When addiction is active, we find ourselves living a pretty constant routine of thinking and acting on our urges. Intense cravings arise, and it feels like we don’t have any other choice than to follow the disease’s demands. Recovery is a complete shift from these lifestyles, which means that major changes must take place. Once you enter a treatment program, you’ll find that it’s time to adjust to a new set of rules and way of living – which means that structure will become part of your day-to-day life. The goal of structure is to help you develop new habits – like eating a healthy breakfast first thing when you wake up, and getting your body used to adequate exercise throughout the week. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) does emphasize … Continue reading Why Structure is Important in Recovery
Page 1 of 22
It’s devastating to admit, but sometimes our teens fall into the hands of addiction. They pick up a substance in an effort to experiment, or they feel pressured from friends, and they find themselves using more and more. This path continues to unravel, and before we know it, they’re acting differently. The teenage years are a critical time because the brain is still developing, and addiction can greatly influence their present-day health and their future. In an effort to understand exactly how teens experience addiction, we have to consider that there may be some differences between the sexes – boys and girls tend to process things and act differently, so how does this play out in the realm of substance dependency? A few years ago, researchers sought out to answer this very … Continue reading Are There Differences Between the Way Boys and Girls Develop Addictions?
Co-occurring disorders, such as having alcoholism and depression at the same time, can significantly affect day to day life. The addiction side of things constantly demands more and more, while the mental illness side can bring about a lot of unpleasant symptoms, whether you’re prepared for it or not. Treatment for co-occurring disorders is much more intricate and complex than one or the other, which is why a treatment center should specialize in integrated treatment, which is highlighted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Men and women differ by the way they process information, and men can experience unique issues when co-occurring disorders are involved. Recovery is a lifelong process, and men have to find tools that work for them in order to maintain their recovery. How do … Continue reading What Is the Best Long-Term Strategy for Men with Co-Occurring Disorders?
Twelve step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have widely been known to help people realize that they aren’t (nor should they be) in control of everything. God, or a Higher Power, is said to have full reign of what goes on in our lives, and we need to give up that desire to satisfy our ego and just leave it up to faith. It’s hard to do – after all, humans aren’t really comfortable with the idea of only being able to control our own actions. We find ourselves in this repeated pattern of blaming others as if they forced us to abuse substances – but in reality, we are responsible for the actions we’ve taken. Humility is defined by the dictionary as, “A modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.” … Continue reading How Does Humility Fit into Recovery and 12 Step Programs?
There are differences between men and women both in structure and thought process. Addiction recovery is a vulnerable time for either, and relapse is a particularly feared aspect of recovery because it’s often associated with weakness or failure. Despite this falsity, relapse is actually considered a normal part of the process. In fact, it should be perceived as a learning experience, with which a person can gain more insight about what they need to strengthen or change in their treatment, or even what they need to reinforce. Social support is a vital component of recovery success, because it’s what builds up our emotional stamina to push through those hard days – research has shown us that women tend to lean towards social and emotional connections more so than men, which means they … Continue reading Women in Recovery: These Connections Could Increase Your Risk for Relapse
The opioid crisis has sparked a national conversation on opioid use and the amount of help we’re providing to our communities. Teens are especially at risk for this; the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has emphasized the fact that many adolescents are mixing opioids with other drugs. Of those who do this, a survey found that 58.5% are taking opioids alongside marijuana, 52.1% alongside alcohol, 10.6% along with cocaine, 10.3% with tranquilizers, and 9.5% with amphetamines. About 1 in 8 high school seniors have reported using opioids for non-medical reasons, which places them at an increased risk for abuse and overdose. We can’t always know the effect that certain drugs will have on us and combining them with other substances makes it an even riskier situation. In 2015, the results from … Continue reading How Is Opioid Abuse and Depression Affecting Our Teens?
Addiction is a disease that affects the mind, body and spirit. We lose ourselves in this attempt to fill a void that’s been bringing us down, we use because we want to feel more comfortable around others, and we use because we want to distract us from the very real things that are going on in our lives. Spirituality is the opposite of this – it’s what grounds us, what helps us get through hard times, and what gives us a sense of hope for ourselves and our future. A 2017 study published in the Universal Journal of Psychology found that after analyzing studies that involved spirituality components of recovery – such as through twelve step programs – high levels of spirituality were connected to reduced substance use as well as improvements … Continue reading What Type of Spirituality-Based Approaches Can be Used in Addiction Recovery?
Some of the most successful people in addiction recovery have gone on to help others. They’ve become leaders themselves – they’ve sponsored, shared their stories, donated time and money to organizations, written books, spoken at conferences – the list goes on. It’s amazing to see just how far these individuals have pushed themselves and overcome their challenges – and it only provides hope to others, so they may follow the same path. No matter where you’re at in your journey to recovery right now, you will find that there are moments in which you’re truly inspired. This is the time to really take a firm grasp on the positive energy that’s building and put it to good use – you may even find others who are doing the same. In 2016, Mitchell … Continue reading Leadership and Positivity Combined with 12-Step Programs: Creating Change
Sobriety brings about an entirely new perspective of oneself, others and life as a whole. There’s nothing like being able to completely live in the moment, without the influence of drugs or alcohol. Sober living is a lifelong journey that requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but it’s absolutely worth it in the long run. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shares many success stories of individuals in recovery, and one person shared their experience with addiction. Here is an excerpt from their story, a lesson they learned: “[I have been] clean for the past 21 years from all mood-altering chemicals…I have come full circle from being addicted, whose life was unmanageable to one fully involved in the helping professions of mental health services. I am grateful for … Continue reading What Are Some of the Most Beautiful Lessons of Sober Living?
If you have a loved one with an addiction, you may have found that every time you talk to them about it, they seem to deny it. You hear phrases like, “I know I know, I’ll quit tomorrow” or “I can quit anytime I want, it’s not that big of a deal”. They may become defensive or may even make jokes to detract attention away from the situation. No matter how hard you try and tell them that you believe they’ve got a serious issue on their hands, you either get a handful of excuses or worse – false promises of saying that they’ll seek help, attend treatment, etc. – and then they don’t. You may feel like you’ve been let down, and you have every right to be upset about it. … Continue reading Why It’s So Hard for Those with Addiction to Recognize the Signs of Addiction
Yaba, the Thai word for “crazy medicine” and also called the “madness drug”, is a combination of stimulants. The two main ingredients are methamphetamine and caffeine, and the drug often comes in tablet form, where it is then crushed and snorted, heated and then inhaled or mixed into a solution and injected intraveneously. The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services lists a few other ingredients that are typically found in yaba, such as: Salt Household cleaning products Distilled cold medicine Lithium from camera batteries The drug itself is manufactured in Myanmar, Bangladesh, and is incredibly dangerous and addictive. The side effects of using yaba are a lot like using methamphetamine: agitation, anxiety, paranoia, picking at the skin, convulsions, hallucinations, etc. This drug has been said to come … Continue reading Is Yaba Dangerous?
Twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have been used by millions of people around the world. Self-help groups provide an excellent opportunity to build support and hear the experiences of others who have gone through similar paths, but what does it look like to attend 12-step programs long term? Do people find success? After all, even once a formal treatment program is over, it’s beneficial to maintain recovery by attending these types of programs. Let’s take a look at some of the projections based on recent studies. In 2015, researchers from California explored the relationship between 12-step attendance and abstinence. A total of 194 participants were involved in the study, and researchers assessed their progress at the 1,5,7, and 9-year intervals of attending these programs. Ultimately, they found … Continue reading 10 Years Down the Road with 12-Step Programs: A Look at The Journey
If you do a quick search on what recovery means, you’ll likely find a lot of varying definitions. Recovery is a pretty broad term, and while we could narrow it down a bit by adding the context (recovery from a sports injury, recovery from cancer, recovery from alcoholism, etc.), that still doesn’t exactly tell us what it means. The term “recovery” gets used a lot, but did you know that it’s actually quite subjective? We all have different approaches to recovery and what that means for us – so it’s important that while you’re navigating your own road to recovery, you explore the different components that make up that road for you. When we talk about alcoholism recovery, there are a few recovery components that typically come to mind: sobriety, group therapy … Continue reading What Does Recovery Mean to You?
Peer pressure is one of the most commonly talked about aspects of adolescence, and it’s because during this growth period, the brain is still developing. Teens’ critical thinking skills haven’t fully developed yet, and simple peer interactions can cause a person to make irrational decisions, regardless of the consequences. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that people aged 12-20 years old consume one-tenth of all alcohol consumed in the United States, with alcohol, marijuana and tobacco being the most commonly used substances. When peer pressure is involved, adolescents are likely to want to feel included – bullying tactics are obviously something teens want to avoid, and peer pressure can weigh heavily on a person’s decision making if it presents itself. A few years ago, researchers from the University of … Continue reading Adolescence and Substance Abuse: Just How Much Influence Do Peers Have?
There are so many aspects to addiction recovery, and the process is different for everyone. Some lessons are learned early on while others take more time and growth, but coping, forgiveness and gratitude are all unique experiences that depend on an individual’s personal journey. For many years, scientists have uncovered the various ways that male and female brains are different: the process, structure, chemistry and activity are clearly distinct from one another. Naturally, it’s safe to assume that men and women experience some components of addiction recovery differently, too – but how? Let’s take a look. A few years ago, researchers assessed 56 women and 56 men who were undergoing a basic alcoholism treatment program. During the first and last weeks of the programs, they collected information on the participants’ spiritual coping … Continue reading Do Men and Women Experience Coping, Forgiveness and Gratitude in Recovery Differently?