Addiction Blog. Insight and Advice from Our Recovery Experts.

How to Fix Your Life When it Becomes Like a Broken Record

Every single day and year of your life is different. You progress through tracks in school, you work your way up the ladder at work, and hit milestone after milestone throughout your life. Whether you like it or not, life …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

How to Know if You Are Becoming More Spiritually Aware

Spiritual awakening helps people discover a different perception of the world. Colors are more vivid and life begins to appear through a clear vision of the world. When people realize their connection with everyone and everything, truth begins to emerge. This connection helps build energy and illuminates a higher spiritual pathway. Learn more about how to know if spiritual awakening has happened and what to do to create more awareness. Spiritual Paths No matter what spiritual pathways are chosen, in order to be more spiritually aware, it helps to set aside time to strip away everything to find the truth. …

Why Men Who Are Introverts May Struggle with Depression and How to Support Their Overall Health

Introverts and extroverts can suffer from depression or other mental health issues, introverts often struggle more to speak out when they have to deal with it. Introverts are typically quiet and reserved, preferring quiet time away from other people. They are mistaken as being shy, but may not open as easily as an extrovert might. Introverts do not get along with everybody and love having time for themselves. They avoid crowds and are not into going to parties. Introverts are selective when it comes to friendships or building social contacts. They are labeled as ‘boring’ or feel judged all the …

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 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 …

Coming Down from a Cocaine Binge: Signs and Symptoms

If you’ve ever experienced coming down from cocaine on your own, you know how challenging it can be. Symptoms can be both physical and psychological in nature, and none of them are pleasant. However, you may be wondering what all can happen during cocaine withdrawal. Is it just uncomfortable, or can it actually be dangerous? What can you expect? Coming Down from Cocaine: Initial Symptoms During the first few hours after your cocaine binge wears off, you will likely suffer the following symptoms: Pounding headache Nausea Chills Muscle aches High blood pressure Clammy or sweaty skin Tremors and nerve pain …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Do Benzodiazepines Affect Dopamine Levels?

Benzodiazepines are a class of drugs designed to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. Introduced in the mid-1950s, “benzos” were originally intended to take the place of highly addictive barbiturates. However, decades of research have revealed that benzodiazepines can be just as habit-forming as the drugs they were meant to replace. The addictive potential of benzos lies in their method of action. Like opioids, cannabinoids, and other drugs, this medication can wreak havoc on a person’s dopamine levels. The outcome? A severe substance use disorder. Dopamine Explained No discussion of addiction is complete without mention of dopamine. It’s the “feel-good” neurotransmitter responsible …

How Long Does Meth Last?

A methamphetamine “Crystal Meth” high is an intense, lengthy altered state of mind that can have devastating effects on the mind and body. If you’ve ever wondered, “how long does meth last?” or “how long does a meth high last?”, the answer is that both of these things can vary based on a number of factors. How long meth remains active, traceable, and relevant within the body depends on several factors including the individual’s age and size, their drug use habits and history, and their chosen route of administration, each of which results in a different half-life. Here, we address …

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 …

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 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 …