Addiction Blog. Insight and Advice from Our Recovery Experts.

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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. …

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 …

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 …

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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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 …