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Facts About Drug Addiction

Drug addiction, also known as substance abuse, describes a compulsive pattern of chemical consumption. Drug addiction has a phased progression starting with recreational abuse. Recreational abuse can gradually build up to habitual use, which may yield a tolerance to the chemical. When an addict develops a tolerance to a drug(s), the initial dose no longer induces the same effect, leading to increased dosage to achieve the original effect. After an addict has worked up a tolerance, he or she may go through withdrawal symptoms if the drug is absent from their system.

Drug abuse has been interpreted in a variety of scopes. Fundamentally, it involves the use of psychoactive drugs in a manner that would be ill advised according to clinical standards. Drug abuse, otherwise known as substance abuse, refers to a stage or level of addiction that is not necessarily dependent, at least not physically. While drug substance abuse can denote a ritual basis of drug use, it doesn’t fully imply that a drug abuser is unable to manage their use, or that he or she is addicted. “Drug abuse” or “drug abuser” is actually a diagnostic term for one who may have deviated from a “culturally acceptable” standard of drug use. Drug abuse – though it may not equate to addiction – is, many times, considered the prelude to addiction.

While drug abuse denotes a more casual approach to chemical consumption, drug use is suggestive of a greater consistency and extent of chemical dependence insofar as it is excessive and misused. Therefore, drug use is sometimes appropriately labeled as “drug misuse.”

A drug addict is one who has a physical and/or psychological dependence to psychotropic drugs. The cause(s) of drug addiction are actually heavily disputed in today’s society. There is the old-fashioned moralist perspective, which says that drug addicts are morally deficient and lack will power; then there is the modern-day genetic theory, which is supported by ample scientific research into the addict’s genome, stating that one’s heredity is the actual underlying cause that makes one susceptible to addiction. Drug addiction, or substance addiction as it is currently called in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), has both a clinical and non-clinical connotation. There are programs (i.e. Narcotics Anonymous) that diagnose drug addicts as suffering from a disease that affects them in “mental, physical, and spiritual” capacities.

Drug addictions can vary based on what drug(s) being abused. Preference is also a factor. Moreover an individual doesn’t have to be addicted to only one substance. Today, the prominent addictions that are being diagnosed are to stimulants (i.e. cocaine and methamphetamine) or narcotics (opiates), but the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Other addictions include benzodiazepine addiction, cannibinoid addiction, hallucinogen addiction, and so forth.

Substance Abuse Symptoms

There are many symptoms that one can exhibit that are characteristic of drug addiction. The major telltale symptom of drug addiction is that drugs are causing problems in one’s life. Other common drug addiction symptoms (many of which could also be considered relevant for drug abuse) include:

  • Tension in one’s relationships as a result of one’s using
  • Development of tolerance to a drug(s)
  • Losing interest in old pastimes
  • Drugs causing one to end up in legal binds
  • Continuing to use in spite of negative consequences
  • Being negligent
  • Life revolving around the acquisition and use of drugs
  • Consistently making poor or high-risk decisions while under the influence
  • Constant preoccupation with using



Our mission at The Hills Treatment Center is to offer a unique combination of educational and therapeutic drug and alcohol rehabilitation. In that spirit we present answers to some frequently asked questions. However, don’t stop here. Our knowledgeable and compassionate admissions specialists are available to speak with you personally 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

How do I know if someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol?
Diseases of drug and alcohol addiction are complex and impactful. We encourage you to speak with your physician, or refer to the symptoms checklists offered by respected agencies in the field of addiction research and treatment like The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA .
What drug and alcohol treatment choices do you offer?
At The Hills, we offer a wide variety of treatment choices ranging from residential drug and alcohol treatment to intensive outpatient treatment, each applying the latest and best addiction treatment therapies. Plus, at every level there are counseling and support groups from which to select to maximize the process of recovery.
Is detoxification a painful experience?
Not if you’re detoxing from drug or alcohol addiction in a residential setting at The Hills, where you’re given round the clock care and attention every step of the way, safe and secure in a private room with counselors, message therapists, and world class chefs to aide and advise you in comfort.
What if your detox program doesn’t work for my needs?
That’s not possible at The Hills Treatment Center because all of our treatment plans are personalized to specifically support the rehabilitation and recovery of each individual client.
Can I receive treatment for more than one addiction?
Yes. The Hills recognizes that many people suffer from multiple addictions compounded by mental and emotional health issues. Our Dual Diagnosis program addresses all of these compounding issues.
Won’t drug and alcohol treatment put me behind at school?
We understand how important it is to achieve your academic goals, but that will not be possible without addresses the challenges of addiction. Through our Young Adults program we will develop a rehabilitation schedule that allows you to continue your education.
What happens to me after detoxification is complete?
You are not left alone after drug or alcohol detox. We offer a myriad of counseling and educational programs to support your rehabilitation and recovery including Relapse Prevention, Sober Living and Sober Companions, Family Outreach, and New Lease on Life.
Who comprises your staff?
The staff here at The Hills is led by eminent addiction expert, Dr. Howard C. Samuels; columnist, published author, television talk-show guest on the leading edge of drug and alcohol treatment modalities. Our team of experienced professionals and paraprofessionals often know first – hand what drug and alcohol treatment and recovery are all about. Our team is here to assist and support you at all times.


A guide to locating appropriate treatment, entering a rehab and more. Includes questions and answers, and a California Drug Rehab Guide.

• Family Involvement • Specific Drugs • Treatment Facilities • Financial Issues • Before Entering Rehab • After Drug Rehab • California Drug Rehab • Legal Issues

About Dr. Howard Samuels

Howard C. Samuels, PsyD is a leading drug and alcohol addiction expert. He is a licensed therapist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with years of experience running two successful treatment centers, and is the founder of The Hills Treatment Center.

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