Substance Use Disorders Specialist

Thomas C. Apostle, DO -  - Physical Medicine

Thomas C. Apostle, DO

Physical Medicine & Psychiatry located in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, CA & Long Beach, CA

No one uses medication, alcohol, or illicit drugs with the intention of addiction. Nonetheless, around 21 million Americans have a substance use disorder. Thomas C. Apostle, DO, specializes in both psychiatry and physical medicine, which uniquely equips him to diagnose and treat substance use disorders. If you’re struggling with addiction, schedule an appointment at any of Dr. Apostle’s offices in the Beverly Grove area of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Westlake Village, California, by calling.

Substance Use Disorders Q&A

What is a substance use disorder?

A substance use disorder, sometimes called addiction, is a brain disorder that causes intense and irresistible urges to use drugs or alcohol. It leads to compulsive drug or alcohol use that interferes with your physical health, relationships, and ability to function in your day-to-day life. 

Patients with substance use disorders have abnormal activity in the regions of their brains that control their judgment, decision making, and impulse control. 

What are the warning signs of a substance use disorder?

There are many reasons why you might use a substance. Some patients begin with prescription pain medication, while others drink socially or are looking for a way to self-medicate and feel better. 

However, when a substance use disorder develops, your drug use goes beyond prescribed or social use, into misuse, and eventually abuse.

Signs that you have a substance use disorder include:

  • Feeling like you need to use the drug frequently
  • Urges and thoughts about the substance block out other thoughts
  • Developing a tolerance to the substance
  • Needing to use more of the drug to achieve the same effects
  • Going out of your way to make sure you have access to the drug
  • Doing things you wouldn’t normally do to get the drug
  • Failing in your attempts to stop using the drug
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms

You might not recognize that you have a substance use disorder. Often, friends or family might express concerns about your behavior, health, or appearance. 

How are substance use disorders treated?

Dr. Apostle provides holistic and comprehensive treatment for substance use. His multidisciplinary approach helps you beat addiction and addresses the underlying factors that contribute to your condition. Substance use treatment usually combines medication, counseling, and lifestyle adjustments. 

Dr. Apostle adds physical medicine therapies to the mix to address pain conditions that contribute to your drug or alcohol abuse. Physical medicine can also help make recovery less challenging.

For example, Dr. Apostle can prescribe medication to curb your cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms. At the same time, he provides treatments to address depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and other conditions that often contribute to substance use. 

Dr. Apostle provides therapy to help you explore your substance use disorder and learn new techniques to cope with your triggers. He also recommends lifestyle modifications to help you stay on your path to recovery.

If you’re struggling with addiction and are ready to commit to changing your life, call Dr. Apostle to make an appointment today.