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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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 …

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 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, …

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 …

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 …