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Read through our recovery blog posts, articles and inspirational shared stories

Cumberland Heights

It all starts with casual use; we’re out with coworkers one day, having a few drinks – or we’re spending time with friends and drugs become introduced. In most cases, addiction starts when a person begins using substances for recreation – but over time, recreational use intensifies until a full-blown addiction has developed. It’s hard to fathom how this process works, especially when it can happen so quickly. The human mind and body are incredibly vulnerable to drugs, however – and without warning, we can become dependent on substances whether we originally meant to or not. The Association for Psychological Science (APS) explains that drug-seeking begins as a goal-directed behavior with an action (such as finding substances and taking them). Through this process, a “high” is developed – and that involves the … Continue reading How a Habit Becomes an Addiction

A few years ago, the National Public Radio (NPR) addressed the concern of adolescents in addiction recovery. The article emphasized the fact that teens and adolescents simply cannot receive a “one-size-fits-all” form of adult treatment; in fact, this age group needs specialized treatment that suits their learning and development stage in life. Jennifer Weiss-Burke of Albuquerque, N.M., told NPR about her own adolescent who struggled with heroin addiction – and later died of an overdose. She stated, “It was never enough. Thirty days here, 30 days there, maybe detox for five days. It was never long-term, and that’s what he needed. Recovery from heroin addiction requires long-term treatment.” The Needs of Adolescents in Treatment The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes that part of adolescent treatment is guiding adolescents to understand … Continue reading What Adolescents Need from Treatment: Your Ultimate Guide

Cumberland Heights

One of the most heartbreaking realizations can occur when you discover that when you were high or intoxicated, you said or did something to hurt someone you love. Some people call this “rock bottom” – when it feels as though you’ve made such a huge mistake that you can’t come back from it. In these moments, it’s time to speak up about what you need. You know that you need help, but you may not know how to go about it or what to even say to your loved ones. If dependency hasn’t fully formed and your “rock bottom” hasn’t been reached, you might find yourself asking, What is the next step from here? Just like it is never too late to ask for help- it is never too early to ask … Continue reading Explaining to Your Loved One That You Need Help

There have been so many success stories published from those who’ve worked the 12-Steps in their addiction recovery – and while every person’s journey is different, all of these stories have an underlying similarity: hard work. The way you perceive your recovery is what will have the greatest influence in the long run, so it’s time to assess your expectations about recovery to see if they align with reality. In the early stages of dependency, feeling connected to a 12-Step program can be challenging. A sense of belonging hasn’t fully developed and a deep understanding of the importance of the program hasn’t totally settled in. It can be easy to disregard the 12-Steps and not pay the program, or people in the program, proper respect. Take a look at the following mistakes … Continue reading Missteps in 12-Step Programs: 5 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Every day, nearly 130 people in the United States die from an opioid overdose. The opioid crisis costs Americans over $78 billion every year – and it’s safe to say that millions, even those who aren’t directly abusing opioids, are affected. Unfortunately, children all over the country have become severely affected by the opioid epidemic as their parents have struggled to overcome opioid addiction, leaving them without proper supervision and support. In many cases, family members have been stepping up to help out – but how is this affecting the children? Additionally, how is this affecting family dynamics? The Opioid Epidemic: What’s Currently Happening The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that between 8 to 12 percent of patients develop an opioid use disorder (OUD), and more than 258,000 children are … Continue reading The Opioid Epidemic: Family Members Stepping in For Children

Exercise isn’t always the most desired activity for many people, but previous research has highlighted the innumerable health benefits that can derive from it. Not only can exercise relieve stress, better a person’s mood, increase flexibility and strength, but it can also host many benefits that relate specifically to addiction recovery. Those who struggle with addiction tend to experience a sense of imbalance that can affect nearly every aspect of their lives, even throughout that first year in recovery. Nicoletta Longo, founder of Namastay Sober – a non-profit organization that aims to help people in recovery get connected to local gyms and yoga classes – told Tonic, an extension of Vice Magazine, “Your chemistry is all off when you stop using. When I was on heroin, I’d have to pound Mountain Dew … Continue reading Working Up a Sweat: Why Working Out Will Benefit Your Sobriety

Staying sober in college is about as foreign of an idea to some as going to a restaurant and not eating. You can watch just about any movie or tv show that takes place on a college campus and you’ll see keg stands, Jell-O shots and beer bongs galore. They even have a way of glamorizing the hangovers and next morning walks of shame. So, it really is no wonder some young adults in recovery wonder how they can possibly stay clean while still having a meaningful college experience. Greg Snodgrass remembers that feeling. He is a Regional Outreach Coordinator at Cumberland Heights and spearheaded the design for Collegiate Recovery at the University of Alabama. But before all his success, he was lost. “I lived my life in addiction for many years. … Continue reading Yes, Staying Sober in College Can Be Fun

12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous has been around for nearly 100 years – and these programs provide readily available access to social support alongside a structured program that guides individuals through recovery. It’s been clear for quite some time now that addiction isn’t the only matter of concern; in fact, a person’s physical, mental and spiritual health is at risk when addiction is involved, and recovery aims to restore a person’s wellbeing in the best ways possible. 12-Step programs are based on the premise that as human beings, we can’t have control over everything – and sometimes we’re going to fail. With this knowledge, we can admit that we need help from God or another Higher Power – and 12-Step meetings foster this notion through discussion and recovery-related activities. 12-Step Meetings: … Continue reading AA and Meetings: How Participation Influences Your Recovery Status

Cumberland Heights

Everyone wants a “quick fix”. Something that will easily dispel of the addiction and return a person back to normal functioning – but the reality is that addiction is far more powerful and destructive than that. It’s incredibly hard to simply “quit” – otherwise many people would’ve succeeded by now. At-home detoxes are incredibly dangerous because the mind and body are accustomed to high and frequent doses of a particular substance; of all the options, inpatient treatment offers the most intensive care. What Does Inpatient Treatment Mean? It may seem confusing after reading up on all the various types of treatment – but inpatient treatment is typically the longest and provides those in recovery with optimum recovery services. Many people who struggle with addiction fear the process of recovery – which is … Continue reading How Inpatient Treatment Can Transform Your Life

Cumberland Heights

Anger is a natural human emotion – and we all experience it from time to time. It becomes concerning when we find ourselves becoming easily angered and when we react on that anger in unhealthy ways; many people in addiction recovery find that substances like alcohol or drugs either numb the anger or perpetuate it, and sometimes anger itself can feel like a double-edged sword. The Better Health Channel explains that anger triggers a person’s “fight-or-flight” response – stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline – are released, body temperature rises and the mind becomes focused. When anger is used in healthy ways, it can be used to spark movements, inspire people and create major change – but when used unhealthily and when it’s felt too often, there are many physical harms … Continue reading Anger Management: Why It’s Easy to Get Angry and What to Do About It

Celebrities are known for their charisma and talent, but they’re also often talked about outside of the spotlight. Many interviews have been conducted with celebrities surrounding their use (and abuse) of substances – and while we see so many celebrities struggle, there are just as many who’ve made the decision to stay sober. Thankfully, mental health and substance abuse have become less taboo over the years – and celebrities are starting to open up about their experiences. According to Insider, these are some celebrities who’ve been practicing a sober lifestyle for quite some time – and they’ve spoken up about it, too. Eminem With 11 years of sobriety, Eminem has come a long way since almost dying from an accidental methadone overdose back in 2007. Last year was his 10-year mark, and … Continue reading Celebrities Who’ve Spoken Out About Sobriety

We’re all guilty of it. Whether it’s jumping to conclusions, making generalizations or responding with emotion rather that sound evidence, unhealthy ways of thinking can creep up on us especially during stressful times. We’re not perfect so it’s okay as long as we can be mindful of when we’re doing this and take steps to change our thought process next time. Below are the ten most common unhelpful thinking styles according to Adam Sicinski. Sicinski is an Australian life coach that uses mind maps and visual thinking principles. What are mind maps you ask? It’s an easy way to brainstorm thoughts organically without worrying about order and structure. It allows you to visually structure your ideas to help with analysis and recall. To the right you’ll see an example of a mind … Continue reading Ten Common Unhelpful Thinking Styles

12-Step programs – such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) – serve as a strong foundation for many in recovery. They provide clear steps and spiritual guidance that have helped thousands find their place in the world – alongside building a network of supportive people and a life that’s more fulfilling. Self-care is essential in daily life, but those in addiction recovery have often neglected self-care for quite a long time. Whether you’ve just begun your journey to recovery or you’re considered taking that courageous step towards treatment, it’s important to explore self-care and how it connects to 12-Step programs; because although it’s not talked about as often, there are many links there. What is Self-Care? There are many definitions of well-being; Yoga International defines self-care as, “…what happens when … Continue reading The Fundamentals of Self Care and Spirituality: Your Ultimate Guide

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains that heroin is a drug made from morphine – and is typically consumed by injecting, sniffing, snorting or smoking it. When heroin enters the body, it rapidly binds to opioid receptors in the brain. This means that many areas of living are suddenly impacted – such as heart rate, sleeping and breathing. Heroin is an illicit opioid that produces effects like dry mouth, heavy feelings in the arms and legs, severe itching, nausea and vomiting, clouded mental functioning and more; because heroin is so incredibly addictive, it’s extremely difficult to quit – unless treatment is sought. Treatment for Heroin Addiction Frontline Magazine recently published various short stories of families who’d struggled or were currently struggling with heroin addiction. One reader from Pittsburgh, PA, stated, … Continue reading Life After Heroin: Fulfilling Recovery Goals and Becoming Happier

Unfortunately, our society tends to favor denial and suppression over expression and healing. It’s painful to talk about the past, the trauma, the hurt – and so for many Americans, the outcome results in pushing down the pain in an attempt to “move on” with our lives. Brian G. Lengfelder, an expert in psychology, stated in a presentation titled, “Clinical Education and Interventions for Defense Structures..” explained that defense mechanisms – such as denial and suppression – are a way for us to protect ourselves from feeling emotionally unstable. While this may help us in brief periods when we could act out or hurt someone, however, they’re not healthy coping mechanisms for long-term healing. A previous study conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco explained that some people are … Continue reading Denial and Suppression: Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms That Can Lead to Addiction

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