Addiction Blog. Insight and Advice from Our Recovery Experts.

What is Family Sculpting?

Family therapy is part of rehab and recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. Recovery is not something a person does in a vacuum, it is a process that takes people on a journey, along with family, friends, and loved ones. …

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 …

CPTSD

CPTSD Recognized by the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization recently defined a new diagnosis for complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Mental health experts have now summarized the symptoms and issued updated guidelines for clinical assessment and treatment. What Is CPTSD? PTSD is one of the best-known trauma responses. People affected by this disorder suffer overwhelming physical and mental symptoms. But mental health professionals have known for decades that some trauma victims or survivors exhibit a broader array of psychological changes, now officially recognized as CPTSD. Some CPTSD symptoms, such as emotional dysregulation, mimic the characteristics of personality disorders. To receive an accurate diagnosis of CPTSD, talk to …

Do Drug Tests Detect Crystal Meth?

A crystal meth drug test does not always give a black-and-white answer. Meth residue remains in your blood and saliva for approximately twelve hours, in your urine for three to five days, and in your hair follicles for up to ninety days. You can have a positive test under one of these methodologies and a negative test under another. Crystal Meth Drug Test Process A more critical consideration is the purpose of the test. If, for example, a court order requires you to take a drug test (typically in a criminal parole or probation situation), you will likely need to …

How to Face Your Recovery Obstacles with Courage

Some of the bigger obstacles in recovery can feel like huge stumbling blocks on the road to feeling successful. Whenever you are faced with obstacles, there is also opportunity. You now have a chance to find your way back to a healthier way of looking at things rather than focusing on what isn’t working any longer. To embrace the obstacles in recovery, you might consider some of the following tips. Ask for Help This might seem like a no-brainer, but men are not always the best at asking for help (with anything, period). There is a myth, anyway, that men …

The Effects of Snorting Heroin

Snorting, or “insufflating,” is increasing in popularity as a means of ingesting heroin. Concerns over disease and other risks associated with needles and injections are likely driving heroin users to this alternative. However, snorting does not reduce heroin addiction risks or any of the other serious problems that heroin creates. Snorting can actually increase heroin overdose risks. In fact, the effects of snorting heroin are as bad if not worse than injecting it. Snorting Heroin Heroin users who snort the drug generally report that the euphoria they feel is substantially less intense from snorting than they are from injecting the …

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 …

How Long Does a Crack Cocaine High Last?

The length of time a cocaine high last depends on the person. Generally a high starts almost immediately and can last up to a couple hours. It sounds simple, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Once someone ingests cocaine, whether by smoking, snorting, or intravenously, it immediately starts affecting the brain. Basically, cocaine disrupts the brain’s normal communication between neurons. Therefore, this causes an inundation of the “feel-good” chemicals, such as dopamine and serotonin. Excessive dopamine build up is what causes the intense feeling of euphoria that we call high. It also serves as a stimulant, promoting …

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 other behaviors are regulated by neurotransmitters. Our brain and body rely on these to work properly to keep things moving along. Billions of these molecules keep things functioning but can be impacted by brain injury, trauma, and even addictive behavior, which changes how they function. Find out how they change and why it happens. Different Types of Neurotransmitters When thinking …

What is the Difference Between Hard and Soft Drugs?

The term ‘soft drugs,’ and ‘hard drugs’ are arbitrary terms with little to no clear way criteria. The term ‘hard drug’ has been used to categorize drugs including meth and marijuana. Marijuana is usually the only drug included in ‘soft’ drugs, although some people include nicotine and alcohol in this category for legal status use by adults. It is often referred to as a gateway drug, a term equally inaccurate. Questions Raised Use of these terms raises more questions than it answers. Is a drug only ‘hard’ when injected. Heroin, crack, and meth are not ‘soft’ drugs when smoked. With …

BuSpar is Not as Safe as People Think: Here’s Why

BuSpar is known as buspirone, an anti-anxiety medication. Many consider is a low-risk medication, but other people are struggling with addiction. Prescription medications can be abused by people, which makes it important to be educated. Knowing how the drug works can lower the chance of addiction. Drug Abuse The drug BuSpar is abused because of its addictive properties. Some people find they like how it makes them feel and others have a different experience with it. The effects of the drug vary for people, but most people describe feeling sedated and more peaceful when using the drug. BuSpar does not …

What is Freebasing and Why is it Harmful?

Cocaine is an illegal stimulant that offers people feelings of euphoria. A cocaine high is not meant to last, but people often chase it over and over again because their brains get addicted. A drug like cocaine can be addictive from the first hit. Even when a person quits, it may change the brain for good. Freebasing is a dangerous way to use cocaine since inhaling the vapor from it can be more harmful than other ways of inhaling or using cocaine. Find out why it is harmful and how to help a loved one with addiction or challenges using …

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 …

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 …

Military Men at Risk: Hypertension Associated with PTSD

Military personnel are at high risk of post-traumatic stress disorder. An estimated 11 to 30 percent of veterans have been diagnosed with PTSD – the exact statistics vary by service era. Exposure to combat, life-threatening missions, and the stress of deployment all contribute to lifelong trauma after a tour of duty. Using a nationally representative sample of over 194,000 veterans, researchers from the VA Connecticut Healthcare System found another unexpected consequence of post-traumatic stress disorder: increased risk of hypertension. How Trauma Affects the Body In order to understand the correlation between trauma and high blood pressure, we must first examine …

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 …

Is There Such a Thing as a Hangover Cure?

People who drink to the point of being intoxicated usually have some hangover issues. The best cure for this is to prevent it but if that does not happen, there may be ways to mitigate symptoms. There are other steps in hangover prevention. Once symptoms begin, fewer options actually provide relief. Traditional ‘cures’ do little to relieve symptoms. Some of them might make it worse. ‍ What Does Not Work Several myths and urban legends surrounding cures for hangovers have been around for years. Most are not based in science. Some include: The hair of a dog that bites: this …

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 …

Can Smoking Make Hangovers Feel More Intense?

Drinking and smoking cigarettes can go hand-in-hand for many people. On days a person drinks heavily, they may also smoke a lot. The nicotine may actually contribute to the intensity of a hangover for people who drink too much. Smoking heavily on the same day as drinking creates more of a hangover experience than for people who do not smoke and drink. Learn more about why this happens and what causes the intensity of a hangover to rise with smoking. Severe Hangover Symptoms Even when participants were controlled for age, the frequency of drug use, type of involvement, gender, smoking …

The Importance of Identifying Signs and Symptoms of ADHD

Misunderstandings about ADHD still abound for many people, resulting in harmful delays in diagnosis and treatment. Stigma is a big issue for people who have ADHD, which makes it important to know the signs and symptoms and offer treatment. Getting an early diagnosis provides open doors to getting treatment sooner than later. There are some things to keep in mind when looking at signs and symptoms of ADHD, which might help provide insight for people who are struggling, as well as their loved ones. How a Diagnosis Happens Healthcare professionals use the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for …

Why Starting at Step Zero is the Best Place to Begin

The path of recovery is different for everyone. Some people love to look at different recovery programs and find the right one, while others step into 12 steps and realize this is the way they will navigate recovery best. Until you want recovery from addiction, you are not likely to succeed at it. You have to be able to let go of denial in order to focus on what you desire. This includes looking at the 12 steps as a journey, starting with step zero. Step Zero Defined Step zero is not talked about much in terms of the 12 …