Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse services offered in Fairfield and Pleasant Hill, CA

Whether you’re worried about the amount of alcohol or drugs you use, or you already have cravings that prevent you from cutting back, you can get exceptional outpatient treatment at HumuHealth Psychiatry: Olukemi Kuku, DNP, PMHNP. Dr. Kuku has extensive experience helping people detox and recover from substance abuse without needing to spend time or money in a residential facility. If you’re ready to stop using, call the office in Fairfield or Pleasant Hill, California, or request an in-person or telepsychiatry visit online today.

Substance Abuse Q & A

What is substance abuse?

Substance abuse, also called substance use disorder, refers to the excessive use of alcohol or drugs despite harmful consequences. Many legal and illegal substances can be abused, including:

  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Marijuana
  • Opioids (heroin, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone)
  • Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP)
  • Stimulants (cocaine, amphetamines)
  • Inhaled chemicals (aerosol sprays)
  • Hypnotics (sedatives like sleeping medicines)

Most of these substances cause some form of intoxication that alters your judgment, perceptions, and physical control.  

What causes substance abuse?

People turn to substances for an array of reasons. Many begin using substances to ease physical pain, help them relax, or enjoy the pleasurable “high.” Some people find that the substance they use eases their anxiety, depression, stress, and other mental health disorders.

You may lose yourself in substance use to forget a traumatic event or escape from abuse at home. All too often, what begins as occasional recreational use when socializing at a party leads to excessive substance use that puts you at risk of developing a dependency or addiction.

How does substance abuse turn into a dependency?

When you use any of the substances in the list above, the drug activates your brain, causing a release of chemicals that eliminate pain and cause feelings of euphoria. 

If you keep using the drug, your brain changes, leading to uncontrollable cravings. Your brain also develops a tolerance to the amount you normally use. Then you need to take ever-increasing amounts to stop the cravings and get the same pleasurable results.

At this point, you have withdrawal symptoms if you try to stop using the substance or reduce the amount. That’s a sign that your abuse has progressed to a dependency or addiction.

How is substance abuse treated?

Treatment for substance abuse at HumuHealth Psychiatry: Olukemi Kuku, DNP, PMHNP, may vary depending on the type of substance, the amount you use, and whether you’re dependent. The common goal is to help you stop using the substance and maintain a drug-free lifestyle in the long run.

You may be able to detox and recover through the outpatient medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program at HumuHealth Psychiatry: Olukemi Kuku, DNP, PMHNP. MAT is an especially effective program that combines medications with therapy.

Your provider prescribes medications such as Suboxone®, which stops the cravings and withdrawal symptoms caused by an opioid dependency. You can take Suboxone at home while keeping regular appointments to monitor your progress and get therapy.

If you’re ready to break free from substance abuse, call HumuHealth Psychiatry: Olukemi Kuku, DNP, PMHNP, or book an appointment online today.