The 5 Most Commonly Abused Drugs In America

From young adults to college students to adults, most people who come to us for treatment abuse the following substances and then become addicted to them. Our observation also shows that most people begin using drugs as a casual experiment, or due to prescriptions for pain, however they find themselves unable to quit, leading to dangerous behaviors and harmful consequences. Others overuse drugs beyond their prescribed amounts, or misuse drugs without prescription. While drug use does not automatically lead to addiction, the unfortunate truth is that many substance abusers do become addicts for life.

Recognizing the most commonly abused drugs can help you be aware of exposure to them for yourself or your loved ones.

1. Alcohol

Alcohol has the highest rate of abuse among all drugs/substances, reporting more than 16 million people abusing or misusing alcohol by binge drinking or heavy drinking. Consumption of alcohol can damage the areas of the brain that are important for problem solving, decision making, memory and learning. Alcohol can also damage other organs such as the liver, kidneys, heart and several others. Alcohol still remains one of the major causes of deaths and DUI cases.

2. Marijuana

Only slightly less than alcohol, marijuana (weed/cannabis/pot/grass) is also one of the highest abused drugs, reporting more than 12 million people using it in some form. Although many states in the USA are legalizing marijuana, there are many risks associated with this substance. One of the risks with marijuana is that it may be laced with other, more addictive substances because there is no regulated way to purchase it in many states.

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3. Opioids

Pain relievers and prescription medications are the next most commonly abused category of drugs, reporting over 10 million people using it in some form such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, vicodin and several others. Many opioids have high addiction rates, as few as ten days or less for someone to get addicted. What makes them even more dangerous is how many lives are lost due to overuse or misuse of opioids.

4. Hallucinogens

Mind-altering drugs such as LSD, DMT, MDMA, as well as mushrooms carrying psilocybin are the next category of highly abused drugs. Users of hallucinogens, reported at around 7 million people, use it to experience perception-altering states such as euphoria and ecstasy. However, these hallucinogens are also known to create traumatic emotions and other bodily changes such as enhanced heart rate, increased blood pressure, and several others.

5. Depressants

This category includes medications commonly prescribed for anxiety, panic attacks, depression and other mental health conditions. More than 5 million people misuse or abuse these tranquilizers and sedatives such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates which are typically prescribed for improved sleep and as muscle relaxants.

If you suspect that you or your loved ones may be on the verge of addiction to one of these substances, or any substances at all, the earlier you seek treatment, the better your chances for recovery.

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Johnny Pickett

Patient Advocate

Steven Simon

Admissions

Stephen Carmel

Co-Founder & CFO

I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when i moved to California from New York.Along with my recovery and beginning a new way of life, I began to develop a heart for others struggling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growth. I truly believe I would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.

I first opened an adult treatment center, California Prime Recovery(CPR) as a way to work with those struggling on a daily basis. Over the last 3 years, CPR has evolved into someting much more impactful and beautiful than i could’ve ever imagined. I have come to realize that my own happiness and growth depends on being involved in the lives of others in recovery. Helping people through recovery is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, and it has become the most important aspect of personal life. Giving back to those still suffering is the only way not to lose what you have gained.

Throughout this journey, and by mentoring many adolescents, I realized i wanted to offer more to teens who were struggling just as i was. This is when i decided to start OC Revive. I had built many wonderful relationships throughout my professional journey and found two others who shared the same vision, and passion that i had for the youth. It didn’t take long for myself, Tyler Michaelis, and Derek Walsh to turn our dream into a reality. We are committed to providing the best possible treatment for adolescents and truly believe “their future is our collective responsibility”.

Derek Walsh

Co-Founder & COO

As Co-Founder & COO of OC Revive, Derek has a wealth of personal and professional experience dealing with the issues faced by today’s troubled teen. Throughout High School and College, Derek struggled with peer pressure, learning challenges, and substance abuse. Working with the support of family and friends, Derek set out to conquer those obstacles and find a richer, more fulfilling life.

On 15 October 2012, Derek overcame his own substance abuse problem and dedicated himself to help others work through their own addiction. A year later, Derek began a new journey and started his career in the recovery industry. Throughout his career, Derek has worked his way through numerous roles at top-rated treatment centers. While working at those treatment centers, Derek began to see a pattern that those struggling individuals would’ve benefited immensely from receiving earlier in life.

Derek decided that he wanted to be a part of the solution, and find a way to address those issues at an earlier age. He concluded that there needed to be interventions before adulthood, and he didn’t want to see anyone going through the same cycle that he did. That was when he and Tyler Michaelis decided to start OC Revive, to make sure teens get the help they need to find a purpose that leads them to a life of happiness and success.

Derek attended college at Orange Coast College and Santa Barbara City College.

Brittany Astrom

Clinical Supervisor

Brittany joins the OCR team with over 15 years of experience in the Mental Health adn Substance Abuse field. Brittany has been licensed for almost 8 years and has worked in various settings throughout her career, including inpatient psychiatric treatment, outpatient, residential treatment center, PHP and IOP settings. Brittany has been supervising Associate Marrige and Family Therapists and Associate Social Workers for almost 6 years and works in compiance and auditing to ensure that treatment centers are up to par with biling regulations. Brittany has worked with young adults and adolescents for most of her career.

Brittany earned her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at California Baptist International University. Brittany enjoys working with adolescents and young adults and believes that ever single person has the ability to set goals and meet them, even when they can’t see it themselves. Brittany loves spending time with her family, traveling, good coffee, and being outdoors.

Patrick R. Smith

Program Director

Patrick is amental health and addiction professional that has a passion for recovery and helping others. He was inspired and encouraged by his mentors to work with individuals and families that have been affected by mental health issues, alcohol and drug addiction. He ahs been working in the field of addiction recovery for 19+ years and is an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor through the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals. Patrick is also certified in Adult and Adolescent Anger Management. His Career in addiction treatment began in 2001 at the Betty Ford Center i Rancho Mirage CA. as an Addiction Specialist working on the inpatient campus and is the co-creator of Betty Ford Center’s “Young Adult Track” specializing in work with 18-25 year old Patients. he also excelled in working with addicted and impaired professionals in the “Replase and Recovery Program”.

Patrick transitioned to Orange County in 2011 where he accepted a position as the Program Director for Orange County Recovery Services. Patrick is a gifted lecturer, group facilitator and counselor with a pssion for reocery that has been an active recovery member for over 25 years.

Anthony Fletcher

Director Of Business Development

Anthony is an Orange County local and has been a great addition to the Oc Revive team. Since 2015, Anthony has been working in the substance abuse field and has also pursued his drug and alcohol counseling license. Since being with Revive Anthony has established a relationship within the School Districts and serves as a voluntary speaker for substance abuse awareness in the community. By sharing his personal testimony, he has excelled in gaining trust and building rapport with others. He always seems to have a smile on his face and brings a positive vibe wherever he goes. With that being said, Anthony is very passionate about the work that he does and goes above and beyond to provide our struggling youth the care that they so desperately need.

Levi Sweet

Director of Operations

Brian Welsh

Director of Admissions

Chandra Medina

Lead Therapist

Kelly Pearson

Therapist

Christina Gherman

Therapist

Tyler Michaelis

Founder & CEO

Tyler is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to teens and their families. Once a teenager that struggled with addiction, mental health, and poor choices, Tyler is aware of the growing demand and need for early intervention in adolescents and young adults. Growing up in Orange County, he battled addiction and peer pressure all throughout high school and during his time at Saddleback College. During those troubled years, Tyler’s parents and family were emotionally drained and heavily impacted by his addiction. Unfortunately, they did not know where to turn for help nor did they have the courage to set boundaries with him.After 7 painful years, they finally forced Tyler out of the house and into treatment at the age of 23.

April 5th, 2010 is a date that Tyler and his family hold dear. On that date, Tyler enrolled in a 4-month treatment program which laid the foundation for his recovery. With the help of treatment professionals, supportive friends and family, Tyler was able to build a better version of himself. This started with slowly building his self-esteem, and growing a community of peers to support him throughout recovery.

In 2011,with the desire to help others struggling with addiction, he decided to start working in the addiction field. Tyler obtained his CADAC || Counselor certification and graduated from Cal Sate University of Long Beach with a degree in Health Care Administration. Since then, Tyler has worked all areas of treatment starting as a detox technician and working his way up to Program Director. Today, Tyler feels blessed and grateful for getting a second chanse at life. He has a great relationship with his family, is happily married and has a great group of friends. Once a lost teen, Tyler now has purpose and passion. He’s dedicated his life’s work to helping teens and their families. As the Founder, Tyler Michaelis is confident that OC Revive will renew the lives of struggling teens while bringing back hope to their families

Tylor Ramsey

Therapist

Patrick Fernandez-Her

AMFT Therapist

Jamie Nelson

Case Manager

Alejandro Alva, M.D.

Medical Director

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Kayli Sullivan

Director of HR & Compliance

Carl Kutter

Operations Manager

Mustafa Stanizai

Case Manager

Allyson Lake

Case Manager

Ashley Becher

Admin Assistant

Kortnee Carralejo

Admissions

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Madalyn Johnson

Case Manager

Matthew Lawler

Therapist - AMFT

Helen Riccobono

Therapist - AMFT

Rachel Dickinson

Therapist - AMFT

Max Howell

Case Manager

Leah Perle

Therapist

Angela Castellano

Case Manager

Tyler Michaelis

Founder & CEO

Tyler is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to teens and their families. Once a teenager that struggled with addiction, mental health, and poor choices, Tyler is aware of the growing demand and need for early intervention in adolescents and young adults. Growing up in Orange County, he battled addiction and peer pressure all throughout high school and during his time at Saddleback College. During those troubled years, Tyler’s parents and family were emotionally drained and heavily impacted by his addiction. Unfortunately, they did not know where to turn for help nor did they have the courage to set boundaries with him.After 7 painful years, they finally forced Tyler out of the house and into treatment at the age of 23.

April 5th, 2010 is a date that Tyler and his family hold dear. On that date, Tyler enrolled in a 4-month treatment program which laid the foundation for his recovery. With the help of treatment professionals, supportive friends and family, Tyler was able to build a better version of himself. This started with slowly building his self-esteem, and growing a community of peers to support him throughout recovery.

In 2011,with the desire to help others struggling with addiction, he decided to start working in the addiction field. Tyler obtained his CADAC || Counselor certification and graduated from Cal Sate University of Long Beach with a degree in Health Care Administration. Since then, Tyler has worked all areas of treatment starting as a detox technician and working his way up to Program Director. Today, Tyler feels blessed and grateful for getting a second chanse at life. He has a great relationship with his family, is happily married and has a great group of friends. Once a lost teen, Tyler now has purpose and passion. He’s dedicated his life’s work to helping teens and their families. As the Founder, Tyler Michaelis is confident that OC Revive will renew the lives of struggling teens while bringing back hope to their families