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Alcohol and Substance Abuse


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Substance use disorders can affect a person’s health, relationships, and functioning at work or school. The most common substance use disorders are alcoholism, drug addiction (hallucinogens, opioids, stimulants), and smoking (tobacco, cannabis).

Symptoms of substance abuse vary, but can include:

  • Continued use despite negative effects on life
  • Developing a tolerance
  • Problems controlling use when tempted
  • Spending a lot of time to acquire and use the substance
  • Uncontrollable cravings
  • Using in risky situations
  • Using more over time
  • Withdrawal symptoms after not using

People with mental health disorders and complex illness, such as depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cancer, or HIV/AIDS, may struggle with substance abuse. Quitting isn’t simply “mind over matter.” Alcoholism and drug addiction require compassionate, dedicated care to fully overcome the disorder.


Biofeedback and Stress Management
Biofeedback is a non-invasive treatment that trains your mind to control the physical effects of stress or a health condition, including brain activity, blood pressure, muscle tension, body temperature, and more. Biofeedback involves sensors (electrodes) placed on your body, and special therapies taught by a certified biofeedback therapist.

Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
ECT uses a small amount of electric current that is believed to reverse symptoms of mental disorders. The current, delivered through sensors (electrodes) on the scalp, causes brief, controlled seizures that change brain chemistry. ECT requires six to 12 treatments, performed in an outpatient setting under general anesthesia.

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, explores how a health condition affects your thoughts, emotions, behavior, and mood, and how to cope. There are many forms of psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to change your thinking or behavior, and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) to improve your relationships. Psychotherapy is offered in groups or individually.

Psychopharmacology is the study of the use of medications in treating mental health disorders. Psychiatrists prescribe medications to improve symptoms of mental health disorders. Common medications include one, or a combination of, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-psychotic drugs, anti-anxiety medicines, and stimulants. Our psychiatrists study these medicines to understand how they work and affect the body, and skillfully apply this knowledge in their daily practice.

Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS)
This non-invasive form of brain stimulation treats depression and anxiety that does not respond well to medicines or psychotherapy (talk therapy). It involves a head coil that delivers magnetic pulses to brain cells. These pulses change specific areas in the brain responsible for mood, memory, addiction, and more. rTMS is performed without anesthesia, in daily outpatient sessions for four to six weeks.

Why Choose UHealth?

Confidential, multidisciplinary treatments for all types of addiction. You have access to a variety of inpatient (hospital stay) and outpatient (clinic) recovery services, including detoxification programs managed by teams of specially trained psychiatrists, neurologists, and internal medicine doctors. We offer 24-hour nurse support for safe withdrawal, private or group counseling, and health and recovery programs created just for you.

Groundbreaking substance abuse research and care for dual diagnoses. You can trust you’ll receive state-of-the-art treatment and care because we’re researching novel therapies for substance use disorders, like opioid addiction. We’re also pioneering innovative treatments for alcohol use with co-existing bipolar disorder and HIV/AIDS.

Marchman Act receiving facility. Just as UMH is a Baker Act receiving facility, we are also a Marchman Act receiving facility. This permits for involuntary admission and examination for individuals requiring substance abuse evaluation and treatment in Florida. For more information, please contact 305-689-4444.


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