Millions of people across the nation face struggles with substance abuse. Because addiction affects everyone differently, finding the “right” treatment plan for you is vital to ensuring successful and lasting recovery.

What Causes Addiction?

Addiction occurs for a variety of reasons. Although drug or alcohol use may be voluntary (or experimental) early on, “one time” or occasional use can rapidly evolve into something far more dangerous. Addiction is a complex disease that affects the brain leading to structural and functional changes. Research into addiction has identified several risk factors that contribute to the development of addiction, although there are likely more that remain undiscovered.

There are several known risk factors for addiction. However, it is essential to remember that the disease of addiction affects each person in different ways. Also, the substance or substances they use will affect the development of addiction. Research indicates if someone has multiple risk factors for addiction, they are at a greater risk for abusing substances and developing a substance use disorder. Known risk factors for addiction include:

  • Experimenting with substances before age 18.
  • Developmental challenges such as parental neglect, trauma, and aggressive behaviors in childhood.
  • Access to drugs or alcohol at school or home.
  • Genetic factors
  • Environmental factors such as peer pressure
  • Biological gender (gender at birth).
  • Underlying mental health challenges

What are the Signs of Substance Abuse?

When someone first uses a drug or drinks alcohol, they often “feel good.” These perceived positive effects of drug use appear to cause improved mood and relaxation. Early on, many people who begin experimenting with drugs and alcohol believe they can control how much or how often they use. However, before long, substances take over, and they find they cannot stop using or drinking even if they want to.

In time, as drug use or drinking continue, other activities that once brought feelings of pleasure or joy no longer offer satisfaction. At this point, taking a drug or drinking alcohol becomes the only way to feel happy, and using is necessary just to feel a sense of normalcy. You may feel compelled to seek or take substances even though you are aware of the harmful consequences using or drinking may cause. You may also begin using in higher and more frequent doses to maintain the “high” substances provide. These are among the earliest signs of substance abuse.

Before long, a range of physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms will develop. These may include changes in weight, changes in personal hygiene, sleeping pattern changes, increased isolation, new or worsening physical health challenges, legal problems involving substance use, worsening mental health symptoms, financial problems, stealing substances, mood changes, and avoiding necessary obligations to use or drink.

What are the Most Effective Approaches to Substance Abuse Treatment?

Addiction is a disease without a cure; however, it is possible to learn how to manage substance use disorder symptoms with early and specialized treatment. The most effective approaches to substance abuse treatment involve evidence-based, comprehensive treatment that addresses the person’s holistic needs. Your treatment program should be developed based on your specific treatment needs. It should include the necessary components necessary to help you achieve lasting sobriety.

For many, the first part of treatment involves detox. Detox is a necessary step towards cleansing your body of all harmful substances that inhibit your ability to focus on healing. During therapy, you will participate in a range of individual and group therapy sessions. Depending on the program and your unique treatment model, therapies including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, motivational interviewing, and family therapies might be used. Because addiction affects everyone differently, the treatment that works best for you might differ from someone else.  

How to Find Women’s Only Substance Abuse Treatment in Santa Barbara, CA

Seeking help at a women’s only substance abuse treatment center in Santa Barbara, California, can help you begin your journey towards recovery. At our specialized women’s rehab, we understand the unique needs of women seeking to overcome addiction struggles. Working towards sobriety surrounded by peers who share similar treatment goals provides an environment of support and safety. Let us help you overcome addiction and start over without the weight of drug or alcohol addiction. Contact Casa Serena today to learn more about our Santa Barbara women’s only substance abuse treatment programs.

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