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Understanding Addiction and Substance Abuse


Addiction and substance abuse do not discriminate. They can affect anyone of any gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, profession, or age. The genesis of addiction is multi-faceted and at times ambiguous – it occurs as a combination of genetics, environment, and social factors in varied and unpredictable patterns. While initial use is voluntary, once addiction develops, it changes the way the brain functions and goes much deeper than willpower. Many addicts want desperately to stop, but find themselves unable to do so on their own despite valiant efforts. Some rarely consider trying to cease their use, as addiction has become their lifestyle, their main coping mechanism, and a large part of their identity. Regardless of previous attempts to quit, and even in cases where the addict claims to have no desire to stop, professional treatment is effective in identifying and addressing the root causes underpinning substance abuse, helping the addict change his or her behaviors, and ultimately saving lives.

Addiction is a chronic disease but one that can be managed through fully integrated treatment that concurrently addresses both substance abuse and mental health, commonly referred to as “dual diagnosis.” Quality addiction treatment involves a combination of therapy, education, life-skills development, family involvement, accountability, and continued support. At Northbound, we work collaboratively with our clients and their families to identify and provide the level of support and guidance they need for their specific stage of recovery. With personalized approaches to treatment and our consistent In Vivo® model, clients are given the opportunity to develop a sustainable lifestyle of recovery and turn their lives around for the better.

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treatment-box-1It is estimated that more than 17 million adults in the United States struggle with alcohol abuse or alcoholism. It is legal for adults over the age of 21 to drink alcohol, and many individuals, families, communities, and media outlets downplay the potential damages caused by the abusive consumption of this substance, making alcoholism at times difficult to hold ourselves or our loved ones accountable for. Movies, television, and perhaps our own friends and family glorify the effects of drinking, making light of hangovers, “silly” acts of inhibition when drunk, and the exacerbated poor decision making that comes with high levels of alcohol consumption. For many, even those who drink to the point of feeling “drunk” with some regularity, alcoholism will never develop. For many others, what begins as a fun and often socially acceptable practice, will become a destructive habit that feels nearly unbreakable. Ceasing alcohol abuse is a delicate process – many do not realize the medical and health implications that detoxing from this substance can have. In addition to seeking professional treatment to assist in the development of a sustainable lifestyle of recovery, we cannot advise strongly enough that individuals engage in a medically supervised detox process to ensure their health and safety during the initial stages of achieving abstinence from alcohol.

Learn More About Alcoholism

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a broad category that can include many substances ranging from heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines to marijuana, prescription and synthetic drugs, stimulants, and more. The severity and effects of drug addiction are varied, but the negative impact on a person’s overall health and quality of life is consistent and damaging. Some patterns of drug abuse begin with curiosity or experimentation, while others stem from legal prescriptions. Over time, a tolerance can build and changes in the brain increase making it more difficult to stop use. During the course of treatment, participants are aided in identifying not only the problematic behaviors they wish to adjust, but also (and arguably more importantly) the root causes underpinning those behaviors. By addressing root causes of addiction, the likelihood of repeat use greatly decreases, while the chances for the individual to enhance their spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being increase dramatically. Abstinence from substances is only the beginning. Recovery signifies a thriving lifestyle based on renewed connections, priorities, and ongoing emotional, interpersonal, and spiritual development.  Treatment is effective and hope is out there!

Learn More About Drug Addiction

Get Treatment for Substance Abuse and Co-Occurring Disorders at Northbound

Northbound provides the fully integrated treatment that clients need to overcome substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. A team of providers works with clients one-on-one and in group settings to address substance use and mental health challenges that impact recovery. Clients receive the personalized care and treatment they need to make positive changes in their lives, reduce risk for relapse, and learn how to truly thrive in recovery.



Residential Treatment Program

Engaging in addiction treatment is not easy. It takes courage, perseverance, and humility. The transformations that await for those who put in the effort are often awe-inspiring and most certainly worth the effort. Northbound’s residential treatment program is designed to support clients through the treatment experience and beyond. We equip clients with the strategies, skills, and resources necessary to create a sustainable lifestyle of recovery. Read More

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