Drug & Alcohol Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling in Oakland County, Michigan

The decision to take drugs or to drink without moderation is mostly never based on a thorough analysis of its long term consequences and potentially damaging possibilities; it is a voluntary decision that can give birth to a series of compulsive urges that ultimately result in a unhealthy addiction.

How To Know If You Have A Substance Abuse Problem

Addiction is characterized by a long term use of substances which you fail to withdraw from despite being aware of the adverse effects it has on you. The disorder is too compulsive to be fought against without relapsing often. Substance abuse is a worldwide problem; it is prevalent in every part of the world, from lower to upper social classes. According to health expert psychologists in Oakland County, MI addiction to addictive substances such as alcohol, drugs and cigarette is now considered a major health concern and an excessively growing problem worldwide.

Substance Abuse Signs & Symptoms

If you suspect having been overcome with drug and alcohol urges, there are certainly some very clear signs that will determine your addiction. One of the most prominent sign of addiction is that how it affects the internal functioning of your body, i.e., an increase in the tolerance level while a decrease in the ability to withdraw.

You’ll find yourself relying on an increased quantity of substances to achieve the same state of euphoria. This pattern has a tendency to continue and become permanent, subjecting addicts to potentially fatal overdoses. If you suspect similar patterns in your life, taking our free and confidential substance abuse screener can help you better understand any potential serious issues.

Physical Substance Abuse Signs & Symptoms

Some physical changes also exhibit in individuals suffering from an addiction or substance abuse. These changes may serve as additional signs indicating a compulsive problem:

  • Eyes reddened to the point they appear bloodshot
  • Pupils that usually appear constricted or dilated
  • Weight changes reflecting an abrupt change either towards obesity or anorexia
  • Facial expressions demonstrating fatigue and confusion

Behavioral Substance Abuse Signs & Symptoms

As opposed to changes in appearance, there are also behavioral symptoms that occur and have the potential to significantly influence your behavior and habits.

In fact, substance abuse can also severely impact your ability to concentrate and process information. Your focal skills also become poor and affect your ability to make decisions. Typically, these changes are likely to demonstrate in the following forms:

Irritability or Aggressive Tendencies

If you’re consuming drugs you’re likely to experience an extreme fluctuation in emotions. Anxiety, panic, fear and aggression are multiple outbursts that result from substance abuse. However, once these effects diminish, the behavior is likely to improve.

Altering attitude

Drug- and alcohol consumption go hand in hand with a changed attitude and lifestyle. It’s a given that these counter-intuitive habits will produce a negative impact predisposing you to a fruitless and ineffectual future. Lethargy, depression and confusion are three main elements that characterize your changing attitude. Lethargy causes a constant fatigue and sluggish behavior, while depression eliminates the healthy consciousness and connection you have with your everyday tasks, relationships and goals.

Abrupt changes in a social spaces

Setting off on a trail of addictive urges has a domino effect on your life. Understandably, as you undergo physical and behavior changes your social life, network and peers are all by affected. This is a very negative development in the context of substance abuse. It signifies isolation, drifting away from people you were once close to and withdrawing from all social spaces.

Absurd changes in priorities

The way you prioritize the aspects of your life is based on your understanding of relationships and natural responsibilities. But when drugs start taking control of your life, your priorities change. You no longer give your family the time and care they need, your professional life also suffers as a consequence. Your activities and hobbies diminish because your brain is only able to process substance related urges.

Criminal activity

Quite inevitably, when drug-abuse leads to addiction, your ability to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong diminishes. The deterioration of your state of mind ultimately leads to bad behavior which can be criminal as well. There are many factors that contribute to this natural progression once you tread down the path of non-productivity. Tensions from various failures of life, violence, unstable temperament, aggression, future instability, unemployment and the inability to comply with the standard code of conduct create a compelling environment that precipitates resorting to crime.

Being able to recognize the many indicators of drug-abuse can help control the problems from developing into greater and non-treatable problems. A timely intervention is a must so that these primary issues can be nipped in the bud and keep you out of a local Michigan jail cell.

Common Substances Abused in Oakland County, MI

Back in 2015 our Oakland County officials announced free trainings to health professionals to help eliminate and curb abuse of painkillers and other addictive substances among vulnerable residents.

Substance abuse is when you use substances like alcohol-, prescription medicine, and other legal/illegal drugs in the wrong way or beyond quantities legally or medically advised to you. Addiction and substance abuse differ from one another in some respects. Substance abuse can be seen as something that precipitates, while addiction, an unintended consequence.

When you abuse substance, you’re still in the position of recovering without facing symptoms. Relapse is a not an issue in this case as you’re still in control of your urges and are able to quit when you want. You’re also able to change your unhealthy behavior. While, addiction is a condition that ultimately takes control of your mind. Your mind is then directed according to the urges your body has and you can no longer take responsibility for your actions.

The nature of addictive substances is that they are able to provide you with a “high” and an “ecstatic sensation” that temporarily change the chemicals in your mind, giving you pleasurable and stress free inductions. Some examples of these commonly abused substances are below:

  • Over The Counter Prescriptions
  • Controlled Opioids (Vicodin, Hydrocodone)
  • Anxiety medicines (Xanax)
  • Antidepressants

Basically medicines containing dextromethorphan are likely to be abused when taken in high doses as they induce similar effects as that of being intoxicated or drunk. Other potentially lethal additives are:

Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol- consumption is a common activity but as common as it can be the risk of abuse remains constant. Alcohol- by nature has an addictive property and has a high likelihood of being abused if not taken in moderation. When you drink irregular amounts of it, you may display a medical condition called use-disorder. The gene for this condition can be inherited, putting you at greater risk for addiction. If you suspect your drinking habits fall out of the limits prescribed as normal, you should schedule an appointment with a counselor.

Cannabis Use (Recreational and Medicinal)

Although Cannabis is still an illegal substance at the federal level, recent legislation has provided legality in the state of Michigan. Cannabis in MI can be used both medically and recreation-ally and is ingested for the purpose of acquiring sedative effects. The plant, although not really lethal and less likely to cause violence compared to other substances such as cocaine, still causes fear, anxiety and paranoia in users. This causes a significant emotional imbalance that gives rise to aggressive outbursts. Cannabis users are likely to experience confusion as they are unable to clearly process the scenario at hand. They also feel unsafe and frightened due to paranoia. They perceive threats from others in their surroundings due to hallucinating and hearing voices.

Heroin Addiction

Heroin is an illegal substance made with opioid narcotics for the purpose of deriving a gush of good feelings. But as soon as the effect of this drugs begins to wear off, a strong gloomy and an unpleasant feeling builds up and results in the aftermath. Heroin users will also experience a slowed down setting due to their mind and limbs functioning at a slower pace. This will make them nauseated and nervous. The phase after their ingestion wears off may also seem like a prolonged agony, possibly rushing them towards consuming another heroin dose.


Cocaine is a strong stimulant which has no safe amounts of using it. Common ways of ingesting it includes snorting, inhaling and injecting. The resulting effects of cocaine vary between people. However, the common theme of these effects is a disconnection from reality. Cocaine can be used as a recreational drug. However, even when used medications it carries side effects that can be detrimental. As with any drug, care is suggested. Higher doses of cocaine is likely to produce the following symptoms: anxiety, paranoia, tremors, nausea, sleep disorders and vomiting.

How Addictive Substances Control the Brain

The brain is the most vital organ of your body. It is the control center where every function is regulated. The brain releases signals to the body and enables you to experience things ranging from the basic to the most complex activity. From tasting the food on your plate, to inhaling the oxygen in the air, to creating thoughts, to forming sentences, to expressing emotions all is a mechanism controlled by your brain. It allows you to process information by interpreting it, and storing it in your memory to use for future experiences.

Now when this system is introduced to drugs, it eventually falls prey to the drugs ability to manipulate it. By interfering with how the brain sends, receives and operates signals, the drugs take over the role of the neurons. These drugs possess a chemical structure that can imitate the function of the natural neurotransmitter. Due to this they can activate the neurons (although not exactly in the same as neurotransmitters) and send signals that end up disrupting the brain’s chemical balance.

Therefore, when you’re looking for a treatment, you must consider treatments that address the core elements responsible for your addiction and seek to restore the natural mechanism of the brain.

How To Get Alcohol and Drug Addiction Diagnosis & Treatment in Oakland County

A timely diagnosis can fare well for substance abusers as with any complication or condition an early detection can prevent the problem from growing and gaining strength. Our Oakland County, MI Psychologists are trained and qualified to assess your situation and determine what kind of treatment is needed. The best course of action for you is to rely on their expertise and follow through with the treatment plan.

Fortunately, substance use and addiction are both treatable. Treatments may vary based on the severity of your symptoms. They may take up to a few weeks or months. In the case of relapse, the psychologist or counselor may add additional therapy sessions.

There are various treatment options available but the primary treatment methods based on popularity are DBT and CBT.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Substance Abuse Treatment

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a method of therapy that specifically targets certain problematic areas of your behavior and unpleasant memories of the past. It is designed to provide patients with a coping mechanism that helps ease their pain. These newly acquired skills are also meant to help them manage conflict in relationships. All in all, the dialectical behavior therapy enables four modes of delivery in patients:

  1. Mindfulness: this allows them to focus on their abilities of acceptance (especially regarding the reality at hand).
  2. Distress tolerance: this enables patients to expand their capacity of tolerance against negative emotions or developments. The primary objective of practicing DT is to learn how to stop looking for an “escape” from your painful situations.
  3. Emotion regulation: this is a technique that allows patients to develop a coping strategy that helps manage intense emotions.
  4. Interpersonal effectiveness: this is a set of techniques that upholds your self respect. It allows you to develop and maintain your posture and composure. It improves your communication with others in a manner that is assertive.

DBT is an all encompassing psychotherapy with multiple objectives. It is a popular combination of cognitive and behavior therapy that is employed across the global institution of mental health care. While, DBT was originally designed to treat personality disorders, it also proved successful for a range of disorders and conditions such as addiction, PTSD and substance abuse.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Substance Abuse Treatment

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy that seeks to eliminate problematic thought patterns and build a greater capacity of positivity in a person. The therapy is a short term treatment program with general objectives. CBT is employed for a number of issues such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, relationship problems and many more. The main goal of CBT is to change the attitude of people and reinforce a positive model of thinking in them. This in turn changes their behavior, thoughts, and beliefs.

CBT can last from 5 to 10 months with patients attending one class a week. Each session is about an hour long. The relationship between the patient and the therapist is a crucial aspect of this treatment. It is the patient’s main source of support. The therapist individually analyzes the patient’s case by studying his distinct history and formulates a treatment plan that caters to his issues specifically.

How To Find a Substance Abuse Counselor in Oakland County, MI

Therapists at Bright Pine Behavioral Health situated in Oakland county, Michigan are trained to work together with their clients and develop new strategies to treat their problems. They introduce patients to an array of treatments. The expert Michigan substance abuse therapists and counselors at Bright Pine Behavioral Health Services abide by a set of principles that creates discipline and eagerness in them to help their patients genuinely and passionately.

Get in touch with Sara Rietsch LPC CAADC, our expert certified advanced alcohol and drug abuse counselor.

Front desk staff may not always have the appropriate clinical expertise to answer questions about your unique situation. That’s why we provide quick and efficient consultations with experienced clinicians.