Addiction Blog. Insight and Advice from Our Recovery Experts.

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’ …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 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 Clonidine Addiction?

Clonidine is a medication people take that may be habit-forming if taken too long or in too high of doses for a long period of time. The drug is an antihypertensive. The proper uses of the drug include symptoms of ADHD, Tourette’s syndrome, or withdrawal symptoms relating to alcohol or opioid use. The drug has been used in the medical field for many decades but it can become addictive for some people. Addiction Issues While clonidine is not as addictive as other types of drugs, people who use it may become dependent on it. Using clonidine may increase the effects …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …