Category Archives: Addiction

How to Handle (or Survive) Your First 12-Step Meeting

12 step meeting - group of people sitting in a circle

After you’ve made the often very difficult decision to go into rehab and get professional help to overcome your addiction, it’s not the end of the healing path but merely the beginning. Along with detoxifying your body from addictive substances, learning about the disease of addiction, becoming familiar with and practicing coping skills and techniques, and learning how to prevent, deal with and come back from potential relapse, there’s the whole vital element of ongoing support to navigate. While you’ve probably been introduced to 12-step meetings, once you’re back home again you’ll need to figure out how to handle (or survive) your first (post-rehab) 12-step meeting. Continue reading

How to Tell If You’re Addicted to Your ADHD Medication

ADHD Banner with Medication

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a serious condition that affects adults as well as children and teens. Stimulant medications are effective in treating this condition, but concerns about the potential for abuse of these medications, or even addiction to them, (Focalin addiction, Adderall addiction, and Ritalin addiction) are valid. Let’s take a closer look at how to discern if you are developing an addiction to the medications prescribed for your ADHD.

Continue reading

911 for First Responders: Resolving Cumulative Trauma by Supporting Each Other

By Mike Pool, Retired Law Enforcement and Peer Coordinator of After Action: Building Resilience Workshop.

First responders are not allowed to show or share our emotions. We shove our reactions as far down as they’ll go so we can cope with the day-to-day corrosive events of our jobs. Most of us come to see that this kind of work found us, and not the other way around, so we plunge head first into trying to do our best. Many of us don’t realize how much our family history may have led us on this path, or the underlying reasons we need to protect and save people. We just get it done. Continue reading

Are Addiction and Mental Illness Decreasing America’s Life Expectancy?

Addiction and Life Expectancy

By Michael Desjardins, APRN

The steady flow of clients visiting me and my colleagues’ offices and treatment centers for “diseases of despair” like depression and addiction seems to mirror trends in a recently released report by the National Center for Health Statistics. The report shows that U.S. life expectancy rates have decreased for the first time since 1993, and some data analysts are pointing the finger at a rise in substance abuse and mental illness.
Continue reading

How ‘The Four Agreements’ Fit With Your Addiction Recovery

Don Miguel Ruiz, Author

You’ve come a long way in your quest to live clean and sober. You know — because you’ve learned — many ways to cope with difficult situations, deal with recurring cravings and triggers, manage tough emotions and find a way to navigate and streamline your life so that stress doesn’t do you in. Still, having many tools at your disposal, keeping “The Four Agreements” in mind and using them to aid in your recovery will make life in sobriety a lot more enjoyable.
Continue reading

Alternatives to 12-Step Addiction Recovery

12 Step Alternative Programs

While many drug and alcohol rehab centers have a focus on the 12 steps in the overall healing process, there are alternative programs that you should be aware of. This is perhaps of particular importance to those who want to overcome addiction to toxic substances but don’t like the idea of or don’t feel comfortable with any program that emphasizes a higher power.
Continue reading

My Way or Yours? Different Paths to Healing From Addiction All Count

Healing and Recovering from AddictionWhen you hear about a path to healing from addiction, the tendency is to think that there’s only one way to heal. Nothing could be further from the truth, for there are many paths to healing and no single one is the be-all and end-all. In addition, what works for me may not be appropriate for you. By the same token, just because you have a program you’ve put together that’s effective and seems to produce beneficial results, while you can recommend your strategies and tips to another, that doesn’t mean that they’ll have the same outcomes.
Continue reading

7 Tips to Get Past Procrastination in Recovery

Recovery ProgressWhen you’re in recovery, especially early recovery, you have a lot of things on your to-do list. While it’s understandable that you might feel a bit overwhelmed, at least at first, you have every reason to expect that you’ll come to some manageable way of working your way through everything you want and need to do. There are, however, the inevitable gaps and slow-downs that you will encounter, particularly in your own tendency to procrastinate. Here are seven tips to help you get past them.
Continue reading

Will I Become Addicted to Painkillers After My Surgery?

Addiction to Pain Killers After SurgeryWith growing concerns about opioid addiction, many people are leery of taking these drugs after surgery. But even though prolonged pain during the recovery period can lead to an elevated risk of chronic opioid use, that’s no reason to put off or avoid an operation, say the authors of a new study by the Stanford University School of Medicine that looked at opioid dependence in more than 640,000 post-surgery patients.
Continue reading