Harm reduction and Narcan presentation for the Grammy’s nonprofit, Musicares on 1/17/19 from 11 AM- 1 PM. Hosted by Pacific Solstice, CCAPP, and Musicares.

Addiction & Recovery Basics

What does addiction look like? It’s difficult to say. Also referred to as substance use disorder, addiction can impact people from all backgrounds and economic status. Addiction can also cover a wide range of substances as well as behaviors.

Complex, baffling, and challenging, addiction can be difficult to comprehend. But in order to successfully treat substance abuse and achieve recovery, it’s important to remove the stigma and shame associated with addiction and understand it for what it is: a disorder that, like a disease, is treatable with the right approach and support. Here we provide an overview some of the most common forms of substance use disorders, their symptoms, and health impact.

Double exposure of a person's head, then moving to the side.

Stimulant Use Disorder

At Pacific Solstice Outpatient Rehab, we know that many people who suffer from Stimulant Abuse / Stimulant Use Disorders are intelligent and fun people. As you read, please be aware of our sincere respect for you as a person, not just the trouble with stimulant abuse you or your loved one is experiencing.

Stimulants make people more alert, focused/attentive, and raise their blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. Stimulants come in a variety of forms, including amphetamines, cocaine, and methamphetamines. Prescription medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are also often stimulants. Improper use of stimulants (other than when used as prescribed by a doctor) can lead to hostility, paranoia, and even psychotic symptoms.

Lastly, please note that our outpatient rehab for substance abuse, when working with stimulant abusers in our outpatient treatment programs we borrow our information and research from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM V), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) to define the different types and descriptions of stimulants: cocaine and methamphetamine.

Three young men walking down the street.

Sedative-Related Disorders, Hypnotic-Related Disorders or Anxiolytic-Related Disorders

At Pacific Solstice, Orange County’s Premier Addiction Outpatient Rehab, we know that many people who suffer from Sedative, Hypnotic and Anxiolytic-Related Disorders did not set out to be addicted or abuse these drugs, but rather used these medication to manage sleep and anxiety related issues, as well as the effects of other substances (i.e. alleviate the unwanted symptoms of cocaine).

This drug classification includes all prescription sleeping medication and almost all prescription anti-anxiety medications. This includes benzodiazepines (benzos), benzodiazepine-like substances (zaleplon, zolpidem), carbamates, barbituates, and barbiturate-like substances.

Whether you started abusing these drugs in your teen years or early 20s or developed a need of these drugs after a doctor prescribed you these drugs, please know at Pacific Solstice, our outpatient treatment can help you or your loved one get your life back.

Lastly, please note that as well educated and trained mental health and substance abuse clinicians, we borrow our information and research from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-V) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to define the different types and descriptions of OUD.

Benzodiazepines can provide effective treatment for anxiety and sleep conditions; however, benzodiazepines can be abused and this abuse can lead to dependency, injury and even death. “The misuse of benzodiazepines along with other prescription drugs is fueling the rise of treatment admissions,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “Prescription drug misuse is dangerous and can even be deadly.”

SYMPTOMS

According to the DSM-V, there are 11 symptoms of Sedative-, Hypnotic-, or Anxiolytic-Related Disorders and in order for a person to be diagnosed with this disorder, he or she must have two of the following symptoms in the past 12 months.

  • Larger amounts of the drug (i.e. benzodiazepine) are used over a longer period of time than the individual originally intended. (“I can’t believe I have to get another ‘script’ already.”)
  • Although there is a desire to control the use of the drug, efforts usually prove to be unsuccessful and do not last. (“I am only going to take four benzos today.”)
  • More and more of the user’s waking hours are either used to get high or recover from its effects. (“I have to find yet another doctor who will prescribes me more benzos.”)
  • A person experiences an intense need to use. (“If I don’t get more, I am going to be sick.”)
  • The drug use interferes in a person’s ability to function at home and in work. (“I fell asleep and forgot.”)
  • Someone continues to use even though their using has caused personal problems, such as marital problems, conflicts with children or parents, and peer problems. (Your partner says, “It is either me or those damn pills!”)
  • Activities in the workplace, at home or with friends are missed as a result of using. (“I was so out of it, I just forgot.”)
  • Using causes an individual to be in harm’s way. (“What happened? I fell asleep.”)
  • A person continues to use even though they have physical or psychological issues with using. A person needs more and more of the drug to get high or a person appears less high when using the same amount of the drug that previously caused them to be high. (“I need more…”)
  • There are symptoms of withdrawal, such as autonomic hyperactivity (sweating/pulse higher than 100bpm), hand tremor, insomnia, nausea/vomiting, hallucinations, psychomotor agitation, anxiety and grand male seizures. (“I have to get more benzos before I am sick!”)

Opioid Use Disorder

At Pacific Solstice Outpatient Rehab, we know that many people who suffer from Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) did not set out to be addicted or abuse these drugs. OUD does not mean you are “a druggie”. OUD does, however, keep you from living your life, the life you intended to live.

As you read, please know at our rehab we know you are a unique and special individual, not just the OUD you or your loved one is experiencing. Lastly, please note that as well educated, trained and experienced mental health and substance abuse clinicians, we borrow our information and research from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-V) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to define the different types and descriptions of OUD.

FREQUENCY

In 2013, it is estimated that 1.8 million people had an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) related to prescription pain relievers and an estimated 517,000 had an (OUD) related to heroin use. As many of you know, opioids reduce pain by reducing the perception of pain. Opioids also cause drowsiness, mental confusion, and euphoria, which are more positive experiences often. Some negative effects of opioids are nausea, constipation, mental confusion and can depress respiration.

1.8 million

people in 2013 had an Opioid Use Disorder related to prescription pain relievers.

To intensify the high associated with opioid use, some individuals snort or inject the drug, which also increase the risk for health problems, including overdose. Some individuals who started using pain relievers (oxycodone or hydrocodone) prescribed by their doctor, switch to heroin as a result of availability and/or economics. Overdoses associated with heroin on the black market increase due to variables to purity and other drugs mixed in with heroin.

Many of our clients at Pacific Solstice have OUD as a result of their oxycodone/hydrocodone prescription drug use. Some of these clients with OUD never would be addicted to opioids if it were not for the over-prescription of these drugs.

SYMPTOMS

According to the DSM-V, there are 11 symptoms of Opioid Use Disorder and in order for a person to be diagnosed with AUD, he or she must have two of the following symptoms in the past 12 months.

  • Larger amounts of opioids are used over a longer period of time than the individual originally intended. (“I can’t believe I need another prescription.”)
  • Although there is a desire to control the use of opioids, efforts usually prove to be unsuccessful and do not last. (“I am only going to take four pills today.”)
  • More and more of an opioid user’s waking hours are either used to get high or recover from its effects. (“I have to find a new doctor who will prescribes me more.”)
  • A person experiences an intense need to use. (“If I don’t get more heroin, I am going to lose my mind.”)
  • Opioid use interferes in a person’s ability to function at home and in work. (“I forgot to pick up the kids.”)
  • Someone continues to use opioids even though their using has caused personal problems, such as marital problems, conflicts with children or parents, and peer problems. (Your partner says, “It is either me or the drugs!”)
  • Activities in the workplace, at home or with friends are missed as a result of using. (“I was so high I just couldn’t get there.”)
  • Using causes an individual to be in harm’s way. (“What happened last night?”)
  • A person continues to use even though they have physical or psychological issues with drinking. (Your doctor says, “If you don’t stop using…”)
  • A person needs more and more of the drug to get high or a person appears less high when using the same amount of the drug that previously caused them to be high. (“I need more…”)
  • There are symptoms of withdrawal, such as depression, nausea/vomiting, muscle aches, eye watering/nasal congestion, sweating, diarrhea, yawning, fever, or insomnia. Or the drug is taken to relieve these symptoms of withdrawal or avoid the symptoms of withdrawal from even beginning. (“I have to have more oxy or I am going to lose it!”)

Meth

Methamphetamine has both an unusual and unfortunate unique attribute; it is the only illegal substance abuse by both men and women equally. We shall briefly explore the reasons for this, but first some statistics is in order.

Methamphetamine is a toxic synthetic substance that releases more dopamine in the brain than any other substance. It not only floods the central nervous system in an uncontrollable supersaturation of dopamine, it also simultaneously causes that dopamine to stay on the brain’s receptors in a manner that the brain is not designed to withstand. It is vastly more powerful than any other stimulant, such as different forms of cocaine. It takes the brain on average a period of 10 days to refill itself with a natural and organic supply of dopamine.

Although our brains may take six months or longer to recover to normal functioning after extended use, there are thankfully, medical treatments that can make this recovery period much more comfortable. This severe hijacking of the brain’s dopamine system often causes an individual who was suffering from addiction to experience problems in every category other functioning. There can be substantial consequences to a person’s body, finances, issues with the legal system, damage relationships, and a complete loss of one’s true character and personality.

Young woman with brown hair looking at the camera.
Young man looking at the camera.

FREQUENCY

Methamphetamine use is actually a worldwide pandemic with over 25 million people needlessly suffering the catastrophic effects of this devastating addiction. Well over half of the victims of stop terrible affliction are in Asia, closely followed by North America/Europe followed by South America and Africa.

Methamphetamine use is initially attractive because in its early stages it can enhance sexual pleasure, give the user tremendous motivation and energy, assists the individual in rapid weight loss, and is extremely effective in separating an individual from their emotional pain/trauma/past. Often meth abusers cross addict and become sex addicts.

The popularity of methamphetamine use with young people makes it seem like a socially acceptable and fun way of making friends and being popular. At first, this may seem enticing because it makes the user feel like a member of a very select and cool club. This, of course, is a naïve and dangerous illusion.

Why is methamphetamine so particularly compelling for women? Unfortunately, many women have a history of emotional/sexual/physical abuse and trauma. Women are also unfairly overly burdened in most societies with an unrealistic. image of body consciousness (hence the compelling promise a quick weight loss). Women are also more likely to be overwhelmed by conflicting responsibilities of taking care of home and family while working (hence the usefulness of endless energy).

Women also often have special issues to deal with later in recovery. Many women find themselves in a situation of using sex as the only alternative of getting drugs, and some women have suffered the overwhelming feelings of shame and guilt of not having had the ability to provide their children with the love and protection that they otherwise would have had they not been suffering the devastating consequences of this terrible disease.

Survivors of this epidemic are often faced with tremendous wreckage in every aspect of their human functioning. Special care is needed to support and assist an individual in slowly repairing the different categories of their lives over time. Special attention must be given to compassionately address the tremendous remorse and pain that an individual experiences as a result of all this wreckage.

However, people are successfully and wonderfully recovering at our outpatient rehab from this terrible drug. Recovery through our treatment at our rehab from meth abuse is absolutely and completely possible (we get to see it all the time!) Interestingly, success in recovery is just as high for individuals who were forced into treatment, as it is for those who voluntarily applied themselves.

This is really good news. Over time the brain will succeed in its ability to heal itself. The individual will reclaim their true self, their authentic personality, their inherent values, and their basic essence is only given the right support system and treatment. Our outpatient treatment center is here to help you with your meth abuse and co occurring disorders.

SYMPTOMS

According to the DSM-V, there are 11 symptoms of Stimulant Use Disorder and in order for a person to be diagnosed with this disorder, he or she must have two of the following symptoms in the past 12 months.

  • Larger amounts of using the stimulant happen over a longer period of time then the individual originally intended. (“I can’t believe I am still ‘tweaking’.”)
  • Although there is a desire to control the using, efforts usually prove to be unsuccessful and do not last. (“Crap, I didn’t mean get that ‘fried’.”)
  • More and more of a user’s waking hours are either used to get high or recover from using. (“It’s always time to ‘party and play’.”)
  • A person experiences an intense need to use. (“Damn, I need some ‘chalk’.”)
  • Using interferes in a person’s ability to function at home and in work. (“I will be in a little late to work today.”)
  • Someone continues to use even though their drinking has caused personal problems, such as marital problems, conflicts with children or parents, and peer problems. (Your wife says, “It is either me or the meth!”)
  • Activities in the workplace, at home or with friends are missed as a result of using. (“I was hungover and couldn’t make it.”)
  • Using causes an individual to be in harm’s way. (“How did I make it home last night?”)
  • A person continues to use even though they have physical or psychological issues with drinking. (Your doctor says, “If you don’t stop using, you are going to die.”)
  • A person needs more and more of the stimulant to get high or a person appears less high when consuming the same amount of alcohol that previously caused them to be high. (“Wow, I have had three lines and I don’t feel the rush.”)
  • A person gets agitated, uncomfortable in their own skin, irritable, sweats or shakes when stopping use and, as a result, a person starts to use again to stop these negative effects. (“I don’t feel good, I need a line.”)

Cocaine

Our outpatient treatment for cocaine addiction is available now! Cocaine can be snorted while in the powered form, injected into the veins after dissolving in water, or smoked. It is also used to produce crack, which is smoked, producing a short, intense high. Cocaine has two main pharmacological actions. It is both a local anesthetic and a central nervous system stimulant—the only known drug to possess both of these properties. In the early stages of cocaine use the positive effects include a generalized state of euphoria, in combination with increased energy, feelings of confidence, mental alertness, and sexual arousal.

18-25

year-olds are more than twice as likely to use cocaine than adults.

As users come down from their high, some experience temporary, unpleasant reactions, which may include anxiety, agitation, restlessness, irritability, and insomnia. Other negative effects with prolonged use are paranoia, confusion, and an inability to perform sexually. With continued use of cocaine, the user becomes increasingly tolerant of the positive effects while the negative effects, such as depression, steadily intensify.

Prolonged use may result in problems with the respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems. Chronic cocaine use can also lead to hospital emergency room visits, prompted by chest pain or palpitations, psychiatric complaints ranging from altered mental states to suicidal ideation, and neurological problems including seizures and delirium. Cocaine use may also lead to death by overdose.

FREQUENCY

According to SAMHSA’s

  • 1.5 million (0.7%) people used cocaine (including crack).
  • People aged 18 to 25 were more than twice as likely to use cocaine compared with other adults.
  • Men were twice as likely to use cocaine compared with women.

At Pacific Solstice Rehab, with our evidenced based treatment in an outpatient setting, we can help you and your loved one heal from cocaine abuse and learn how to stay sober.

Cannabis Use Disorder

Cannabis Use Disorder affects many people who are trying to cope with mood, sleep, pain, or other symptoms of physical and/or psychological problems. Cannabis is the most widely used illicit psychoactive substance used in the United States. Those diagnosed with Cannabis Use Disorder are clearly not alone. However, cannabis can keep you from living your life to your full potential socially and academically/professionally.

Please know we, at Pacific Solstice Outpatient Rehab, know what you or your loved one is experiencing. We know that cannabis use creates a stronger psychological dependence than physiological dependence. We know it is the psychological dependencies that are harder to overcome. A physiological dependence for many drugs is over within a month. However, a psychological dependence lasts much longer.

At Pacific Solstice, we at our outpatient rehab also ask that the information provided here is only to be used as a start to understanding those with cannabis use disorder. It is not intended to explain everyone who has abused cannabis.

Lastly, please note that as well educated and trained mental health and substance abuse clinicians, we borrow our information and research from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-V) and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to define the different types and descriptions of Cannabis Use Disorder.

Group of young men indoors.

SYMPTOMS

According to the DSM-V, there are 11 symptoms of Cannabis Use Disorder and in order for a person to be diagnosed with Cannabis Use Disorder, he or she must have two of the following symptoms in the past 12 months.

  • Larger amounts of cannabis are used over a longer period of time than the individual originally intended. (“I can’t believe I am smoking in the morning before school now.”)
  • Although there is a desire to control the use and cut down on the amount of cannabis used, efforts usually prove to be unsuccessful and do not last. (“I am only going to smoke tonight.”)
  • A great deal of time is spent during waking hours to either used to get cannabis or get high from its effects. (“I have to smoke more than I used to to get high.”)
  • A person experiences an intense need to use. (“If I don’t smoke, I am not going to get to sleep.”)
  • Cannabis use interferes in a person’s ability to function at home and in work. (“I have no motivation to go to school.”)
  • Someone continues to use cannabis even though their using has caused personal problems, such as marital problems, conflicts with children or parents, and peer problems. (Your partner says, “It is either me or pot!”)
  • Activities in the workplace, at home or with friends are missed as a result of using cannabis. (“I was so high I just couldn’t.”)
  • Using causes an individual to be in harm’s way. (“I was so high that I didn’t even notice the guy coming at me.”)
  • A person continues to use even though they have physical or psychological issues with smoking or eating cannabis. (Your doctor says, “If you don’t stop using, your bronchitis…”)
  • A person needs more and more of the drug to get high or a person appears less high when using the same amount of the drug that previously caused them to be high. (“I need more…”)
  • There are symptoms of withdrawal, such as irritability, anger or depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, decreased appetite/weight loss, restlessness, abdominal pain, shakes, sweating fever/chills or a headache. Or the drug is taken to relieve these symptoms of withdrawal or avoid the symptoms of withdrawal from even beginning. (“I have to have more pot or I am going to lose my cool!”)

Pacific Solstice’s outpatient Orange County rehab is here to help you now!

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

At Pacific Solstice, Orange County’s Premier Alcohol Outpatient Rehab, we know that many people who suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), Alcohol Addiction, or Alcoholism, are intelligent, kind, and fun people. Some of us are you! Alcohol Addiction does not mean that you are the vision of a person whose life has completely fallen apart and you have lost everything. Alcoholism does, however, keep you from living your life to the fullest and freest potential.

As you read, please be aware of our sincere respect for you as a person, not just the Alcohol Use Disorder you or your loved one is experiencing. Lastly, please note that as well educated and trained mental health and substance abuse clinicians, we borrow our information and research from Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-V), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA) to define the different types and descriptions of Alcohol Use Disorder.

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) describes different types of drinking, including Binge Drinking and Heavy Drinking. Binge Drinking is when an adult female consumes 4 or more alcoholic beverages and an adult male consumes 5 or more alcoholic beverages during one occasion on at least one day in the past month (30 days).

In contrast, Heavy Drinking is when someone drinks 5 or more alcoholic beverages on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days. (Please note in contrast to Binge Drinking and Heavy Drinking, Moderate Drinking is drinking up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.)

SYMPTOMS

According to the DSM-V, there are 11 symptoms of Alcohol Addiction and in order for a person to be diagnosed with AUD, he or she must have two of the following symptoms in the past 12 months.

  • Larger amounts of drinking happen over a longer period of time than the individual originally intended. (“I can’t believe I went through all those bottles.”)
  • Although there is a desire to control the drinking, efforts usually prove to be unsuccessful and do not last. (“Crap, I didn’t mean to drink all that much.”)
  • More and more of a drinker’s waking hours are either used to get drunk or recover from a hangover. (“It’s five o’clock somewhere.”)
  • A person experiences an intense need to use. (“Damn, I need a drink.”)
  • Drinking interferes in a person’s ability to function at home and in work. (“I will be in a little late to work today.”)
  • Someone continues to drink even though their drinking has caused personal problems, such as marital problems, conflicts with children or parents, and peer problems. (Your wife says, “It is either me or the alcohol!”)
  • Activities in the workplace, at home or with friends are missed as a result of drinking. (“I was hungover and couldn’t make it.”)
  • Drinking causes an individual to be in harm’s way. (“How did I make it home last night?”)
  • A person continues to drink even though they have physical or psychological issues with drinking. (Your doctor says, “If you don’t stop drinking…”)
  • A person needs more and more alcohol to get drunk or a person appears less drunk when consuming the same amount of alcohol that previously caused them to be intoxicated. (“Wow, I have had three glasses of wine and I feel fine.”)
  • A person gets agitated, uncomfortable in their own skin, irritable, sweats or shakes when stopping drinking and, as a result, a person starts to drink again to stop these negative effects from ceasing to drink. (“I don’t feel good, I could use a drink.”)
Young man sitting at the base of a staircase outdoors.
Man in a white shirt seated in profile with his head resting on one hand.

RISK

In addition, to problems associated with intoxication and withdrawal, high doses of alcohol can increase a person’s risk of developing serious medical conditions. Alcohol affects nearly every organ in the human body.

Some examples of the health problems associated with alcohol use are cirrhosis of the liver, numerous cancers, hypertension, heart problems, neurological issues, deficits of intelligence, memory loss, problems with movement (due to problems with the part of the brain that controls movement) and severe vitamin deficiencies.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reports that there are 88,000 deaths per year in the United States due to excessive alcohol use. Alcohol greatly increases the risk of depression and other mental health disorders, including suicide.

Today after the advances in neurological research, we understand the feel good chemicals are released in the brain as one drinks alcohol. This creates a natural impulse to drink more and more in an effort to keep getting buzzed/drunk/high. However, what most people do not realize, is that those chemicals in the brain do not continue to be released after a certain point and, as a result, a person only becomes further intoxicated and frustrated because the high cycle does not continue. A 3,000-year-old proverb says, “First the man takes the drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes the man.”

We are ready to help you. Contact our Orange County Alcohol Outpatient Rehab today!

It’s time. Get help.

Call (949) 200-7929

Don’t put your life on hold any longer. Call today to speak confidentially with a qualified Pacific Solstice counselor from our Orange County treatment center.

We’ll help you take the next step toward putting your life back together. You don’t have to give up hope. And you don’t have to take this journey alone. Recovery starts with a simple phone call.

Free Support Group

Families of loved ones struggling with addiction and mental health issues need help too. Join our supportive group of family members who come together to share experiences and find common ground. Open to all, this free support group in Orange County meets every Tuesday from 6-7pm at:

Pacific Solstice
23461 So. Pointe Dr., Suite 340
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Insurance coverage

At Pacific Solstice, we believe quality mental health services and addiction treatment should be accessible and affordable. We accept a wide range of PPO insurance providers, including the ones listed below. At this time, we do not accept Drug Medi-cal, Medicare, or Medicaid.

Aetna
Anthem
BlueCross BlueShield
Cigna
GHI
Health Net
Highmark
Humana
Medical Mutual
Optima
Optum
United Healthcare


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Pacific Solstice Events

Harm reduction and Narcan presentation for the Grammy’s nonprofit, Musicares
1/17/19 from 11 AM- 1 PM.
Hosted by Pacific Solstice, CCAPP, and Musicares.

More news soon.