Substance Abuse

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People are not addicted to alcohol or drugs, they are addicted to escaping reality.

Nearly 50 million Americans have a substance use disorder, yet few get the help they need. Many individuals are still working and managing day-to-day responsibilities while battling an addiction. They are feeling the effects. Their friends and family are feeling the effects. And if they’re working, their coworkers are feeling the effects, too.

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So why don’t people ask for help when they so desperately need it?

There are many barriers to accessing substance abuse treatment. Denial is a big one, as many people who use substances believe they have things under control and can quit when they want. Others know deep down that there’s an issue, but they don’t want to admit it because they’re not ready to change. And others deal with barriers like stigma and not knowing where to go for help.

Lotus Recovery is dedicated to changing lives for those who are ready. At our substance abuse treatment in Thousand Oaks, CA we want to educate individuals and families on the nature of substance use and where to go for help so that they can access services when they are ready. Too often, people feel that they need to be at rock bottom to seek support, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Treatment services are available for mild, moderate and severe addictions.

What is a Substance Use Disorder?

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a complex condition that involves using substances uncontrollably, despite harmful consequences. People with SUD will do just about anything to obtain drugs or alcohol, to the point that their day-to-day functioning is impaired. Once an SUD becomes severe, it is considered an addiction.

When you develop an addiction, it means that your brain has already changed, primarily when it comes to judgment, decision making, learning, memory and behavioral control. As a result, you may have distorted thinking and behaviors and changes in personality. The changes that occur in the brain also make it harder to stop using drugs or alcohol.

Through repeated use of substances, the brain learns to depend on drugs or alcohol to feel good. If you stop using substances, physical withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, sweating and insomnia, are likely to occur. Meanwhile, the levels of feel-good chemicals in the brain drop, causing a wide range of mental and emotional symptoms, including a loss of pleasure from everyday activities.

As you can see, recovering from a substance use disorder can seem like all odds are stacked against you. Your brain is reliant on drugs or alcohol to feel pleasure and relaxation, and your body is dependent on substances to feel normal and avoid withdrawal symptoms. But, there is hope. Substance use disorders are treatable.

Do You Need Treatment for Substance Abuse?

So, how do you know if you have a substance use problem in the first place? A lot of times, people realize they have a problem when their life starts to revolve around substance use. But there are many other warning signs and symptoms such as:

  • Impaired control. Do you have strong cravings or desires to use drugs or alcohol? Have you tried to quit or cut back with no luck?
  • Social problems. Substance use makes it difficult to have a healthy social life. You may find yourself struggling to complete tasks at home, school or work, and you may have given up activities you once enjoyed to make more room for substance use.
  • Risky use. Are you using substances in risky situations, such as by driving after drinking or having unprotected sex after meth use? When you’re under the influence, it’s harder to make smart decisions that keep you safe. Instead, you’re more inclined to be impulsive and put yourself in danger.
  • Drug effects. When you consume drugs or alcohol, do you need larger quantities or more frequent uses to produce the same effects? If so, this means your body is developing a tolerance.
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Substance Abuse Treatment in Thousand Oaks

Lotus Recovery recognizes the work that needs to be put into the recovery process and how individuals must make a daily effort to remain sober. However, we know that recovery is possible, as we’ve watched many people climb out of the destruction they were in, fight back against adversity and rebuild their lives. This process doesn’t happen overnight, but you have a lifetime to work on it if you get healthy today.

Because substance use disorders affect many areas of life, multiple types of treatment are generally required. It’s also important to diagnose any co-occurring conditions that could be contributing to your substance use, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder or generalized anxiety disorder.

Once you have been accurately diagnosed by our medical team, you will be given an individualized treatment plan that may include:

  • Medications to treat drug cravings, relieve withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse.
  • Psychotherapy to help you better understand the reasons behind your substance use, as well as to develop coping skills and higher self-esteem.
  • Therapeutic communities, such as sober housing, provide a structured, drug-free environment to live in. Meanwhile, you can work on your recovery and apply the skills you’re learning to the real-world.
  • Mutual-aid groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous give you the chance to meet others who are facing similar struggles.
  • Self-help groups that include family members, as addiction is a family disease that affects everyone.
  • Inpatient and outpatient programs are highly structured and provide treatment and complementary therapies to support your recovery journey.

Lotus Recovery provides substance abuse treatment in Thousand Oaks.

Contact our admissions team today to learn more about putting an end to your substance use and transforming your life.

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