Substance Abuse and Addiction

Substance Abuse.SeacliffIf you struggle with substance abuse, then you know the truth—what seems at first as liberating is in fact imprisoning, and takes a dangerous toll on the body, mind and soul. The good news is that freedom from addiction is possible, and it starts when you choose recovery. Seacliff is a dual diagnosis rehabilitation center that provides compassionate, clinical care—the kind of individualized intervention that is needed to lay a foundation for lifelong hope and healing. The first step toward freedom from addiction is better understanding; explore this page for some quick facts about the nature of addiction.

Is Substance Abuse a Mental Health Disorder?

The most important thing to understand about addiction is that it is not a decision you make, and it is not a failure of moral will. Nobody ever chooses to become an addict. Instead, it is imperative to recognize that addiction is a mental health disorder.

Addiction seldom occurs alone, and often mental health conditions are also present—which is known as a co-occurring disorder. The relationship between these conditions can be complicated. Sometimes, addiction arises from attempts to self-medicate an existing condition, and in other cases the addiction and the other condition have the same genetic or psychological cause.

In either case, treatment can open the door to lifelong recovery and the healing of mind, body and spirit.

Common Types of Substance Abuse

Addiction can manifest in different ways. Alcohol addiction is rampant, but so is drug addiction, which may include a struggle with either prescription narcotics or illegal street drugs. Generally, addiction creates a sense of dependence; over time, an individual will no longer get the same “high” that his or her body and mind crave, and the only option seen is to use higher and higher doses of the substance in question—a dangerous cycle. Beyond that, different substances can come with different symptoms and effects.

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Addiction to alcohol is a problem that spans sexes, ethnicities, and generations. Often, alcoholism will start as an attempt to self-medicate, or else as social drinking that spirals into binging. Alcoholism is not the same thing as binge drinking, though. Alcoholism is marked by true dependence—a craving for alcohol that has painful withdrawal effects when it is ignored.


Meth is often called the most dangerous substance in the world because it is not only highly addictive, but also cheap and accessible. Meth is a stimulant, and can create a sense of high-energy and euphoria that ultimately dissolves into paranoia and depression.


Opioids refer to any drugs made from opium, derived from poppies. Both heroin and many prescription painkillers fall into this category. Opioids can create a strong chemical dependence; the high you receive initially becomes elusive, and higher concentrations of the drug are needed to reclaim it.


One of the most dangerous and addictive substances in the world, heroin is an illegal narcotic that belongs to the opioid family. It is not uncommon for an addiction to prescription painkillers to spiral into a deep problem with heroin.

Prescription Drugs/Painkillers

Even when administered by a physician and taken as prescribed, prescription painkillers can become addictive, especially those that belong to the opioid family. Taking medications once the original problem has been solved, or taking someone else’s painkillers, are both signs of a substance abuse problem.

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Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse and Drug Addiction

Different drugs can impact the mind and body in different ways. There are a few common signs of drug addiction to watch out for:

  • Withdrawal from relationships, hobbies, and passions
  • Stealing money to pay for drugs or alcohol
  • Lying or making excuses to cover up drug use
  • Being excessively secret and isolated
  • Sudden mood shifts, including euphoria, depression, and irritability
  • Changes in eating habits, sleeping patterns, or sexual behavior

How Do You Know if There is a Co-Occurring Disorder?

It is not uncommon for addiction to present with other mood disorders—but when addiction is part of the picture, most symptoms will be attributed to it. As such, a serious mental health condition may go undetected and untreated. Dual diagnosis care can help identify the true root problem, however, which is why we emphasize it here at Seacliff.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Drug Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Ultimately, freedom from addiction is attainable. At Seacliff, we can identify your needs, help you develop a path for treatment, and provide you with the life skills to live a life of hope and healing. Do not settle for addiction’s tyranny. Get freedom by contacting Seacliff’s addiction recovery team today.

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