Substance Abuse Treatment

Alternative Options Substance Abuse Treatment Programs provide comprehensive, intensive treatment where clients examine and begin to resolve their alcohol/substance abuse or dependency issues. Our goal is to provide an environment where clients can make the necessary emotional and behavioral changes in order to achieve sustained sobriety.

Our team of caring and experienced professionals will assist individuals and families in gaining insight into mental, behavioral, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of addictive behaviors and associated issues.

Substance abuse treatment includes:

What is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is when someone uses drugs, alcohol, or other substances in ways that are harmful to their health, safety, and well-being. It can lead to physical and mental health problems, difficulties in relationships, and troubles at work or school. 

In California alone, 9% of residents met the criteria for a substance use disorder (SUD).1

What Signs Indicate Substance Abuse?

Recognizing substance abuse can be challenging, but there are some common signs to look out for:

Physical Signs

Physical signs of substance abuse include:
  • Changes in appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Unsteady gait
  • Poor physical coordination

Behavioral Signs

These include:
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home or work
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changes in social groups or favorite hangouts

Psychological Signs

Psychological signs of substance abuse include:
  • Increased paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • An unexplained change in personality or attitude

What Signs Indicate Substance Abuse?

It’s not always easy to identify when it’s time to get help for substance abuse. But, if you or someone you know is experiencing the following, it may be time to seek professional assistance:
  • Increasing Dependency: You feel the need to use the substance regularly, either daily or multiple times a day.
  • Failed Attempts to Quit: You’ve tried to stop using the substance(s), but couldn’t. This could be due to withdrawal symptoms, increased cravings, or a lack of support.
  • Taking Risks: This involves using the substance even when it’s dangerous, such as before driving.
  • Financial Trouble: This includes spending a significant amount of money on the substance, even if you can’t afford it.
  • Relationship Issues: Your substance use causes problems with your loved ones.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that in 2021, drug overdose deaths in California reached 10,901.2 This alarming number underscores the importance of recognizing the signs and getting help as soon as possible.

Impact of Substance Abuse on the Community

Substance abuse has far-reaching effects that extend beyond the individual to the larger community. By understanding its impact, we can better address its challenges. 
Here, we’ll explore how substance abuse influences our social and economic spheres, health, family relationships, and community safety.

Social and Economic Influences

Substance abuse places a heavy burden on our social and economic structures, leading to:
  • Economic Costs: Communities spend large sums on health care, law enforcement, and social care due to issues stemming from substance abuse. It also affects work productivity due to absenteeism, accidents, and decreased performance.
  • Social Strain: There’s a greater demand for social services like counseling and rehabilitation centers. Substance abuse can lead to homelessness, creating further strain on social services and shelters.
  • Crime Rates: Substance abuse can lead to increased crime rates, from possession and distribution offenses to crimes committed to support one’s addiction.

Health Implications

Substance abuse doesn’t just harm the individual’s health. Its ripple effect can impact the community’s well-being: 
  • Physical Health: Overuse of substances can lead to various diseases, from liver problems due to excessive alcohol consumption to respiratory issues from smoking.
  • Mental Health: Substance abuse is closely tied to mental health issues. For example, 7.6% of US adults had both AMI (Any Mental Illness) and an SUD.3 Conditions like depression, anxiety, and psychosis often coexist with substance abuse, and recognizing this link is vital for treatment.
  • Spread of Diseases: Sharing needles can lead to the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis within the community.

Impact on Family and Relationships

Substance abuse can negatively impact a person’s family and relationships:
  • Strain on Relationships: Trust issues, conflicts, and broken communication can arise within families and between friends. It’s hard for loved ones to watch someone struggle, and it can lead to feelings of helplessness or anger.
  • Children are Affected: 1 in 8 children live with at least one parent who has SUD.4 These children may face neglect, emotional or physical abuse, and may be more likely to develop substance abuse problems themselves in the future.
  • Erosion of Support Systems: Over time, as relationships strain or break, the person may lose their primary support system, which can worsen their condition.
At Alternative Options, we encourage support for not only the individual directly impacted by addiction, but for their families. We offer family counseling services to help loved ones rebuild relationships, establish healthy boundaries, and improve understanding.

Community Safety Concerns

Substance abuse poses several safety concerns for communities, such as:
  • Driving Under Influence: Accidents related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs endanger not just the driver but pedestrians and other road users. About 31% of traffic fatalities are due to alcohol-related road accidents.5
  • Public Disturbances: Some substances can lead to aggressive behaviors, leading to fights, public disturbances, and other confrontational events.
  • Overdose: There’s a risk of people overdosing in public spaces, which can be traumatic for community members, especially children, to witness.
In understanding the depth and breadth of substance abuse’s implications on the community, one can see the importance of comprehensive treatment and prevention programs. 
Only by addressing the root causes and offering multifaceted support can we hope to mitigate these challenges for both individuals and the communities they belong to.

The Most Commonly Abused Substances and Their Potential Impacts

While some substances can be used safely in moderation or under a doctor’s guidance, misuse can lead to serious health and social issues.

Alcohol and Prescription Medications

Excessive consumption of alcohol can harm your liver, heart, and brain. Beyond physical health risks, too much alcohol can lead to accidents, addiction, and unsafe behaviors.

Prescription medications, such as pain relievers, sleeping aids, and medications for anxiety, are designed to help with specific health issues. When taken beyond the recommended dose or without a prescription, they can lead to health complications, addiction, or even overdose.


Cocaine, often a white powder inhaled through the nose, offers a burst of energy. Yet, its misuse can damage the heart, brain, and lungs. 


Amphetamines, which are stimulants, increase energy and focus. Overconsumption can cause heart issues, a spike in body temperature, and aggressive behavior. 


Hallucinogens, like LSD, alter perceptions and feelings, potentially leading to dangerous behaviors and mental health problems.


Marijuana, especially its potent form known as wax, is frequently used. In fact, 1 in 5 Americans use marijuana.6 However, misuse might disturb memory processes, learning capabilities, and even emotional stability.


Depressants, like benzodiazepines or “benzos,” are often prescribed for anxiety or sleep disorders. Overuse can result in drowsiness, confusion, and a strong dependence on the drug. 


Opiates, including morphine and codeine, are powerful pain relievers. Their misuse can result in addiction, breathing difficulties, and in severe cases, overdose.


Inhalants, ranging from household products like glue to aerosol sprays, are sometimes inhaled to achieve a temporary high. Inhalant abuse poses severe risks to the brain, heart, and lungs.


Tobacco, whether smoked or chewed, is a leading cause of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory issues.

Substance Abuse Treatment at Alternative Options

At Alternative Options, we understand the complex nature of substance abuse. With our dedicated team and over two decades of experience, we’ve crafted programs that focus on not just stopping substance use, but on understanding and addressing its underlying causes. 

What We Treat

Every person’s journey with substance abuse is unique, which is why our treatment is tailored to individual needs. We offer evidence-based treatment for a variety of substances, including but not limited to:
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription medications
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Opiates
  • Inhalants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Marijuana and wax
Substance abuse treatment is about more than just treating addiction to a particular substance. Our approach is holistic, considering the whole person – their mental, emotional, behavioral, and social well-being – and not just the symptoms of their addiction.

Levels of Care

The journey to overcoming substance abuse often involves various levels of care, each tailored to the specific needs of an individual. At Alternative Options, our commitment is to provide the right environment and resources that help in addressing different stages of recovery.

Outpatient Therapy

Outpatient therapy is a form of treatment where you attend sessions at our facility but continue to live at home. This means you can still carry on with your daily activities, such as work or school, while getting the help you need.

Outpatient therapy provides a level of flexibility not seen in more intensive programs. While you’d attend regular sessions – for example, seeing a therapist once a week – you don’t stay at the facility.

This is different from programs like the intensive outpatient program (IOP) or the partial hospitalization program (PHP) where the involvement and time commitment is greater.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

IOP is a step above standard outpatient therapy in terms of intensity. While you still live at home, you attend therapy sessions more frequently, often several times a week.
IOP provides a middle ground between standard outpatient therapy and more intensive programs like PHP. This program is best suited for those who need more than just weekly therapy but aren’t in a position where they need to be hospitalized or under continuous supervision.
The regular and more frequent sessions ensure that you receive robust support while still maintaining some aspects of your daily routine.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

PHP offers the most intensive form of care among the three. While still outpatient in nature, PHP usually involves daily therapeutic sessions for most of the day, five days a week.

PHP is one step below inpatient hospitalization. Think of it like a day program where you spend significant time at the facility but return home in the evenings. This program is for those who need near-constant therapeutic support but don’t necessarily need 24/7 medical supervision.
The structure and regularity of a PHP can provide the robust framework necessary for individuals in the more critical stages of their recovery journey.

Treatment Modalities and Services

Our knowledgeable and kind Alternative Options team offers a range of effective treatment modalities tailored to meet individual needs. 


Behavioral therapy techniques focus on the inner workings of the mind, providing tools and strategies to reshape thoughts and actions tied to substance abuse. Let’s take a look at how these techniques can support your journey.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This approach helps you recognize and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that lead to substance abuse. By understanding triggers, you can develop strategies to avoid or counteract them.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

DBT focuses on accepting and changing distressing situations. It is especially helpful for those with a dual diagnosis, like an underlying mental health condition along with substance abuse.

Family Therapy

Substance abuse doesn’t only affect the user but also their family. Family therapy involves everyone and helps to:

  • Rebuild trust
  • Improve communication
  • Find common ground in the journey to recovery

Psychoeducation Groups

These sessions offer insights into substance abuse and its effects. By understanding the problem better, you are better equipped to overcome it.

Holistic and Supportive Therapies

Recovery is not just about abstaining from substances; it’s also about healing the whole self – mind, body, and spirit. Holistic and supportive therapies complement traditional treatments, offering varied approaches to address the multifaceted nature of substance abuse and its impact.
Here’s what we offer to nurture your well-being:

Music Therapy

Music can be a therapeutic tool. It provides a way for you to:
  • Express emotions
  • Reduce stress
  • Connect with others in a group setting

Yoga/Trauma Informed Yoga

Yoga helps in grounding, providing a sense of peace and balance. Especially for those who’ve faced trauma, this practice can be a step towards physical and emotional healing.

Other Support Groups

It’s essential for loved ones to understand the journey of recovery and provide the necessary support. These groups offer a platform for them to share, learn, and grow together.

Ensuring Sustained Recovery

While initial treatment is a significant milestone, the journey towards a life free from substance abuse is continuous. Emphasizing the importance of consistent check-ins, accountability, and long-term strategies ensures that recovery is not just achieved but maintained. 

Random Drug Testing

To ensure you stay on track, random drug testing acts as both a deterrent and a check mechanism. It helps in holding you accountable.

Medication Evaluation and Management

Some might need medications as a part of their treatment plan. Regular evaluation ensures that the right medication and dosage are provided.

Aftercare Support for Relapse Prevention

The journey doesn’t end with treatment. Aftercare provides continued support, resources, and tools to prevent relapse and ensure long-term sobriety.
Substance abuse can feel like a dark tunnel, but with comprehensive care, light shines at the end. Embracing the diverse treatments and services offered by Alternative Options can pave the way to a brighter, healthier future.

Discover Your Path to Recovery With Us

Grappling with substance abuse takes more than just a temporary solution. It’s about finding a dedicated partner in the journey to lasting recovery. Dive into our specialized treatments tailored for both adults and adolescents.
At Alternative Options, we’ve been that trusted partner for over two decades, fostering recovery, resilience, and a return to wellness. Located conveniently in the heart of Los Angeles and Orange County, our expert team ensures that each client’s path to recovery is personalized and effective.

With every step you take towards recovery, we walk right beside you. Reach out today and discover the Alternative Options difference.