If detox is unnecessary we can address his issues on an individual basis.


What Should I do?

If you or someone you know is dealing with substance abuse or addiction it is time to get help!

Many people resort to using drugs and alcohol to medicate their anxious or depressed feelings. In these cases when we clear up the abuse problem we are then able to work on the cause.

Whatever the causes, substance abuse is a very serious problem.

I can help! I have extensive experience with drug and alcohol treatment and use different modalities to help my clients recover.

Please email or call me for a confidential, cost free consultation.

Services are rendered either at my office located at 2999 NE 191 St. Suite 703, Miami, Florida 33180 or through video conference via Skype. Serving all of the greater Miami area or, through video conference, anywhere that there is broadband internet connection.