Substance Abuse Issues

More than 140 million Americans abuse alcohol or other substances yearly. So, substance abuse is rampant in the US. It is also a serious health issue.

Learning more about substance abuse can help.

What is Substance Abuse?

This is the illegal or wrongful use of psychoactive substances. Most times, the wrong use of these substances can cause physical, emotional, and mental damage.

Alcohol and all illicit drugs fall under substance abuse.

What is the Difference Between Substance Abuse and Addiction?

Substance abuse is actively overusing a substance. Addiction is a disease that results from consisting abusing drugs or substances.

When a person is addicted, they display symptoms relating to addiction. However, a person can abuse a substance and not be addicted.

How Does Someone Abusing Substance Behave?

A person abusing an illicit substance or alcohol will usually be drowsy. They might also suffer from insomnia and restlessness.

The severity of their behavioral changes depends on the frequency and severity of their abuse.

What are the Symptoms of Substance Abuse?

What are the Commonly Abused Substances?


More than 6% of American adults have an alcohol use disorder. It all starts from alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse can cause a lot of problems. This includes


Cocaine feels like hitting fast forward on the remote. Everything is fast and like a blur. Mood swings are also common with cocaine abuse. You can suddenly go from being energetic and happy to being angry and paranoid.

Cocaine usually leads to addiction.


Often known as horse or dope, heroin gives you pleasure and an adrenaline rush. However, once the effects wear off, you might feel sick, nervous, and get chills. In worst-case scenarios, it can lead to death.

Other after-effect symptoms include chills, nausea, and a craving for more. You might feel that taking heroin is the only way to ease your symptoms.

Heroin is especially popular among younger people.


Marijuana makes you feel happy. People who abuse marijuana may laugh at the slightest provocation. It can also make you drowsy and forgetful.

While marijuana can be dangerous, you can legally buy marijuana in some parts of the US.

Over the Counter Drugs

People abuse over-the-counter (OTC) drugs without even realizing it. OTC drugs are abused when

Commonly abused OTC drugs include opioids and drugs meant to reduce insomnia. Drugs that contain dextromethorphan are often commonly abused.

Club Substances

Club substances or drugs are drugs commonly sold in clubs or parties. They include

Angel dust and blue nitro are also popular club drugs.

Anabolic Steroids

Anabolic steroids focus on the artificial growth of testosterone. Athletes are more likely to abuse this steroid.

Abusing this steroid can lead to mood swings and addiction.

Who is at Risk of Substance Abuse?

What is the Likely Treatment for Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse can be stopped with little treatment if action is taken immediately. However, treatment is required when the person becomes addicted to the substance.

When this happens, treatment happens in phases. The first stage is a proper evaluation or examination. Once there is a diagnosis, a detox program might be recommended.

Detox programs focus on removing all traces of the substance from the body. After this happens, you might likely experience withdrawal symptoms. To make sure recovery takes place, rehab programs are usually recommended.

Doctors might also prescribe several medications to reduce cravings. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the addiction.

When Should You See a Doctor?

If you think you have consistently abused drugs, you should stop immediately. If you believe you have started craving that particular drug or substance, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

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Alyssa Mueller


Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.

Charee Marquez

LMFT - Clinical Director

Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.

Stephen Carmel

Founder & CEO

I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.