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 …

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 …

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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …