Substance Abuse Specialist

South Texas Mental Health Associates

Psychiatrists located in Corpus Christi, TX

More than 21 million Americans live with substance abuse disorders, ranging from alcohol to opioids. The team of medical and clinical professionals at South Texas Mental Health Associates in Corpus Christi, Texas, offers comprehensive substance abuse and addiction recovery programs to help you recover from your substance abuse issue and regain a healthy and active life. If you’re ready to make a positive change, call to schedule an appointment today.

Substance Abuse Q & A

What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse, or addiction, is a mental health issue where you compulsively use a substance despite negative consequences. Substance use disorder — as it’s clinically known — is classified as mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the number of diagnostic criteria you meet. Substance abuse is usually progressive, which means that you may begin to use a substance for recreational purposes and over time become dependant on the drug.

If you have a substance use disorder, changes in your brain cause your intense cravings for drugs or alcohol and make it challenging for you to stop using the substance. Medical researchers have found that people with substance abuse disorders have changes in the parts of their brains related to behavior and impulse control, decision making, judgment, learning, and memory.

Substance abuse causes significant clinical and functional impairment that impacts your health, personal relationships, and performance at work or school.

What are risk factors for substance abuse?

Substance abuse can affect anyone, although your brain characteristics can increase your risk of becoming addicted. Some of the other factors that affect your chances of developing a substance use disorder include:

  • A family history of addiction and your genetics
  • Personality traits like high impulsivity
  • Other mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
  • Environmental factors like abuse, trauma, or an environment where substance use is common
  • Beginning to use a substance at an early age

If you have any of these risk factors, it doesn’t mean you are going to develop a substance use disorder, just that your risk is increased.

How is substance abuse treated?

You’ve heard it before, but the first step in substance abuse treatment is admitting you have a problem.

If you’re ready to commit to change, the team at South Texas Mental Health Associates can help. They offer customized treatment plans designed to help you recover from the physical cravings and withdrawal symptoms while also addressing underlying issues that led to your addiction.

Substance abuse treatment usually combines medication and both individual and group therapy sessions. Your doctor prescribes medication to curb your physical symptoms and to address any other mental health conditions that contribute to your substance use.

During your individual and group therapy, you’ll learn to recognize your triggers and how to make healthier choices in response. Your mental health provider can also work with you to address past trauma, abuse, or other issues to enable you to lead a healthy, active, and productive life.

Call South Texas Mental Health Associates today to schedule a consultation and start your journey to sobriety.