Learning more about the way addictive substances interact with the body allows individuals to learn more about their own recovery. When education is available throughout the recovery process, individuals can know what to expect from recovery. And, can prepare for the ups as well as the downs. This way, they can have the best chance of obtaining lasting recovery for years to come. Here at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services, we dedicate ourselves to not only providing optimal care but informing individuals about the help they’re receiving. And, about their specific drug dependence and what they can expect from both treatment and recovery.

Struggling with Drug Dependency

It may be challenging to determine whether or not you or a loved one may need help with a substance abuse issue. However, learning more about drug dependence can help to determine a problem with drug use. Whether a person is living a lifestyle of active addiction or beginning to experience cravings for a prescription medication, drug dependence almost always happens unexpectedly. It’s not something individuals plan for when they use for the first time or start a prescription regimen. But, it’s something that can ruin careers, friendships, family relationships, financial security, and much more. But, what is drug dependency and how can you determine if it’s what is affecting you or a loved one?

What is Drug Dependence?

Treatment for Drug Dependence in California | Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol ServicesTypically, when someone talks about drug dependence, they are referring to physical dependence. Our bodies have a biological response when drugs enter our bodily systems. This response is what is responsible for developed drug dependence. Basically, drugs of every class interact with the chemical signaling of the brain. This neural stimulation results in the release of chemicals responsible for the euphoric effects drugs are known to provide.

Sadly, with long-term use, this chemical response starts to depend on the drug being used. And, the brain reacts by only releases when the drug is used. This is why individuals may need to start taking more of a drug to experience the effects they’re seeking. Additionally, when a physical dependence occurs, an individual may experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug isn’t in use. These symptoms can be extreme or mild, depending on the drug an individual is dependent upon. Either way, these symptoms make detoxing from home or without medical help difficult. Fortunately, there is help available for those who think they may be struggling with a physical drug dependence. And, treatment, like the programs offered at Diablo Valley, is effective in helping people establish true and lasting recovery.

Program for Stimulants in California

Stimulants are known for their uplifting and energizing characteristics. They work by stimulating and affecting the cardiovascular, respiratory, and central nervous systems. These energy-inducing effects on the body’s systems often lead to impulsive, self-harming behaviors. So, those who use stimulants for these effects may put themselves in dangerous situations (unprotected sex, for example) that lead to further consequences. Along with impaired judgment and self-harming behaviors, stimulants can take a negative toll on the body. During use, stimulants can cause seizures and convulsions due to increases in heart rate and blood pressure. When taken on a long-term basis, these substances can lead to imbalanced brain chemicals and cause damage to the cardiovascular system. Plus, lead to a lifestyle of active addiction where individuals need to maintain levels of the substance to not experience agitating withdrawal.Treatment for Drug Dependence in California | Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services

  • Amphetamine
  • MDMA/Ecstasy
  • Cocaine/Crack
  • Methamphetamine

Program for Depressants in California

All of these substances, known as depressants, are characterized by depressing the central nervous system. That means when these substances are taken they may provide similar effects including relaxation, slower breathing, loss of coordination, and drowsiness. While many depressants are prescribed as a way to manage pain or mental conditions, they can become addictive. With long-term use, the body may become dependent on depressants. And, once dependence is formed, the body requires the drug in order to ward off withdrawal. Unlike other drug classes, withdrawal from specific depressants (alcohol and benzodiazepines) can be fatal if not medically supervised. This makes detoxing in a medical facility for depressants more than a suggestion but an uncompromisable asset.

  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Marijuana

Program for Opioids and Opiates in California


Opioids and opiates are technically classified as depressants. However, with their increase in use, overdose, and fatalities throughout the past few decades, it’s important that these drugs are addressed as their own class. While they may provide similar effects and withdrawal symptoms as other depressants, they are known as being one of the hardest classes of drugs to abstain from after experiencing active addiction. Opioid and opiates stimulate dopamine production and release. Dopamine is known for being the “feel good” chemical of the brain as it relates to mood management, decision-making, and even memory. With long-term use, the body relates opiates or opioids as a trigger for dopamine release. And, releases less dopamine, or none at all, when the substance of choice isn’t used. This makes detoxing especially difficult as withdrawal symptoms can be agitating and even debilitating. While many individuals relapse during the first few days of detox from opioids and opiates, getting proper and medical help can increase an individual’s chance of achieving lasting sobriety.

  • Heroin
  • Opium
  • Morphine
  • Prescription Narcotics

Treatment for all Drug Classes in California

Think you may be struggling with a drug dependence? Whether you’re having issues with stimulants, depressants, opioids, or opiates, help is available. You don’t have to live a life that is determined by your next drug use. But, you have to take the first step to get the help you need! To speak with an experienced addiction specialist at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services, contact us today on our website!

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