What is Drug Abuse?

Defining drug abuse isn’t always easy. A majority of people use prescription and recreational drugs. However, using doesn’t necessarily mean you have an addiction. What is drug abuse? To answer this question let’s explore how to identify substance abuse, why it’s so dangerous, and how to treat it.
What is Drug Abuse?
There are two main methods for classifying drug abuse. The first is the recreational use of almost any drug. The second is the inappropriate use of prescription drugs.
There is virtually no responsible way to use illegal drugs. These drugs have no medical benefits, but they do have multiple side effects. Therefore, any method of using these is likely abuse.
However, people abuse prescription drugs much differently. Obviously, many individuals need prescription drugs for their overall health. Additionally, experts consider it abuse when a person uses prescription medications inappropriately.
For example, taking a drug without a prescription is a clear sign of abuse. The same is true if a person takes more than the medical professional recommends, or for longer than they suggest.
Spotting the Signs of Drug Abuse
Overall, there are various signs of drug abuse. These can be physical, financial, or behavioral.
Often, physical signs are the most obvious. For example, drug abuse can cause rapid weight loss or gain, and dramatically changes a person’s sleep cycle. You might notice sores or scabs on the skin, as well. These are injection spots for consuming the drug. Keep an eye out for drug paraphernalia, as well.
Furthermore, you can confidently conclude drug abuse if you find multiple bottles of prescription medications in someone’s living space. They also might clearly discuss doctor shopping. This is the practice of going to more than one clinic at the same time to collect prescription drugs. Substance abusers usually do this when they’re primary care physician won’t prescribe to them anymore.
Not to mention, drug abuse changes a person’s behavior. Previously outgoing people can quickly withdraw socially when using. A person who took pride in their appearance might begin lacking hygiene. Pay attention to these notable behavioral changes to identify a drug abuse problem.
The Risks of Abusing Drugs
Any form of drug abuse leads to harrowing consequences. For example, you might: ruin your career, fall into financial problems, or suffer serious health complications. Abusing drugs greatly increases your chances of overdosing, as well. Unfortunately, addiction quickly develops after a person abuses drugs for any length of time.
Overcoming Drug Abuse
If we’ve answered, “What is drug abuse?” overcoming it begins with a detox. Fortunately, medical supervision mitigates withdrawal symptoms. Following this process, patients go to rehab where they make meaningful recovery progress. At Steps to Recovery, you’ll have access to custom treatment plans including:
• Psychotherapy
• Behavioral therapy
• Sober living
• Relapse prevention counseling
Above all, understanding drug abuse is the first step to ending it. At Steps to Recovery in Levittown, Pennsylvania, you’ll have the opportunity to conquer drug abuse and addiction. If you’re ready to overcome your struggles, call 866-488-8684 today. It’s never too late to get the help you need.
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Undergoing a Psychiatric Evaluation

Many people mistakenly believe addiction treatment only involves going through detox. However, addiction is a complex disease. For comprehensive recovery, psychiatric care is often necessary. Find out how undergoing a psychiatric evaluation is key to the addiction recovery process.

The Link Between Mental Health and Addiction

First, you must understand the relationship between mental health and addiction. In fact, more than half of people with mental illnesses also suffer from a substance abuse disorder. Conversely, addiction can sometimes cause individuals to suffer from mental health concerns like depression or anxiety.
While this connection is clear, during recovery, patients deserve psychological help and medical support. An evaluation is a great way to determine whether a patient needs extra help. Through this assessment, patients can better assess the specific care they need for long-term sobriety.
What to Expect From a Psychiatric Evaluation
Anyone planning to attend a rehab program should expect a psychiatric assessment prior to admission. Often, this takes less than an hour. Overall, it’s a chance for incoming patients to speak with medical professionals. Typically, it’s an informal question and answer process.
Sometimes, patients have mental health concerns. Or, they might have a diagnosis from years past. They can share this during the psychiatric evaluation.
A psychiatrist also asks leading questions, assessing the answers to diagnose mental health issues. Conversation topics might include fears, life’s challenges, previous experiences, or worries about recovery. The information from this assessment goes toward a diagnosis, and addiction specialists use it to create a custom plan for a patient’s individual needs.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
Dual diagnosis is diagnosing and treating two disorders simultaneously. Often, this involves a substance abuse disorder and a mental health disorder. Above all, it’s vital to treat both conditions at the same time.
If you treat mental health conditions first, then addictive behavior could return. Likewise, if you treat addiction first, underlying mental health concerns could derail recovery. Therefore, simultaneous support is the best way to ensure patients leave rehab with the skills, resources, and the ability to stay sober.
Comprehensive Addiction Treatment at Steps to Recovery
At Steps to Recovery, dual diagnosis care can be the answer. If you or a loved one has struggled with addiction, relapsed in the past, or need help for mental health concerns, then dual diagnosis needs to be a part of the recovery plan. A comprehensive plan to treat mental and physical aspects of addiction includes:
• Family support group and education courses
• Individual addiction counseling
• Cognitive behavioral therapy
• Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
• Group therapy
A psychiatric evaluation could help patients get the custom care they need for overcoming addiction. At Steps to Recovery in Levittown, Pennsylvania, help is available. Take the next step to health, sobriety, and happiness by calling 866-488-8684.
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The Steps of Recovery From Addiction

Recovery from addiction is tough, but it’s not impossible. However, understand there isn’t a quick fix. You’ll need to make your way through the steps to recovery from addiction to permanently overcome your problem. Take a look at the specific stages of recovery to prepare for the journey ahead.
The Steps to Recovery From Addiction
The first step is acknowledging the problem. Often, people don’t receive the necessary treatment. They justify prescription drug use as necessary for pain management or claim their alcohol use is under control. Simply recognizing that you’re struggling with addiction means you’re serious about overcoming this obstacle once and for all.
Seeking Professional Help
The next step is understanding you can’t overcome addiction alone. No matter your commitment to sobriety or how much family support you have, the best chance of success is with drug rehab. Professional medical support and psychologists, as well as addiction specialists, guide you through the process so you can successfully reach sobriety.
Sadly, very few people who need treatment actually seek treatment. Don’t become part of this statistic. Instead of fighting through a DIY detox or risking your health in the process, commit to a professional rehab program.
Addressing the Causes of Addiction
During rehab, you’ll start to identify factors that led to addiction. These are unique to everyone. They might start with genetic factors, but also include things like a history of trauma, poor stress management skills, or mental health concerns.
Only after you identify these, is it possible to begin working toward resolving them. Not only will this aid your recovery, it will help you become an overall healthier person.
Preparing For a Lifetime of Sobriety
Relapse is always an obstacle in the weeks, months, and years after rehab. For this reason, many treatment programs emphasize relapse prevention.
This might start with recruiting family members who offer ongoing support. It could also include continuing care or finding a local support group after rehab.
Furthermore, it involves identifying temptations and learning how to respond to them, as well. Often, a subtle mood change could motivate you to relapse. Preparing for these circumstances goes a long way in preventing relapse.
Overcoming Addiction at Steps to Recovery
At Steps to Recovery, your journey to lasting health and sobriety begins today. We offer a variety of programs, and you’ll have the necessary tools to overcome drug or alcohol addiction. The therapies we offer our patients during treatment include:
• Dual diagnosis programs
• Individual psychotherapy
• Group therapy
• Family therapy
• Sober living
Following each of the steps to recovery from addiction prepares you for a life well-lived. At Steps to Recovery in Levittown, Pennsylvania, you’ll have support every step of the way. Call 866-488-8684 to learn more about your personalized treatment plan for lifelong recovery.
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