Addiction Signs, Symptoms & Treatment

At Sunshine Behavioral Health, we strive to help as many people as possible in their struggles with substance use disorder. We uncover positive paths forward for our clients, proving that sobriety is definitely possible and that repairing the damages of addiction is also achievable.

Commonly Abused Drugs


While illegal drugs get most of the attention when talking about dangerous addictions, alcohol, a legal substance, has the highest death toll. Alcohol addiction is a debilitating and dangerous habit. If you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol, don’t hesitate to get help. Read on to learn more.


Cocaine is incredibly addictive and therefore can be extremely dangerous. If you or someone you know is addicted to cocaine, it’s very important to receive treatment. Read on to find out more information on how we can help.


Ecstasy—or E, X, Molly, or MDMA—is a widespread party drug that can be taken orally, swallowed, snorted or smoked. Typically taken to experience euphoria, ecstasy is a stimulant like cocaine with many of the same mental and physical side effects. Read on to learn more.


One of the most dangerously addictive drugs, heroin addiction is incredibly serious. Common signs of heroin addiction are: contracted pupils, needle marks, unusual sleeping habits, vomiting, sweating, sniffing, coughing, appetite loss and twitching. Read on to find out more information.


As many can attest, meth addiction is not an easy problem to overcome. But thankfully, it’s not something you have to deal with alone. Our experienced staff and well-equipped facilities provide all the help you need to get clean. Read on to learn more.

Sleeping Pills

Due to its prevalence, sleeping pills are one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. Most begin taking them to address issues like anxiety and sleep problems, which can quickly develop into a dependency. Read on to find out more information on how we can help.


Just because something is legal does not mean that it’s safe. Cannabis is highly addictive and can be harmful to users. As such, it still needs to be taken seriously—especially given how increasingly common it’s become. Read on to find out more information.


Methadone is often prescribed to ease opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms, but methadone can be addictive in itself. Seeking help for methadone addiction and abuse helps people treat these issues, leading to a healthier life. Read on to learn more.

Difference Between Drug or Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

While they’re often used interchangeably, substance addiction and substance use disorder are actually two different things. Substance misuse is also a term often used, but it too is different. Let’s explore the differences.


Addiction vs. Misuse vs. Abuse

  • Misuse: When someone misuses a substance, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re addicted. For example, a person may use a substance in a way that they’re not intended for, or unintentionally take the wrong dosage. Usually, those mistakes do not result in abuse or addiction. However when there is intentional misuse, it increases the risk of abuse and addiction.
  • Abuse: Substance use disorder occurs when a person repeatedly misuses a substance. They want to recreate the pleasurable feelings associated with the substance, so continue to abuse the drug repeatedly. However, this doesn’t mean they’re addicted—yet. At this point, they’re developing a tolerance, but are on their way towards addiction.
  • Addiction: A full-blown addiction is diagnosed when someone is unable to stop abusing a substance. Their tolerance is at a high level, and they now depend on the drug to function daily. As a result, they typically experience intense cravings, neglect their personal lives and suffer from withdrawal when they try to stop or decrease their use. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V) presents clinical criteria to diagnose addiction.

Now is the Time to
Seek Help

Call us today.

Symptoms of Addiction

If you think you or a loved one is developing an addiction, there are signs you should watch out for. Any of the following symptoms is a potential sign of drug or alcohol addiction, and should be treated immediately.


Psychological symptoms

  • Inability to stop use
  • Continued use despite health problems
  • Drug use to deal with personal struggles
  • Obsession and preoccupation with acquiring and using the drug
  • Risky behaviors
  • Consuming large and frequent quantities


Socio-emotional symptoms

  • Giving up previous activities that once brought fulfillment
  • Doing everything to maintain substance supply
  • Being secretive
  • Always in isolation
  • Denial of the problem
  • Legal or law enforcement problems
  • Financial problems


Physical symptoms

  • Experiencing withdrawal
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Drastic weight changes
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Changes in appetite
  • Heart, lung, kidney or liver issues
  • Changes in appearance


These general symptoms usually happen simultaneously, and people should be on the lookout for worsening signs.

How Is Addiction Treated?

Now that we’ve discussed the differences between misuse, abuse and addiction, including its symptoms, it’s time to look at treatment options.

It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach towards addiction recovery. Addictions can be as unique as the individual, so customized treatment plans are developed to fully suit a patient’s needs.

Below, you’ll find some of the most well-known options for addiction treatment.

Get help now

Start Your Recovery

Contact us and a healthcare professional will reach out to you shortly.

At Sunshine Behavioral Health our goal is to help as many people as possible in their struggles with substance abuse.

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Medical detox

The first line of treatment for most substance use disorders is detox, which is the process of removing the toxins caused by substance addiction. This can involve using other prescription medications to dampen the effects of drugs and alcohol. Or, it may involve tapering off the drug dosages over a specific period.

It’s highly advised to do a detox under the supervision of medical professionals, as do-it-yourself detoxes can be dangerous and potentially fatal. Quitting cold turkey is not advisable.


Rehab treatments

After getting rid of withdrawal symptoms via detox, patients can proceed to therapeutic approaches to overcome their addiction. The goal of these treatments is to:

  • Pinpoint the cause of addiction
  • Heal personal wounds
  • Activate healthy outlets and abilities to self-cope
  • Mend relational hurts
  • Discover strategies that work for each individual

There are a variety of treatment approaches to take depending on the individual. Some prefer spiritual treatment, like 12-Step Rehab, while others prefer a secular approach, such as Non-12 Step or Holistic methods. Finally, some combine these treatment methods to discover what best suits their needs.



Follow-up after intensive rehab is almost always necessary. People often get used to the structure provided by a rehab facility and face difficulties adjusting to the “real world.” High-quality rehab centers have aftercare programs in place to help with this transition. These can include fitness plans, relapse prevention guides, continued therapy and support groups to help maintain a patient’s sobriety.


Getting Help: Don’t Let Addiction Define You

You may have arrived at this page wondering if you or a loved one is suffering from addiction. Have you or they crossed the line between misuse and abuse into a full-blown addiction? It’s time to stop worrying and start acting.

Don’t let addiction define you or a loved one. Instead, get the needed help and leave addiction in the past.


Guides on Addiction

Substance Use Disorder Evaluation

A substance use disorder evaluation can help determine the severity of substance use disorder disorder in a particular individual and therefore how much it has affected his body… They help the rehab center team determine which treatment programs could increase the client’s chances of successful recovery.

Guide to Intervention

When a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can seem nearly impossible to convince them to seek help. Staging an intervention is often a last resort, but when done right, it can get them to better understand the harm they are inflicting upon themselves.

Sending Your Child to Rehab

Sending your child to rehab is never going to be easy, but sometimes you just have no choice. As a parent, it hurts to have to acknowledge that your child may be dealing with something like this. Read on to learn how to handle this tough situation.

Addictions We Treat

Some of the Substances We Specialize In…

Alcohol Addiction

Benzos Addiction

Cocaine Addiction

Heroin Addiction

Meth Addiction

Sleeping Pills Addiction

Talk with one of our Treatment Specialists!

Call 24/7: 949-276-2886

Sunshine Behavioral Health Facilities


Chapters Capistrano


Monarch Shores


Mountain Springs


Willow Springs


Lincoln Recovery

Find out more about our admissions process