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Drug Addiction

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What is Substance Abuse / Drug Addiction?

Addiction has long been thought to be a term used to describe someone who consciously chooses to use drugs despite the negative consequences it causes within their lives. And while many people still believe that addiction is a choice, science has proven that it is anything but. Addiction, as defined by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), is a chronic, relapsing disease of the brain that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences. Addiction is a chronic disease, meaning that it occurs continuously, and while it can be treated, it cannot be cured.

When something is classified as a “disease”, it means that the physical construct of an organ or its function becomes altered. A person who is abusing drugs regularly is impacting the overall function of their brain because they are introducing a substance to their bodies that begins to take on the responsibility of otherwise natural systems. This is most obvious in relation to dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that produces sensations of reward and pleasure. Drugs interact with these specific receptors and essentially overload them. Over time, dopamine receptors stop naturally releasing dopamine, but instead allow the drugs that are being abused to take over that function. Because drugs are now responsible for producing and releasing dopamine, the drug user has to continually use in order to feel any sense of pleasure. One of the many downsides to that is that the body develops tolerance, meaning that the user has to continually increase the amount of drugs they are using in order to feel satisfied. 

This constant increase in drug use no longer just affects dopamine receptors, but also other areas of the brain that are designed to help with memory, cognition, decision-making skills, etc. Parts of the brain such as the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and nucleus accumbens suffer structural and functional damage that aid in the continued desire to use drugs. At this point, if an addict stops using drugs entirely or does not use as much as they normally would, withdrawal symptoms start to develop. This is the body’s way of sounding the alarm that it cannot function properly without drugs. 

Withdrawal symptoms are remedied by either using drugs again or completing detox. Many drug addicts find themselves using again just to alleviate themselves of these symptoms because they can be so deeply distressing. Doing this, however, only restarts the cycle of active addiction. Breaking this cycle and healing from the disease of addiction is possible with the implementation of professional treatment services.

How is it Drug Addiction Treated?

Addiction is a disease that someone will live with for the rest of their lives, because as mentioned before, it cannot be cured. However, addiction is a highly treatable disease and those who have it can develop skills to keep their active addiction dormant. 

This specific disease is most generally treated using a comprehensive approach that includes the use of both therapy and medication. Individuals who are addicted to drugs can work with therapists, addiction specialists, and other healthcare professionals at Los Angeles drug rehab centers to identify and address the core issues related to their active addiction and develop a plan on how to treat those issues. This includes developing an individualized treatment plan involving both general and specific therapies designed to meet the needs of the patient. For example, someone who developed a drug addiction after experiencing a significant traumatic event will likely have one or more trauma-based therapies included into the makeup of their treatment plan. All patients receiving professional addiction treatment services will have individual therapy sessions, and, depending on the level of care they are obtaining, group counseling, behavioral therapy, and possibly family therapy.

Not every drug addict is at their rock bottom when they enroll in a treatment program, which is one of the reasons why there are several different levels of addiction treatment available. They include:

  • Inpatient treatment (also known as residential treatment)
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Outpatient treatment

Within each of these levels of treatment, patients can also receive prescription medication developed to help with withdrawal symptoms and cravings (if medically indicated) as well as other medications to help treat co-occurring mental health conditions.


The most recent data provided by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics concludes that:

  • 53 million people in the United States had used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs
  • Marijuana is the most widely abused drug in the country, followed by opioids, meth, and heroin
  • Drug overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids increased by 10% between 2017 and 2018
  • 47% of high school students had used an illegal drug before the time of their graduation
  • 70% of people who try an illegal drug prior to 13 years of age develop a substance use disorder within at least seven years 
  • The Poison Control Centers of America reported 5,300 calls regarding child exposure to opioids

While many statistics regarding drug addiction highlight how grim this disease can be, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there was a 2.9% decline in drug overdose deaths between 2018 and 2019. 

Addictions We Treat

At Hathaway, we treat a wide range of drug addictions. These include, but are not limited to, the following types of drug addictions:

  • Opioid addiction
  • Cocaine addiction
  • Hallucinogen addiction 
  • Prescription drug addiction
  • Synthetic drug addiction
  • Marijuana addiction
  • MDMA addiction

Signs and Symptoms

A drug addiction is extremely difficult to conceal, especially as the drug addiction gets worse. It is important to remember that not all drug addicts are the same, nor do they all experience the exact same symptoms. However, some of the most common signs and symptoms of drug addiction include the following:

  • Needing more of a drug in order to experience the sense of being high
  • Continuing to use drugs despite experiencing health, social, financial, professional, or personal consequences caused by use 
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when unable to use 
  • Engaging in dangerous activity while under the influence, such as driving a vehicle, having unprotected sex, or getting in physical arguments 
  • Socially isolating from friends and family
  • Ignoring basic hygiene practices such as brushing teeth, washing clothes, combing hair, etc. 
  • Being dishonest about money or stealing it from others to pay for drugs
  • Changes in sleeping and eating patterns
  • Using other drugs to help counteract the effects of another drug
  • Neglecting basic responsibilities in order to use instead
  • Experiencing sudden, unexplained mood swings

These are just some of many signs and symptoms of drug addiction. If you are concerned that you or someone you love is addicted to drugs, Hathaway can help.

Treatment at Hathaway

Los Angeles drug rehab centers offer several different levels of addiction treatment, including:

  • Detox
  • Residential treatment
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Continuing care

We utilize countless evidence-based therapies and approaches to help each patient establish a strong footing in recovery. These include, but certainly aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Biofeedback
  • Art therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • EMDR
  • Exposure therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Psychodynamic therapy 
  • Group counseling
  • Individual psychotherapy

Our team of certified and licensed professionals working at Los Angeles drug rehab centers can develop an individualized treatment plan for you or your loved one that focuses on your specific treatment needs. With our help and guidance, we can help you live a happy, healthy, recovered life.


  • Excellent treatment center. Hathaway put on the road to recovery, I been sober 2 years today! Thank you Dena and staff members!

    Mike M.
  • Hathaway has saved my family. Before we found Hathaway my daughter was suffering with addiction however once we came to this facility the staff took her in and she felt comfortable and by a couple months she was ready to come back home fully recovered. Thank you Hathaway Recovery for saving her and thank you for the wonderful staff.

    Gabby H.
  • First I’ll start by saying that, this facility is absolutely beautiful! A couple years ago my husband Tony attended Hathaway Recovery in Claremont Ca. While Tony was in residential he received every care needed for a successful recovery. Also, he was able to enjoy the home gym at the beautiful Hathaway home, it’s basketball court, pool and etc. which made his stay even more pleasant. I am forever grateful for the man Tony has become ever since his completion. He has two years clean under his belt and many more to come because of the amazing facility. Thanks again Hathaway Recovery and Staff, Keep Continuing Changing Lives, God Bless Diane and Tony

    Diane K.
  • I came to Hathaway Recovery on court orders stemming from charges due to not taking medications for my mental health. I was fearful of what my future held and what that would look like. I have never been to a dual diagnosis treatment program before, and I didn’t know what to expect. I really didn’t think I had a substance abuse problem but after about 3-4 weeks of group therapy and the counselors here at this facility, I finally realized substance abuse influenced me to not be able to take care of my mental health. With the help of Hathaway Recovery’s team, I was able to build a strong foundation for my recovery that is vital to me and my family. The clinical staff, therapist, case managers, and counselors included, were honest, caring, and really helped me gain the knowledge I needed to build this recovery program and lifestyle. I am forever grateful for the treatment at Hathaway Recovery.

    Transition A.
  • My brother has been addicted for years. All our family gave up on him. Recently, he completed an inpatient residential program at Hathaway Recovery. This place is blessed and so helpful. It’s very luxurious, you feel like you are on vacation at a beautiful resort. Hathaway Recovery staff is very helpful, understanding and supportive. They all helped him to recover and to become a human again and enjoy his life. This place also supports family members and teaches them how to deal with aftercare to prevent relapse. Hathaway Recovery is the place for those who are struggling with addiction. Thank you for everything!

    Beauty D.
  • As a Trauma Informed Therapist I was contracted by Dina , the Owner to provide additional Trauma Informed Counseling. She indicated that she was seeking additional clinical services because her client population were enthusiastic about their recovery and she wanted to provide quality care. Working with Hathaway has been magical. This program does not separate addiction and mental health trauma into separate treatments, This program blends together the understanding that addicts have childhood trauma and have habitually used drugs or alcohol to dull their inner pain., Hathaway Recovery provides highly individual services for each client, including bilingual counseling. This is a program that I am proud to be a part of. Susan Pennington, LCSW – Trauma Informed Counseling Services.

    Susan P.
  • Hathaway Recovery Center is the real deal. They helped me find myself when I was completely lost. After I lost the mother of my child due to a tragic accident. The therapists and counselors truly cared. We made a relationship with each other that was unbreakable. The other clients were awesome roommates and true to me. The house managers were great and the living situations were awesome. If I ever even think about slipping up I’ll be returning. Today I have over one year clean.

    Jimmie R.
  • After searching many rehabs and after spending so much money to useless facilities we finally found Hathaway . From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank all the staff and all the residents that made my sons recovery easier from beginning to end.

    Gayane A.
  • Hathaway truly saved my life. I am so grateful to have had an opportunity to go there. I came in at absolute rock bottom, 9 rehabs later and countless sober livings. I can tell you that this treatment center is different then every other one I’ve ever been to.

    Justin J.
  • After running into some trouble with the law, a substance abuse counselor suggested that I check myself into Hathaway Recovery. Hathaway Recovery helped me get my life back together one step at a time. Through discipline, routine, and structure, I can honestly say that this treatment center has helped me tremendously! The staff are very helpful and caring to each person’s needs, and helped me to realize the beauty of living a sober life.

    Josh M.
  • Hathaway Recovery stuff saw potential In me when I couldn’t. They showed me a new way of life, a better life. Coming to Hathaway recovery is the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m beyond grateful for everything the program has done for me!

    Gilberto F.
  • Finally, Hathaway is a Treatment Center that offers a holistic approach to addiction. This center offers a safe place, community and a network to grow with throughout your recovery process. They make you feel that you are NOT alone. The leadership has been in your shoes!!! Hathaway Recovery is more than just a temporary fix, it is a foundation, a movement, a family to be a part of.

    Anthony P.
  • One of the best places I have been too! They really know how to treat you and very professional!

    Ashley A.
  • Hathaway Recovery and their staff have been nothing but supportive and understanding throughout our family member’s journey. I truly appreciate all the staff and their hard work. The communication has been great and has provided us a really positive experience. I would highly recommend this facility to anyone looking for a rehabilitation center for themselves or a loved one. Thank you Hathaway Recovery!

    Lilit H.
  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • Hathaway is a warm caring treatment oriented environment to receive help from various addictions and behavioral problematic issues. The location itself is serene and safe.. I enjoyed the both staff/professional’s and patient’s… It has many services available, a very unique place… I recommend anyone to come and receive long-term treatment here at Hathaway…

  • Hathaway Recovery is a very solid, very friendly place. My boyfriend decided to go here and has spent a significant amount of time at the recovery house. They are very good at bringing clients to meetings and on fun outings occasionally! Hathaway is committed to their clients’ recovery and their sobriety and to helping them in any way possible. They go above and beyond for the clients and I definitely would recommend considering Hathaway for your sobriety/recovery.

  • “There was no longer any doubt in my mind that I was in the right place for my drug abuse treatment, “Of all the rehabs I could have chosen, I am glad I picked The Hathaway Recovery Support hope respect and care is what i was offered thanks for everything Hathaway recovery you are the best

  • Hathaway Recovery is an awesome place the whole staff has been so helpful they are very professional and very nice Hathaway recovery is a great place to get your addiction treated my brother is doing very well there and we are so glad they were very understanding and willing to help him.

  • A very welcoming environment and kind hearted staff that really took care of my relative and cleaned him up. Thanks Hathaway recovery.

  • When your loved one is sick and needs help you look for the best and I found the best for my son thank you for everything you did for him.


    Hathaway Recovery is an exclusive addiction rehab treatment center in California offering healing recovery from all substances. We’re proud to provide a great combination for drug, alcohol, psychiatric and psychological recovery treatment backed by experts in the addiction treatment field. Our drug and alcohol rehab is built on the cornerstone of care and compassion and accommodates clients and their families from all backgrounds to educate, inform, and create change around substance use disorder. In a secluded mountain hill luxury resort, our facility offers a therapeutic environment and array of clinical modalities to help individuals and their families. Our staff are also multilingual to address the needs of clients from anywhere in the world.

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