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Substance Abuse Treatment Information

Substance abuse treatment is a hot topic and the causes of substance abuse are a long standing debate. To those of you struggling this may be of no concern at this very moment in your life. All you know is that you need help and that is what we are here to do. The highly trained professionals at AddictionWatch.com are well versed on the various substance abuse programs and can help you understand what you need to do to overcome your addiction and stop the madness.

Our mission is to provide with comprehensible substance abuse and treatment information. Being educated about substance abuse and its treatment goes a long way in getting you on the road to recovery. We hope to provide some direction and guidance in these confusing and overwhelming times. Of course if you need immediate assistance, call our 800 hotline and let the counselors at AddictionWatch.com get you on the path to recovery.

Substance Abuse or Dependence?

Most addicts abuse drugs and alcohol for well over a decade before seeking treatment. It all starts out innocently enough with substance misuse to abuse and onto being dependent.  People who think “it will never happen to me” have usually well on their way down the dwindling spiral of addiction before they know it. This happens because most people do not know the difference between substance misuse, substance abuse and/or dependence.  Quite often the lines are crossed so fast it all becomes a blur. As family member or someone who may be in recovery knowing the difference could save someone’s life, quite possibly your own.

Thankfully there are defining factors that help determine the difference between substance abuse and substance dependence. We hope explaining the difference will help you determine what you need to do next.

Substance Abuse – Is defined as a pattern of substance use leading to substantial impairment as defined by at least one of four conditions taking place in a 12 month period.

  • Habitual substance use causing the inability to function or fulfill major responsibilities at work, school or at home.
  • Repeated substance use in physically dangerous situations.
  • There are frequent legal problems as a result of substance use
  • There is continued substance use regardless of persistent or regular social or personal problems caused or intensified by use of the substance.

If at least one of the four above occurs in a twelve month period, please pay attention, there is a substance abuse problem. You should also know that if a person has ever met the criteria for substance dependence, substance abuse cannot be diagnosed for that category of substances.

Substance Dependence – Is defined as a pattern of substance use leading to significant impairment as confirmed by exhibiting three or more of the following conditions taking place in a twelve month period, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

  • Tolerance is present, meaning that using the same amount of any substance with little effect or more of the substance is needed to get the high or intoxication desired.
  • Withdrawal is present as exhibited by the symptoms associated with that substance or a substitute drug is being taken to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • The substance is taken for extended periods of time in larger quantities and a longer time frame than intended.
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or quit.
  • A significant amount of time is consumed with activities to obtain the substance.
  • Important social, occupational or recreational activities are altered or dismissed because of substance use.
  • Continued substance use in the presence of physical or psychological problems caused by the abuse.

Substance Abuse Treatment Methodologies

Substance abuse, like many other societal problem or mental disorder is a complex issue devastating communities across the country. There are many facets to substance abuse and addiction with nearly as many viewpoints as there are addictions. Some of the viewpoints have validity, but many researchers admit to not having an answer to the causes of substance abuse. The truth is there are several contributing factors involved that lead to addiction.

Most substance abuse treatment experts admit there is no magical cure for addiction that can help any addict reach and maintain sobriety. There are treatment programs out there that can provide a much higher level of success but it all depends on the addict and to put it bluntly… the family.

Theories about the causes of addiction and the subsequent treatments are quite often categorized in similar groups because of their similarities and their differences.

  • Biopsychsocial
  • Medical
  • Clinical
  • Social

Each of these classifications warrants a webpage of itself for a full explanation. If you would care to know more about any of them please fill out the form to the right or all our 800 hotline and speak to a AddictionWatch.com substance abuse specialists.

There is a variety of substance abuse treatment counseling theories employed to treat these addiction classifications. To name a few there such therapies as:

  • Psychoanalysis
  • Adlerian Therapy
  • Existential Therapy
  • Gestalt therapy
  • Person Centered Therapy
  • Reality therapy
  • Rational Emotive Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Bio-Physical/Cognitive Therapy

Then there are the self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Al-anon and AlaTeen all using the traditional 12 Step Program. Additionally there are other self-help groups like Rational Recovery, Moderate Management and The Secular Organization for Sobriety.


For questions about any of the above information, substance abuse treatment therapies, self-help groups or if you need us to hook you up with a facility please give our counselors a call. That’s what we are here for!




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"I have to tell you I was not ready to accept what you had to say, at all. I couldn't believe nor did I like what I was hearing. At first you really made me mad, but as things progressed what you were telling me became ever so true. My husband's alcoholism was tearing our family apart. Thanks for your honesty and your willingness to put up with my unbelievable attitude. Its people like you who make the world go round, only in a saner manner! Thanks again! " - DH

"I had no idea why my son, who have watched go from the most gracious caring kid, to a lying thieving con artist who I didn't want to wipe my feet on. Heroin addiction has to be the worst thing a family can go through, not only did you guide me through what is probably the worst experience I have ever had, you followed up to make sure we were doing okay. You and the counselors at AddictionWatch are truly an asset to society." - HS

"When my daughter finally appeared on our doorstep, thanks to your advice we knew exactly what to do. I felt as though I have known you for years, and we are forever grateful to the knowledge we have gained through your service. My daughter's prescription addiction, lead to a heroin addiction and she was doing unimaginable things to support her habit; it was a life of hell. She has been in the program you referred us to and we are already seeing drastic changes for the better. Thanks so much!" - BC