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How to Find the Right 12-step Sponsor

Whether you’re coming out of an addiction treatment program or coming down off your last high, joining a 12-step program is a great asset for recovery. Participating in 12-step meetings can provide the support, encouragement, and accountability you need to stay sober for the long term. People familiar with 12-step programs such as AA and NA know that most people have a sponsor. A sponsor is like a personal mentor for recovery. He or she...

3 Common Pitfalls for Extraverts Recovering from Addiction

One factor that may influence the course of your recovery from addiction is whether you are introverted or extraverted. While few people are purely introverted or extraverted, extraverts appear to be a slight majority. Extraversion is characterized by a greater tendency to seek out the company and stimulation of other people. This can be a major advantage in addiction recovery since a strong sober network and feeling socially connected are huge assets. Extraverts also tend...

How to Get the Most out of Your First 12-step Meeting

Twelve-step meetings, such as AA or NA are valuable resources for anyone recovering from addiction. A big reason is that they are available to nearly everyone. There are more than 100,000 AA meetings and more than 67,000 NA meetings worldwide and the only requirement for joining is that you want to get sober. What’s more, there are typically several choices of meetings in any moderately populated area so most people can find a group that...

Why Addiction Recovery May be Harder for Introverts

Recovery from addiction is a little different for everyone. No one enters treatment with the same addiction history, personal history, physiology, strengths, and weaknesses. All of these factors will affect your treatment and recovery from addiction. Introversion is one factor that may have a significant impact on what your recovery looks like. One common definition of introversion is that introverts are people who get energy from being alone, as opposed to extraverts, who are people...

What Comes First: Addiction or Mental Illness?

  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 50 percent of adults and 60 percent of adolescents with a substance use issue also have a co-occurring mental health issue. Common co-occurring issues include anxiety disorders, major depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, personality disorders, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorders. It’s crucial for anyone seeking help for addiction to also get treatment for any co-occurring mental health issues. Substance use and mental illnesses can feed off each...

5 Reasons Athletes May Be at Risk for Addiction

On the surface, athletes should be a group of people with a low risk of developing substance use disorders. They are physically active, which studies show protects against anxiety and depression--major risk factors for developing addiction. Athletes also tend to be goal oriented, deriving a sense of purpose from excelling at their sports. Perhaps most importantly, athletes tend to enjoy strong social support from their teammates and even their competitors. One study even found that...

4 Promising New Treatments for Depression

More than 17 million Americans suffered an episode of major depression in the past year, making depression one of the most common mental health issues in the US.  According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Symptoms include depressed mood, inability to feel pleasure, sleep disturbance, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, irritability, slow movements, aches, and thoughts of suicide or death. Although depression is extremely common, there’s a...

6 Reasons People Don’t Voice Their Concerns About a Loved One’s Substance Use

It’s easy to understand why someone might be reluctant to raise concerns about a friend or family member’s substance use. It’s likely to be an uncomfortable conversation but it can also make a huge difference in the life of someone you care about. If someone has a substance use issue, the people closest to them are typically the first to notice. The people who spend the most time with them and know them the best...

6 Common Fears People Have About Entering Addiction Treatment

There are many sticking points between getting someone to admit they have a problem with drugs or alcohol and actually getting that person into a treatment program. Most people take a long time to admit they have a problem and even then they may believe they don’t need help. Even people who believe they need help for addiction may be reluctant to get it. They may be aware that substance use is hurting them and...

How to Talk to a Loved One About Their Substance Use

Talking to a loved one about their substance use can be difficult. You may be reluctant for a number of reasons. Perhaps you feel like it’s none of your business, that your loved one has just been under a lot of stress lately, or you would just rather avoid a possible confrontation. Although it might be easier to stay quiet in the short term, it will cause a lot more problems in the long term....