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Substance Abuse

  • Some people can't function without drugs or alcohol. Their lives revolve around the substance as they need more and more of it to feel the same "pleasant" effect. When an individual exhibits the destructive patterns of alcohol and drug use that negatively impact their career, family and life, that person is considered to be addicted.

    Substance abuse is a problem that can affect adolescents, young adults and older adults. Often, people who are already experiencing depression or other behavioral health issues will also have a substance abuse problem which in turn worsens their original disorder. The negative effects of alcohol and drugs are magnified and become more dangerous when they are mixed with other psychoactive medications.

    Symptoms of Substance Abuse:

    • Using the substance to calm nerves, forget worries or ease depression
    • Constantly thinking about using the substance
    • Needing more to get "high"
    • Losing interest in food
    • Constant tardiness or missing work
    • Gulping drinks down fast or "shooting up" rapidly
    • Lying to try to hide the substance abuse
    • Financial difficulties; bills not paid on time
    • Lying to family and friends about drinking or drug use
    • Feeling irritable, resentful or unreasonable when not using the substance
    • Having others comment on the substance abuse
    • Stealing or committing crimes to get money to buy the substance
    • Inability to quit, despite several attempts
    • Having a hang-over (alcohol), nose bleed (cocaine) or feeling sick after using the substance

    Many people who abuse drugs and/or alcohol have spent years trying to hide their use from others. Admitting that one’s behavior, even self-destructive behavior, is beyond personal control is extremely difficult. Although the outcome of treatment can have only positive effects on one’s life, getting to the point of accepting help can be a lifelong struggle.

    What you can do to help

    If you believe you or a loved one is struggling with a substance abuse problem, don’t wait for things to get better on their own. It is important to seek treatment immediately in order to prevent risk to self and increased damage to family and work relationships. The old saying that one must reach bottom in order to seek help is an outmoded belief. Successful intervention is an obtainable goal for everyone at every level of need. Get help now.

    When you need someone to talk to, turn to Belmont Behavioral Health at 1-800-220-HELP (4357) or (215) 877-2000.

    Treatment Services - Substance abuse

    Support Group Meetings

    Substance abuse effect on family members

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    Belmont Behavioral Health Seal

    Joint commission gold seal


    • Department of Health (DOH)
    • Department of Public Welfare (DPW)
    • Division of Drug and Alcohol Program Licensure (DDAPL)
    • Bureau of Drug and Alcohol (BDAP)

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