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Substance Abuse

Daniel Smeester, MD -  - Addiction Treatment Center

Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services

Daniel Smeester, MD

Addiction Treatment Center located in San Ramon, CA

Work stress, relationship problems, and financial difficulties all impact your mental health. If you find yourself reaching for alcohol, prescription medications, or illegal drugs to cope with the stress in your life, Daniel Smeester, MD, and his compassionate team at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services can help. At their cutting-edge clinic in San Ramon, California, the team works with you to help fight substance abuse. For more information, call Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services or schedule an appointment online.

Substance Abuse Q & A

What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse is a pattern of risky or harmful substance use, despite the consequences, you may face. Most patients struggle with substance abuse to cope with other problems in their lives, including financial concerns, work stress, relationship problems, illness, major life changes, and more.

How is substance abuse different from addiction?

Addiction is a disease that makes you crave a certain substance—alcohol, opioids, marijuana, etc.—or activity to feel pleasure or relief. If you struggle with addiction, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you’re sober and feel less interested in your work, friends, family, and activities that you enjoyed before addiction. You’ve also likely made attempts to cut down on your substance use.

While just as dangerous and damaging to your mental and physical health, substance abuse is not an addiction. Many patients struggling with substance abuse turn to alcohol or drugs to cope with other factors in their lives,  and it can initially often go unnoticed by friends and family. 

If you have difficulties with substance abuse, you may not use it at school, work, or other events where you’re with other people. However, you may go to a local bar after work every day or take prescription opioids when you get home.

While often talked about interchangeably, Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services understands that addiction and substance abuse are two different conditions that impact your life in different ways. That’s why they tailor your recovery plan to suit your unique needs. 

How is substance abuse treated?

Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services is dedicated to your recovery, which is why the team offers the following substance abuse treatments:


If you’re struggling to detox on your own, the team provides medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help you detox while limiting uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, chills, nausea, and shakiness.

Intensive counseling

Substance abuse is most often fueled by underlying trauma, mental illness, or uncontrollable stress in your life. If you use it to cope with problems in your life, intensive counseling with a licensed clinician can help you find healthier ways to process those difficulties.

Group therapy

Group therapy sessions give you the opportunity to form connections and receive feedback from people who are just as committed to sober living as you are.

Holistic care

Nutritional counseling, acupuncture, and massage therapy can help alleviate pain and reduce the stress that may play a role in your substance abuse.

Overcoming substance abuse on your own can feel like a never-ending battle. That’s why the expert team at Diablo Valley Drug and Alcohol Services is here to help. Call the office or book an appointment online to learn more.