Drug abuse is the precursor to drug addiction. Some individuals are born with a set of genes that predispose them to addiction, and when exposed to certain environmental factors, they may go on to abuse drugs. What starts as something that feels like harmless fun can end up becoming an uncontrollable addiction.

If you or someone you love needs help beating drug addiction, contact us today at 252-715-3905 to learn more about our program, or click here to verify your insurance policy will cover treatment so you can get help today.

Changing Tides accepts the following major insurance policies that may pay all or part of your drug addiction treatment.

Get Help Now for Drug Addiction!!

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you’re facing. Get in touch with one today.

Drug Addiction in North Carolina

Our outpatient drug rehab program provides health and human services and substance abuse treatment with a location conveniently located in NC.

For years Changing Tides has consistently been regarded as a trusted treatment provider. Our programs are a private and convenient solution for those seeking drug treatment.

Our center is designed to meet the unique needs of each individual while offering the highest quality of care and service.

We offer a full continuum of therapy.

If you’re concerned that you or someone you care about might be abusing drugs, seek advice from an expert at our rehab in North Carolina at 252-715-3905.

guy struggling to overcome drug addiction

What Is Substance Addiction?

When it comes to substance use disorder, there is no one-size-fits-all all definition. Substance abuse can refer to using illegal drugs, or prescription medications in a way not intended by the doctor, or even drinking alcohol excessively. However, when people talk about drug abuse, they are usually referring to using illegal drugs.

Illegal drugs are substances that are prohibited by law from being manufactured, sold, or possessed. They include street drugs such as heroin and cocaine as well as marijuana, which is now legal in some states but still considered illegal by the federal government. People who abuse illegal drugs often do so because they enjoy the feeling of being high. However, what starts out as recreational use can quickly spiral into addiction.

The Rise of Addiction

Drug use touches the lives of millions of people all over the United States and often leads to more severe problems such as addiction. Abuse is characterized by the use of a substance to the extent that it harms the user. If you’ve been prescribed medicine and you’re taking it more frequently or in higher quantities, than advised by your doctor, you’ve been abusing legal drugs.

Cannabis, prescription drugs and so-called party drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy are the most frequently abused across the country. People begin using these substances recreationally, limiting their intake and feeling as if they’re safe. However, some people enjoy the high so much that they seek it out regularly until they can’t control how much they’re using.

Many people still ask the question, “Is drug addiction a disease?” The answer is yes. Both substance use and drug addiction are substance use disorders, which are featured in the diagnostic and statistical manual for mental disorders (DSM)

Prescription Drugs


This type of prescription drug binds to opioid receptors in the brain, which mimic naturally occurring endorphins. When used, they cause feelings of euphoria, and many are converted to morphine in the liver, meaning the effects are similar to heroin.

Opioids/opiates are highly addictive, and you should only use them as prescribed by a doctor. The growing opioid addiction crisis has led to a rising rate of opioid overdose deaths.

Benzodiazepines and sleeping pills:

These drugs are frequently prescribed for anxiety but should only be used in the short term. They take effect on the central nervous system, causing an influx of GABA. This neurotransmitter inhibits activity in the central nervous system, inducing feelings of relaxation and sleepiness, and is considered a sedative.


People often use cocaine to lubricate social situations due to the feelings of confidence and exhilaration it can provide users. It causes a rush of dopamine, which is the neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and reinforcing behaviors.

Ecstasy (MDMA)

MDMA significantly increases the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, with the former being the most abundantly available. This causes intense feelings of euphoria, love and well-being, which is starkly contrasted by the way a person feels once the high is over.


Methamphetamine induces the release of copious amounts of dopamine, in far higher quantities than cocaine, crack cocaine or ecstasy. The user is usually high for upwards of 12 hours, and their behavior will be highly erratic during this time.

Heroin Rehab

Heroin, or diamorphine in medical terms, is derived from the seeds of a specific poppy plant. It imitates endorphins in the brain, which are responsible for suppressing pain and inducing feelings of happiness. If this is the case, then rehab is for you.

Get Help Now for Drug Addiction!!

Don’t go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you’re facing. Get in touch with one today.

Causes of Drug Addiction

Something else people often ask is, “Is drug addiction genetic?” While the answer is highly complex, scientists have ascertained that the origins of addiction are around 60% genetic and 40% environmental. There is no single gene or experience that foretells the onset of a substance abuse disorder.

The genetic aspect includes the interaction of over 50 genes, as well as the impact that drug use in the family can have on an individual. For example, someone who has been exposed to substance use in their childhood home is more likely to see the behavior as acceptable compared to someone who hasn’t.

It’s also often true that parents who use drugs supervise their children less, enabling the children to start experimenting with drugs from an early age.

The earlier you take up a habit, such as smoking, drinking or drug use, the more likely you’ll struggle with addiction in the future. Other environmental factors include exposure to trauma, stress, peer pressure and the media.

Signs of Substance Use

  • Increased irritation or excitability when taking part in regular social interactions
  • Losing interest in hobbies and enjoyable pastimes
  • Legal or financial issues such as debt, frequent borrowing, arrests, driving under the influence or stealing
  • Neglecting essential responsibilities, such as poor performance at school or work and neglecting family life
  • Problems in interpersonal relationships, such as the loss of valued friendships, an unhappy boss, and arguments with family members
  • Unusual or out-of-character behavior
  • Frequent, unexplained disappearances
  • Drug paraphernalia such as blister packs, smoking papers, rolled-up banknotes, and needles
  • Unusual smells

Symptoms of Drug Use

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Bloodshot or glazed-over eyes
  • Pinpoint or dilated pupils
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Diminished self-care
  • Lack of coordination
  • Changes in attitude
Group therapy for drug abusers facilitated by a mental health professional

Treatment Options in North Carolina

Changing Tides offers multiple programs along with a Sober Living Environment. Our facility provides effective long-term treatment and recovery services to these areas and more:  Fayetteville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Durham, Charlotte, Asheville, Blue Ridge, Wilmington & Raleigh, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head, Harbinger, Corolla, Elizabeth City, Manteo, Currituck, and Camden.