Addiction Blog. Insight and Advice from Our Recovery Experts.

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

What Does Being an Empath Have to Do with Addiction?

Empaths are susceptible to pretty much everything because they have a lot of open energy pathways that allow them to feel more than others. Emotionally, psychologically, and physically, they feel more than most, tap into other people’s pain, and overload their senses quite often. Thoughts and feelings can become overwhelming. An empath is someone for whom addiction may take root quickly and not be easy to get rid of because it becomes ingrained in their psyche as to who they are, not just a part of themselves. There are some ways empaths can overcome addiction, it just takes some time …

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 …

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 …

How to Know if Executive Sober Living Programs Are a Good Fit

Leaving rehab is a time of great challenge for people in recovery. After completion of a program, you may feel ready to return to life but life has other plans. Executives especially may find it daunting to return to the previous pace of life and stay sober. Executive sober living programs can be a good way to meet those demands. Before choosing a sober living program, it helps to answer the following questions about whether or not it is a good fit. Know the Residents Selecting a sober living home for executives is challenging because you have a certain lifestyle …

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 …

drugs in men

Signs of Drug Use in Men

There’s a persistent misconception that addiction results from poor judgment or an inherent flaw. The truth is that substance use disorders are a brain disease that can affect anyone, especially if they have a family history of drug abuse or mental illness. This Men’s Health Month, knowing the warning signs to look for can help you figure out if someone you care about is risking harmful consequences by abusing drugs. 1. Tolerance A tolerance occurs when someone’s brain has adapted to having drugs in their system. These substances are literally mind-altering because they cause the brain’s reward and pleasure centers …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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 …