Addiction rehab exists specifically for individuals who have become dependent on drugs or alcohol. Commonly, they will attend a drug rehab clinic to receive treatment for their addiction. Such places will provide extra medical care and support needed to help people who are ready to get clean. 

Substance Abuse Rehab

Addiction rehab treatment programs will combine several different types of therapies and counseling, depending on what exactly the patient will need. Some therapy examples include family, group, and visual, and cognitive-behavioral therapies. Because addiction treatment won’t be the same for everyone, each patient will undergo a different type of therapy until the solution is found.

Addiction rehab centers will help individuals struggling with addiction to recover so that substance-abuse no longer rules their life. Substance addiction will change people’s behaviors, which furthermore will affect their relationships, work, and school. Addiction rehab programs offering therapy and counseling will help the patient reverse those behaviors so that they can regain their healthy lives.

The process from day one to the moment you leave addiction rehab will be both tough and essential to achieving the primary goal, lifetime sobriety. It’s critical that if you truly want to overcome addiction, you’ll need to have a realistic and clear understanding of what to expect.

Understanding and Defining Addiction

There are three main points about addiction to understand, it’s chronic and relapsing, compulsive behaviors characterize it, and it will lead to harmful consequences.

Below are a few points of what each of these means and how they differ from casual drug use.

  • Chronic and relapsing- One aspect that differentiates casual substance use from addiction is the fact that addiction is often chronic and relapsing. For most addicts, relapse is a way of life. Treatment professionals estimate that the most recovering addicts will only have up to a 60% chance of staying clean after becoming sober. Casual drug users, though, won’t be nearly as compelled to go back to using substances as addicts do. They may, though, be able to use marijuana or cocaine just a few times and not need it again for years.
  • Compulsive behaviors- When an individual becomes diagnosed with a clinical addiction to substances, this means their brain changed on a physical level. And those changes will make it near impossible to maintain self-control when it comes to substance use. They will be powerless in the face of cravings and won’t have the willpower to stop using. 

With casual substance users, they will choose to use recreationally, and once done, feel like they don’t need to use again. And to be able to make that choice is the deciding factor in whether addiction is present.

  • Harmful consequences- Finally, addiction leads to adverse outcomes and negative impacts on the user’s life. They may start having severe run-ins with the law because of their addiction. Or perhaps they will alienate friends and family. Or maybe they’ll put their safety and the safety of others in jeopardy. But despite all these apparent downfalls, they will continue to use.

Casual drug users, however, can willingly stop drug use whenever it becomes a severe issue in their life. They are also less likely to use that inappropriate or dangerous times like when working or before operating a vehicle.

The Four Phases of Addiction Rehab

Here at Harmony Ridge Recovery Center, we care about your long-term sobriety and the full healing of the body, mind, and soul. This reason motivates us to offer help along every step of the recovery process. 

The path to recovery during addiction rehab will be split into four distinct phases which will include:

  • Assessment- The moment the patient checks into rehab, they will go through an evaluation by a team of counselors, therapists, doctors, and supporting staff. This purpose is to begin building on the patient’s individualized treatment plan.
  • Detoxification- Before the addiction rehab process starts, detoxification will be necessary to flush the body of any harmful substances. For some patients, the detox process could be dangerous and must be carried out by a trusted license treatment facility under a medical staff’s guidance.
  • Rehabilitation- Flushing substances from the patient’s system is just the beginning of the healing process. Rehabilitation will involve getting the core issues that fuel the patient’s addiction through therapy sessions.
  • Aftercare- The primary goal of aftercare is to ensure the transformation that came about during the rehab process cylinders. Aftercare involves taking steps to ensure that the skills that were learned during rehab become a part of everyday life.

The 10 Most Common Addictions

Let’s face it; nobody thinks that recreational substance use will turn into a full-blown addiction. But sadly, the nature of using means an eventual recreational use will more than likely turn into an addiction. People every day, find themselves addicted to substances for one reason or another. Listed below are six of the more common addictive substances used worldwide and the method of how they work.

10 of the more popular substances that carry high addiction rates include:

Tobacco (nicotine)

Addiction to nicotine isn’t known to be as harmful as other substance addiction. The reason being is tobacco products are easy to get legally, and the side effects of abuse take a more extended period to develop. Tobacco use takes more lives than any other addictive substances do. The majority of smokers are unable to quit despite knowing the impact that has on their bodies. Wanting to discontinue tobacco use but being powerless to its effects is a telltale sign of addiction.


Due to drinking being such a social acceptance, alcohol addiction is a little harder to spot. Despite being legal to purchase, alcohol consumption has a high potential for addiction and also puts users at many health risks along with addiction. Abusing alcohol has many negative consequences. In addition to fatalities from liver disease and alcohol overdose, thousands of lives are claimed by drunk driving per year.


With marijuana being legalized, the majority of states have made its use much more socially acceptable. This legal trend distracts individuals from marijuana’s addictive potential. The addiction rates of cannabis might also be growing due to its increased potency that has grown over the last decade.



Prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, and codeine are primarily prescribed to treat pain. Painkiller addiction will usually develop from following directions and taking harmless levels of the drug. Most patients who develop prescription drug addiction will not realize they have a problem until they stop usage. Many addictions stem from painkiller abuse also comes from individuals taking them without a prescription.


Although cocaine addiction in the United States has continued to drop, the decline is slow, and it is still estimated that over 1 million Americans still have a cocaine addiction. Crack cocaine, which is more intense and less expensive than regular cocaine, is the top reason for many crippling addictions that turn fatal.


Heroins severe withdrawal symptoms will add extreme difficulty in trying to quit suddenly. Heroin, which is a form of opioid, has one of the highest addiction rates making users hooked after just the first time using. To treat heroin addiction will usually require a combination of medications and therapy to help manage withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.


Benzos such as Klonopin, Xanax, Diazepam, and Valium are prescribed as drugs that regulate mood and manage conditions like stress and anxiety. Benzos are extremely dangerous due to their powerful impact on the brain’s chemical balances. Withdrawal from benzos without medical assistance during the detox process could be extremely uncomfortable and sometimes fatal.


Prescription drug stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall have the same effect as illegal street drugs like methamphetamine. These drugs are all extremely addictive and bring intense withdrawal symptoms, which makes quitting extremely difficult. Stimulant users will quickly build a tolerance to the substances euphoric high, which will lead to increased usage and the risk of overdose.


Addiction to inhalants is most dangerous because inhalants are a volatile toxic substance. The effects of substances from aerosols, gasoline, and household cleaning products are so intense that they may have immediate consequences, which will include hospitalization or death. The chemicals within inhalants could linger in the brain and body long after stopping usage, which makes a complete recovery more difficult.

Sedatives (barbiturates)

Millions of prescription barbiturate sedatives are given to Americans as sleeping pills to help treat tension and sleep disorders. Yearly, thousands of prescription sedative users will build up a tolerance which turns into addiction from drugs like Ambien and Lunesta. To continually use sleeping pills may produce mind-altering effects that make sleeping impossible without the drug and could lead to long term abuse. 

Substance Abuse Withdrawal Symptoms

Substance abuse withdrawal symptoms will vary from one substance to the other. However, due to most substances targeting the same neurological processes and influencing the production of the same brain chemicals, most withdrawal symptoms will be similar. However, the severity of the withdrawal symptoms will depend on several things which include:

  • Specific substance abused
  • The length of the addiction
  • Co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Family history

The most common withdrawal symptoms will range from irritability, insomnia, sweating, depression, and an array of other uncomfortable symptoms.

Identifying Casual Use vs Addiction

Every day, people will start using substances for a variety of reasons. Regardless of why you first started using, doing so is the problem because, eventually, it could lead to an addiction. More importantly, users are also putting themselves at risk for a host of other health issues that may develop with even just a single-use.

Casual Use

What exactly does casual substance-abuse look like, and how does it differ from substance addiction?

Generally, using substances recreationally confirms the user is still in control of other habits. Instead of being motivated by cravings to use, the individual’s substance intake is more spontaneous, sporadic, and frequent. 

Here are a few typical characteristics that will identify casual drug use which include:

  • Only using substances on your terms, and not any specific schedule
  • The user is not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms, even when they haven’t used for a while
  • The user has the willpower to turn down substances when they are offered  
  • The user is not experiencing any drastic life changes due to their substance use

If any of the above characteristics apply to you or loved one’s current pattern of substance use, they’re probably a recreational user rather than an addict. However, it is essential to understand that addiction can happen at any time, and it can form quickly without you realizing it. 

Signs of Substance Addiction

Alcohol and drug addiction will typically start recreational, where the person will drink and use it in social settings only. The disease will soon progress, though, meaning that as time passes, the user will exhibit a higher tolerance and frequently experience intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Listed are some common physical, emotional, and behavioral signs of addiction, which include:

Physical signs of addiction

  • Dilated pupils
  • Weight loss
  • Over or underactive
  • Excessive sniffing and runny nose
  • Looking undernourished

Behavioral signs of addiction

  • Isolating
  • Relationship issues
  • Work problems
  • Missing work
  • Missing personal engagements

Emotional signs of addiction

  • Denial 
  • Irritability
  • Minimization
  • Blaming
  • Argumentative
  • Defensiveness
  • Rationalizing

If any of these signs seem familiar to you or a loved one, it is time to reach out to us at Harmony Ridge and allow our team of treatment specialists to answer and assist you through this difficult and uncharted process. 

Finding Help

Do not allow one more day to pass where you or a loved one is addicted to a dangerous substance. We know how overwhelming it can be to consider reaching out for treatment, but rest assured that by doing so, you’re making a decision that will potentially save a life. At Harmony Ridge, we provide top-of-the-line addiction treatment that will not only help you, or a loved one stop using, but also encourage full mental, physical, and spiritual growth so that long-term recovery can be possible.
At Harmony Ridge, we can help end addictive behaviors and tendencies and introduce a happy, healthy lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction treatment programs.