Blog

How to Be Your Own Advocate while Recovering from Addiction

People in general are much more aware of addiction than they used to be. Journalists and editors are more careful about how they cover stories about substance use, parents and teachers pay more attention to children and adolescents who may need help, and doctors and other medical professionals are more wary of prescribing addictive medication. While it’s great that that better information about addiction is reaching professionals and the general public, no amount of public...

4 Tips for Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a mood disorder caused by a change of seasons. The most common form of SAD is depression as winter approaches. However, some people experience depressive symptoms in the spring or summer and for people with bipolar disorder, hot weather can trigger a manic episode.  While many people experience the “winter blues” as the days get shorter and colder, SAD is an episode of major depression caused by seasonal change. That...

4 Challenges for Men in Addiction and Recovery

Addiction and recovery are different for everyone. Everyone enters treatment with a different addiction history, different levels of social support, and different personal strengths and weaknesses. Every path to recovery is unique. However, there are some general trends that may affect treatment. For this reason, it is often helpful to separate clients by age, sex, or both. Having specific treatment for men or women allows more focus on issues that affect those groups respectively. The...

4 Challenges Women Face in Addiction and Recovery

Everyone faces different challenges in addiction and recovery. There are elements of recovery that everyone has in common, such as the need for social connection and support, making positive lifestyle changes, and treating co-occurring mental health issues. However, generally speaking, women often face different issues in addiction and recovery than men do. The following challenges for women should be considered when making a plan for treatment. Women get addicted faster. It used to be the case that...

If You’re Newly Sober, Beware of these Substitute Addictions

Among the factors that lead to addiction, the brain’s dopamine system is thought to play an especially important role. The dopamine system is involved with motivation and reward-seeking behavior among other things. One reason drugs and alcohol are so hard to quit is that the pleasure from substance use massively over-stimulates the dopamine system, leading the user to fixate on repeating the experience. Often, people find when they first quit drugs or alcohol and for...

How is Depression Different for Men?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 17 million American adults experience an episode of major depression each year. That’s about seven percent of American adults. However, women are more likely than men to suffer from depression, with 8.7 percent of women experiencing an episode compared to 5.3 percent of men. Experts agree that women are in fact more prone to depression for a variety of reasons but many believe that men experience depression...

8 Signs Your Teen May Have an Anxiety Disorder

The teen years are tough for any parent. During this time, teens want to assert their independence, spend more time with friends than with family, and are generally less communicative. Parents often feel frustrated with their teens’ behavior and they often worry they are getting into trouble. It’s important to remember that is a difficult time for your teen as well. A lot is changing quickly and teens often feel a lot of pressure to...

5 Ways to Cope with Boredom in Addiction Recovery

Boredom is often a reason people begin using drugs and alcohol in the first place. The problem is not the boredom itself but rather that many people are uncomfortable being left alone with their own thoughts. For people who have experienced trauma or abuse, and people who suffer from the symptoms of mental health issues, boredom isn’t merely boring; it’s actually painful. A strong recovery entails treating co-occurring mental health issues and addressing old wounds...

Why Opioids Aren’t the Best Way to Treat Chronic Pain

  Many people assume that because opioids are powerful painkillers that it makes sense to use them to treat chronic pain. Opioids are great for treating the pain that comes immediately after a serious injury, surgery, or other medical procedure, especially when a patient’s opioid use is limited and closely monitored. While opioids are great for treating acute pain in the short term, they may cause serious problems when used over a longer period of time,...

9 Tips for Staying Sober Over the Thanksgiving Holiday

Holiday celebrations can be challenging for people in recovery. People look forward to family gatherings but these celebrations often involve alcohol. Special occasions can be especially dangerous for people recovering from addiction, sometimes even more dangerous than negative emotions. You feel good, it’s a special occasion, so you might start to think, “Why not just this once?” On the other hand, holidays can be extremely stressful too. Old resentments come up, people argue about politics,...