do I know if my substance use is a problem?
If you begin to ask questions or feel uncomfortable about your substance
usage this may be an initial warning sign. For example, some people may
arrive late to work or arrive under the influence, while others may experience
fights with their friends and families. In more severe cases, some people
may face divorce, loss of employment or trouble with the law.
Substance dependence involves both tolerance and withdrawal from a substance.
Tolerance is the need to use more and more of a substance to obtain the
same effect. Withdrawal is the physical and/or psychological symptoms
experienced when the use of a substance is stopped.
How common is Substance Abuse?
Substance abuse is very common. A recent survey by SAMHSA (2002) found
that 19.5 million Americans age 12 and over used illegal substances in
the past month. This is about 8% of that population. The most common substance
was marijuana. 4% of those surveyed between the ages of 12-13 were currently
using substances. Substance abuse crosses all ages, races and geographical
How did the "social" drinking become an addiction?
The progression of an addiction can vary from person to person. Some may
have a genetic or biological risk factor; others may have learned to use
substances as a way of coping. For some, “social” drinking
may never become an addiction; but typically, addiction is a progressive
illness, with the amounts of the substance used increasing over time.
Often those with a predisposition will experience a “trigger”
situation such as the loss of a loved one, depression or anxiety which
leads to increased usage. Once the pattern of regular use is established,
the cycle of addiction may continue on its own.
How do I get help?
Addiction is treatable and help is available. Our website lists the locations
of our programs, as well as the types of community members who are treated
at each site. Please call the site closest to you to obtain an evaluation.
Our trained staff will meet with you to help you determine the severity
of your substance abuse and help guide you to appropriate treatment.
Is there help for family members?
Yes. Our website lists locations of our programs, as well as the admission
criteria for each site. Please call the site closest to you to obtain
an evaluation. Our trained staff will provide for support in the process
of dealing with a loved one who exhibits addictive behaviors.
What if my friend or family member is in denial, or doesn't think
it's a problem?
If your loved one is not yet aware that it is a problem then you should
seek support and guidance for your specific situation. In general, those
in denial need support to see how their actions are causing harm to themselves
and to others.
What do I do if he or she refuses help?
If your loved one refuses help, it is often useful for you to seek support
for yourself. When someone we love is facing an addiction it is very stressful,
and we may face a variety of feelings including fear, anger, frustration
and helplessness. By seeking help ourselves, we will be better able to
offer support to our loved one.
Is addiction biologically caused?
It is believed that there are some genetic and biological predispositions
to addictions. However, these risks can be managed through proper education
and /or treatment.
Why can't I just go to an 12-step meeting?
12 step groups are based on a model of peer support. This component is
very important to establishing long term abstinence from addiction. Although
these groups offer a detailed program for recovery from addiction, many
people may still be in need of additional medical, counseling or social
services. So although 12 step groups are an important component to recovery,
other supports may be needed to address the problems caused by addiction.
What about other addictions?
Those who experience addiction are often prone to other addictive behaviors.
For example, those with alcohol addiction may also be prone to substance
abuse, sex addiction, pathological gambling, compulsive eating, compulsive
spending, and workaholism. It is also common for those in recovery to
“cross-over” to another form of addictive behaviors. Professional
counseling can help you to find and alter the roots of your addiction,
as well as help you develop strategies to prevent a relapse of addictive
What is treatment?
Treatment components will vary but typically begin with an initial assessment.
In this meeting, a trained counselor will help to identify the severity
of addiction and to determine an appropriate course of action. If outpatient
treatment is recommended, you may see a counselor individually or in a
group once per week. For some, intensive outpatient services are required
which involves meeting more than once per week. With some chemical addictions,
detox services may be recommended. This involves medical monitoring as
your body passes through the physical symptoms of withdrawal from chemical
dependency. For some with severe addictions, residential treatment may
be recommended, this may be short or long term and involves daily counseling
services while living in one of our facilities.
How effective is your program?
Gaudenzia is a leader in effective substance abuse treatment. This can
be seen in our continued growth as an organization. Thousands of individuals
have graduated from our programs and gone on to live positive, productive
What is residential treatment?
Residential treatment involves intensive, 24 hour support for individuals
seeking to develop and to maintain abstinence from substances. Individuals
attend one of our treatment programs for short time (a few days) or longer
(several months) as determined by the treatment planner. Treatment will
include daily groups to examine how your substance abuse got started as
well as how to prevent relapse.
my insurance cover treatment?
At intake, a counselor will help to examine what your insurance benefits
are and what level of care may be covered by your particular insurance
policy. Insurance companies often cover some treatment for substance abuse.
What is HIPAA and how does it apply to me?
Click here for HIPAA privacy