Addiction Blog. Insight and Advice from Our Recovery Experts.

How Do Neurotransmitters Impact Brain Chemistry (and Addictive Behavior)?

A neurotransmitter does what it sounds like: carries signals between neurons in the body. The role of these messengers is to tell other cells what to do, which impacts how the body functions. Anything from sleeping to eating, breathing, and …

How Long Does Heroin Last?

Heroin is an opiate that strongly affects the brain. Once heroin reaches the brain, dopamine levels rise, creating the sensation of reward. Regular heroin use can result in tolerance, meaning that the amount a person originally used to signal reward in the brain is no longer enough to get an equal or better high. Tolerance means that you have to take a larger dose of heroin to achieve the same result as you did before, putting you more at risk for overdose and addiction. Whether you’ve already developed a heroin tolerance or are new to the drug, you may have …

Why People Should Consider Wilderness Therapy for Their Loved Ones with Addiction

Wilderness therapy combines nature experiences, along with some survival techniques, to develop therapy that helps people who struggle with substance use disorders, mental health, and behavior disorders. People who go outdoors focus on their self-improvement and overcome the issue of difficult behaviors and coping mechanisms. The goal is to foster personal and social responsibility while helping them grow and find healing. How it Works From the start, assessments are always the best place to begin for people on the journey of recovery. People who live in the wilderness and develop life skills are going to be able to work jobs …

Focusing on Nutrition in Rehab is Key to Meeting Goals and Feeling Healthy

When people do drugs or drink, their bodies are in a state of malnutrition. They often don’t get proper nutrients and may be dehydrated as well. There are also mental health issues to focus on that will be key to figuring out how to deal with staying healthy in recovery. Common medical issues including heart, lungs, and liver, along with the brain and mental health require a holistic approach to tackle it all head on. Why Nutrition Matters People who progress through detox often find they are given questions about their nutrition, food, and dietary habits. The first step is …

Why Men Struggle with These 4 Issues in Recovery

Recovery is a difficult journey for men because they face different obstacles and barriers to getting help. The stigma men face may keep them from seeking help because they are supposed to be strong, fearless warrior-types. They go out and find what they want and go after it. This produces ideology men have to follow that they are not to admit weakness. Addiction is not a weakness, nor is recovery, but culturally, the narrative still seems to support men as being weaker when they ask for help. To maintain recovery, men should be aware of four dynamic issues that may …

What Does it Mean to Lead with Intention?

Sometimes people do not realize how much pressure they put on themselves to live a certain way, even in recovery. The body, mind, and soul are only so ready to change as they can be at any given time. Achievement can often get in the way of a person’s growth because it becomes all about pushing themselves as hard as possible for as long as possible. Being intentional about growth and healing can help put focus on the right things. Intention Defined An intention is a statement that directs attention towards a goal. Intentions help guide thoughts and actions towards …

Quitting Cocaine Cold Turkey Is Not The Way to Go

If you are a regular or even an occasional cocaine user, the last person you are likely to discuss your habit with is your doctor. Cocaine addicts and habitual drug users often deny their substance abuse when confronted with it. Unless your doctor has detected evidence of your cocaine use, you are unlikely to voluntarily talk to him about that use if you have no intention of quitting. When you are ready to quit, however, your physician is the first person you should talk to. He or she will probably tell you that if you try to quitting cocaine cold …

When Does Ambien Peak?

When does Ambien peak? For many travelers, this is an important question. However, Ambien abuse can also lead to many dangerous side effects, and even addiction. What Is Ambien? Ambien is an effective sedative that treats insomnia and similar sleep disorders. Travelers who are scheduled for lengthy airplane trips have also been known to use Ambien to help them sleep through those trips. When taken on an empty stomach, Ambien causes a very fast response. Often, users are cautioned not to participate in any activities such as driving or operating other machinery for an entire eight-hour period immediately after they …

How to Build a Successful Recovery on a Foundation of Humility

Working hard in recovery can put things into perspective. Humility is one of the traits that are helpful to have when looking to build a successful recovery. Shaping your journey around humility helps you see things differently. It may not come naturally to you, but you can work towards this goal if you put in some effort early on. Learn how to shape a recovery that is focused on humility and helps you find hope and healing. Serve Others When you serve others, it is a humbling experience. Whether you work with people who are homeless, or you serve others …

Forming Relationships in AA

One of the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is to wait a year before entering into a relationship. For some, this might feel really restrictive. The idea behind this principle of Alcoholics Anonymous relationships is that an individual must learn to love oneself before loving someone else, though. Whether to wait a year or not is an individual choice. However, it’s worth exploring the reasons it is worthwhile to wait according to the theories behind AA and relationships.‍ AA and Relationships Knowing the reasons that it’s beneficial to wait before getting into a relationship can give you the strength you …

Risks of Microdosing

Microdosing is a method of drug usage that is mostly implemented with LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs. With microdosing, the user ingests smaller-than-normal amounts of the substance that they’re taking and they might take those smaller doses more regularly than they would take larger doses. One of the definitive elements of microdosing is that by doing it, individuals ingest such small doses of psychedelic drugs that it doesn’t produce a perceivable “trip” or hallucinatory effect. According to Medical News Today, the common goals of microdosing differ from that of taking normal psychedelic or hallucinogenic substances. “Microdosers tend to take these …

How Do I Get My Inner and Outer Self to Gel?

The tension between inner and outer self is common in the modern world. Each person is tugged in many directions every day and our behaviors do not always align with our core values. Becoming aware of our inner-selves and how it balances out is what takes some thinking. It helps to consider what it looks like to find inner balance for holistic healing. Outer Self At times, it is helpful to present a different outer self to the world than we experience on the inside. Most people weigh the pros and cons of sharing our true feelings depending on what …

How Much Crack Does It Take To Overdose?

The viciousness of crack cocaine that we typically associate with crime, petty assaults, and robberies stems from a ravaged urban America in the 1980s which led to some of the stiffest law enforcement ever to exist in a first-world country. Seldom does the medical aspect even come to mind for the public at large, apart from the stereotypical insanity. The biggest risk to the addict, as most perceive it, is digging themselves deeper and deeper into their addiction without help or a way out. The use of crack carries with it a high risk of death. Indeed, addicts often push …

What is BZP?

BZP, or n-benzylpiperazine, is sometimes the slang term for ecstasy, A2, MDAI, Head Rush, Exotic Super Strong, and other similar street names. This ‘novel’ drug is emerging because they are different from common drugs and professionals are still learning the lasting effects. BZP is a component drug in ecstasy with many similar effects to MDMA. Much less is known about how BZP affects the body and brain than is known about ecstasy. Effects of BZP BZP is often used in so-called party pills, often in combination with other emergent drugs. A typical dose of BZP is 75 to 150 mg …

family celebrating

Holidays Struggles with Substance Abuse Can Increase

The holidays for many people are a time filled with good times and good memories, a time when families get together to celebrate the season. It’s also a time when addicts find that their struggles with substance abuse are intensified. They often struggle to stay away from people and situations that enabled their addiction. The holiday season can provide an increase in temptation for anyone with substance abuse issues. Men Tend to Ignoring Their Addictions The holidays can be a time when male drug addicts and alcoholics want to ignore their condition. They want to participate fully in the family gatherings, parties …

Why Doing a Moral Inventory is Key to Finding Balance and Hope for People with Addiction

Putting faith and control into the hands of someone else is difficult under any circumstances. When asking for guidance as lives have become unmanageable with addiction, it helps to think about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and how to develop a moral inventory, the key to finding balance and hope in 12-step recovery. Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory The personal inventory people do in addiction recovery is difficult because it requires a deep, searching perspective that is important to do if a person wants to heal. With addiction, people rarely do inner work because addiction keeps people on the surface, rather than …

Xanax Withdrawal Symptoms

Xanax (generic name alprazolam) is a benzodiazepine prescribed for anxiety disorders. Unfortunately, some men take it without a prescription, just to get a quick relaxation effect. Over 100,000 people a year wind up in emergency rooms due to nonmedical use of Xanax, often in combination with alcohol or another depressant drug. Even when taken as a legitimate prescription, Xanax carries risks—notably the risk of addiction. Avoiding Xanax Addiction Benzodiazepines are particularly addictive drugs, largely because physical tolerance develops quickly. So if your doctor recommends a Xanax prescription, plan on taking it for a limited time (ideally no more than three …

How to Remain Spiritual in Recovery

Spirituality means different things to different people. To feel a connection to a higher power takes some thought and intentional action. Spirituality can help us derive a sense of meaning and purpose from our experiences. Maintaining a practice takes some work. Find some tips for remaining spiritual in recovery to boost your mental and physical well being. Don’t Need Religion Spirituality has both positive and negative connotations. People have many responses to spirituality versus religion. While many people may associate spirituality with religion, you don’t need a religion to connect with a spiritual practice. An inherent quality in human beings …

Why Kindness Matters and How to Cultivate it

Giving back to others is a great kind of medicine. Generosity is a trait that is needed to cultivate kindness. It matters because it is something that helps everyone see the world a little differently, in a positive light, and helps build momentum for the journey of recovery. Learn some tips for how to cultivate more kindness in your own life. It Brings Happiness It may have felt good to make a person smile, or try performing a simple act of kindness, and turn a bad day into a good one. Completion of being generous leads to significantly more positive …

young man playing video game

Video Game Addiction Facts

Parents Guide For Video Game Addiction. How To Prevent Mental Illness Video Game Addiction, or “gaming disorder,” was recently classified as a disease by the WHO (World Health Organization). It is an impulse control disorder, similar to pathological gambling, which does not involve the use of an intoxicating substance. Most studies indicate that this addiction tends to impact young male more than women. New Studies Show Video Game Addiction Leads to Mental Illness Excessive video gaming, particularly internet gaming, has been linked to depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and social phobia. Also, an alarming number of adolescents and young adults devote an inordinate amount of …

10 Common Lies Compulsive Gamblers Tell Themselves

Gambling addictions do not create the same level of chemical dependence that are seen in substance addictions, but the withdrawal effects that compulsive gamblers experience when they are unable to indulge in their chosen gambling activities can be debilitating and disruptive to the gambler’s life. As with individuals who are addicted to alcohol or drugs, compulsive gamblers share common traits, the chief of which is an ability to deceive and to tell lies to both themselves and the people around them. Below are some common lies gamblers tell that show they need gamblers rehab. 10 Common Lies Gamblers Tell “I …

Understanding the Similarities and Differences Between Opiates and Opioids

There is an opioid epidemic and it involves opiates too. These two terms, opioids and opiates, are often used together or interchangeably when discussing the drug addiction epidemic. However, there are some subtle differences between these related substances. Both terms relate to powerful addictive substances that are ultimately derived from the opium poppy, but here, we’ll explore what makes each family of these drugs unique as well as their impact on people who are addicted to them. One thing is certain, a person addicted to either an opioid or an opiate is suffering from a potentially lethal addiction and requires …