Addiction Blog. Insight and Advice from Our Recovery Experts.

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

How to Help a Man Through Life’s Transitions When Addiction Enters the Picture

Transitions are never easy for anyone. There are different challenges depending on the person. Men specifically struggle in unique ways that cause them to view their life so different as a result. When addiction enters the picture, men often use it as a reason to cover up the challenges they face with the transition. The mind and body crave repetition and balance. When things feel ‘off,’ it can take a toll both mentally and physically. Find some ways to help a man who is struggling with transitions in life deal with it in new ways outside of addiction or substance …

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 continues moving forward. When life stops becoming about hitting milestones, you begin to feel like it is a broken record. Suddenly, everyday feels the same and you look for something to change. Find out why we sometimes feel our lives are like a broken record and how to fix what feels broken. Breaking the Habit Loop If your days, weeks, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Should I Consider Intermittent Fasting in Recovery?

One of the best things you can do in recovery is to take care of your health. Intermittent fasting may sound intense but it is something to consider if you are sober and ready for a challenge. Daily fasting takes place while we sleep. By taking control of periods of ‘fasting,’ we are better able to manage our cravings, see benefits in our skin, and also intestinal health. Find out more about intermittent fasting and if it is something you should consider for overall health. Benefits of Fasting Fasting has an element of human life, and has been there, since …

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 …

Why is a Daily ‘Pause’ Button Important for Recovery?

When people think about hitting ‘pause,’ it typically means they think of stopping altogether. Not just pausing to reflect on why sobriety is a powerful recovery tool, but how to stop doing what they are doing altogether in favor of a different way of life. While there are bigger pauses in life, there is also an element of hitting pause on the small moments. The thoughts, the triggers, the cravings, and everything in between the margins that can cause recovery to feel more difficult than it needs to. Pausing is a choice to live with intention in recovery and find …

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 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. Psychodrama is one tool people can use to grow in recovery from addiction. What is Family Sculpting The first step in family sculpting is to determine who is ready to do the work at this time. When someone steps forward to do the work is most likely ready to begin a deep, introspective process of looking inward at themselves and …

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 …

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 …

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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …