Understanding the Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction

Understanding the Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction

The terms “drug abuse” (substance abuse) and “drug addiction” (substance addiction) may often be confused and used interchangeably. Although on the surface they appear similar, there is a clear difference between the terms.

Drug Abuse

An individual who abuses a drug, be it marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, or other altering substances, may not be addicted to it. Abuse refers to using these substances in an inappropriate manner, but their abuse does not appear to have significant effects on their life, as it often appears casual. 

Substance abuse is more common than people think, and this is because of its casual nature. To illustrate, what is defined as moderate drinking is up to one drink a day for women and up to two a day for men. Drinking more than that is considered alcohol abuse.

Simply put, abuse occurs when an individual uses substances as a way to alleviate stress and physical symptoms and to encourage feelings of pleasure. It also occurs, when someone uses prescription drugs for reasons other than what the prescription states.

Drug Addiction

The key difference between drug abuse and drug addiction is that, although both are damaging behaviors, abuse still involves choice; addiction does not.

When individuals become addicted to a substance, it’s extremely hard for them to stop using it. It is very easy for drug abuse to become a drug addiction, so at the point of addiction, what was once meant as a brief mind-altering experience has developed into a long-established chemical imbalance in the brain, resulting in mental disorder and strong chemical dependency.

Addiction is not casual by any means. It is the continued use of a drug despite the damaging consequences the individual faces, such as relationship, legal, and health problems.

Furthermore, drug or alcohol addiction is accompanied by signs of withdrawal. Withdrawal refers to debilitating physical and emotional problems that occur after decreased use of the substance an individual is addicted to. Symptoms will depend on the substance, but in general, they may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

Sacred Oak Offers Outpatient Programs for Chemical Dependency

At Sacred Oak Medical Center in Houston, we offer specialized supportive outpatient therapy and intensive outpatient therapy programs to help those who suffer an addiction move past their underlying chemical dependency. Through our group therapy sessions and individual therapy sessions, our patients will better understand their addiction and learn healthy ways to recover from it. If you or someone you know may be suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, please schedule an assessment so we can start charting the path to recovery.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program for Adults Suffering From Depression May Complement Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Our Intensive Outpatient Program for Adults Suffering From Depression May Complement Ketamine Infusion Therapy

It was estimated that in 2017, about 17.3 million adults in the United States experienced a severe episode of depression.

Today, over 16.1 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, and of those adults, 38.3% are not receiving any treatment for this debilitating illness. However, Ketamine Infusion Therapy, along with our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Behavioral Health may be a viable treatment option.

Understanding Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Depression in Adults

Whereas typical antidepressant medication will take many weeks, and sometimes months, before it has any effect on the patient, Ketamine has been shown to work faster–only within a few hours. Because it works quickly in small doses, it can work wonderfully for preventing suicide so that our patients can make progress in their recovery from depression. Ketamine is a well-favored alternative amongst individuals who have previously had to take multiple medications in hopes of alleviating their depression symptoms.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program for Behavioral Health Challenges May Successfully Complement Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Ketamine as an antidepressant may relieve symptoms of depression, working especially well for treatment-resistant variations of the illness. However, at Sacred Oak Medical Center in Houston, we also care about treating the root cause so that our patients can repair the body, mend the mind, and heal the spirit. In order to achieve this, we offer an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that helps our patients surpass their mental health challenges. This program offers a highly structured environment for our adult patients while simultaneously granting them some level of independence as they work through their treatment.

This 6-week program consists of individual therapy sessions each month and group sessions every week, each session lasting 3 hours. To best serve our patients, we offer daytime and evening hours. However, depending on the individual’s case, our medical professionals may recommend more sessions in order to ensure adults get the treatment they need and deserve.

Sacred Oak Medical Professionals Will Custom-Tailor Your Treatment

We are dedicated to helping individuals live mentally healthier lives. If you would like to know whether ketamine infusion therapy in conjunction with our intensive outpatient program for behavioral health is the best treatment plan for you, please get an assessment so we can help you decide on your candidacy.

The Intensive Outpatient Program for Chemical Dependency at Sacred Oak in Houston

The Intensive Outpatient Program for Chemical Dependency at Sacred Oak in Houston

Chemical dependency is one of the most common reasons our patients seek drug rehabilitation clinics at a specialized facility like Sacred Oak in Houston. A chemical dependency takes place when someone regularly abuses drugs and feels dependent upon them to feel good, which is also known as substance abuse. If this substance abuse isn’t addressed, it can quickly become a full-on drug addiction.

At Sacred Oak, we recognize that no one chooses to live a life with substance abuse. It’s an illness that is difficult to deal with, but our individualized chemical dependency outpatient programs are a great way to chart the path to recovery.

Outpatient Drug Rehabilitation Programs at Sacred Oak

Because our treatment plans are highly customized to the individual’s needs in their recovery, we offer both an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for severe cases, as well as a Supportive Outpatient Program (SOP) for milder cases. Which program the individual participates in will be determined by an assessment.

Intensive Outpatient Program to Recover From Drug Abuse

Our Intensive Outpatient Program for chemical dependency is best suited to individuals who may not need constant, round-the-clock care but want to gradually regain their independence from substance abuse and require highly-structured care and support in order to achieve that independence.

Through this program, individuals work closely with our highly qualified medical professionals by participating in group therapy and individual therapy sessions. These sessions offer a safe space where they will learn more about the symptoms of substance abuse, triggers, and healthy ways to cope.

How The Intensive Outpatient Program for Chemical Dependency Works

The program lasts for an average length of 6 weeks and consists of 3 group sessions a week, all of which last 3 hours. It also consists of at least 2-3 individual sessions a month. We offer both daytime and evening hours for sessions in order to make time for our patients and ensure they get the support they need.

Sacred Oak Tailors Treatments to Every Individual Looking to Recover From Substance Abuse

Treatment for chemical dependencies, regardless if they manifest as substance abuse or addiction, is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Our dedicated staff will tailor treatment plans to each individual so that they can get the most out of our programs and achieve the recovery they deserve. If you or someone you know struggles with chemical dependency, please come in and get an assessment so we can determine which program is best for you.

Chemical Dependency Relating to DWI's and Helpful Programs for Adults at Sacred Oak in Houston

Chemical Dependency Relating to DWI's and Helpful Programs for Adults at Sacred Oak in Houston

When it comes to a chemical dependency on alcohol, it isn’t rare to see adults get cited with a DWI. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for those who drive while intoxicated, so a DWI is a serious criminal charge because it’s clear that the driver lacked the mental and physical capabilities necessary to safely operate a vehicle, thus putting their life and others’ lives at risk.

Is Everyone Who Gets Cited With a DWI an Alcohol or Drug Addict?

While this is a common misconception, there may be some truth to it. We have found, at times, that if an individual is cited with a DWI, there is a high likelihood that a problem with substance dependency may be on the rise. True addiction occurs when an individual continuously drinks even though several problems–legal-wise, health-wise, and relationship-wise–have taken place. In the case of a Houston driver who is suffering from alcohol addiction, it is possible for them to have drank excessively and still decided to drive even though other methods of transportation were available.

Alternatively, a driver may have been cited with a DWI once before and faced the consequences, only to drive while intoxicated again and be cited a second time. If they receive a DWI citation a third time, this is a felony. The more often someone gets cited with a DWI, the more likely it is that they are, in fact, suffering underlying substance abuse and addiction. For adults who have been cited multiple times, we offer a DWI Intervention Program for Repeat Offenders.

DWI Intervention Program Paired with Outpatient Therapy for Adult Chemical Dependency

Our Houston DWI Intervention Program for Repeat Offenders has been approved and mandated by the Texas Court System and offers insight on individuals’ underlying chemical dependency. When in conjunction with our Intensive Outpatient Program, adults suffering from substance abuse or substance addiction can very well start their path to recovery and live a sober, more positive and healthy life.

Our Houston Rehabilitation Center Offers Resources That Encourage Recovery From Chemical Dependency

Substance abuse is an illness, not the result of ignorance, and no single case is the same as another. At Sacred Oak Medical Center we offer different classes and therapy sessions that our staff custom tailors to the individual to help them overcome their illness. If you or someone close to you is suffering from alcohol and drug abuse or addiction, please come in to get an assessment so we can determine which treatment plan is best.

Fighting The Adult Mental Health Stigma With Behavioral Outpatient Programs

Fighting The Adult Mental Health Stigma With Behavioral Outpatient Programs

Adult mental health is not talked about often because there is a harmful stigma around illnesses such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. But that's just it–a stigma is viewing something in a negative way due to a false understanding of the subject. It doesn't have to be that way, though. 

Just How Overlooked is Adult Behavioral Health?

Although mental health is gaining some attention these days when it comes to teenagers, not enough attention is being put toward mental health within adults. 

Approximately 1 in every 5 adults in the country experiences a mental illness in any given year. 1 in 25 adults in the country experience a serious mental illness that severely interferes with their day to day lifestyle. 20.2 million adults in the U.S. experienced a substance use disorder, and 50.5% of them had a mental illness at the same time. Finally, only 41% of American adults with mental illness received any help at all.

The Stigma Around Adult Mental Illness

Stigmatizing anything will inevitably lead to discrimination, which can either be explicitly stated in regards to your mental health or your treatment, or it can be subtle. Subtle discrimination can be demonstrated when someone avoids you because they assume the worst about you as a result of your mental illness.

Some Harmful Effects of the Mental Health Stigma

We have witnessed many effects that result from the harmful view on adult mental illness. Among them are your family and/or friends not understanding you, bullying or harassment, and your personal belief that you will not succeed or improve your mental health. 

This often leads to self-judgment and hate, as well as resulting behavioral health problems such as depression, or in some cases, chemical dependencies such as alcohol and drug abuse and addiction. 

Sacred Oak Medical Center Fights The Discrimination With Our Outpatient Programs

At Sacred Oak Medical Center, we are dedicated to offering help to those suffering mental illness through our behavioral health outpatient programs, in which we offer both an Intensive Outpatient Program as well as a Supportive Outpatient Program. You are not your illness, and we will work with you to help you walk your path to recovery. Please contact us today for more information.