Serenity Through Simple Living

Leonard Cohen once said, “My mind was always very cluttered, so I took great pains to simplify my environment, because if my environment were half as cluttered as my mind, I wouldn’t be able to make it from room to room.” In early recovery, our minds are often so filled with anxious thoughts, fears, resentments,…

Why is Addiction Called a “Family Disease”?

Addiction is a disease that does not only affect the sufferer; it affects everyone who has a relationship with the person who is addicted. Psychologists view families as “organizations” or “ecosystems” in which each member of the family plays a role. When a member of the family become addicted to alcohol or drugs, it changes…

Letting Go of Resentment

Resentment is an everyday occurrence for everyone, whether or not they suffer from addiction or alcoholism. For those in recovery, however, resentment can cause a person to once again seek solace and comfort in drugs and alcohol. Everyone gets upset with others at some point—we step on the toes of others and they retaliate, leaving…

Is Spirituality Important in Recovery?

Many recovery programs focus on spirituality as a means of overcoming addiction and maintaining sobriety. 12-Step recovery, for example, focuses on experiencing a spiritual awakening and living a spiritual life to achieve sobriety. Others, like Refuge Recovery, are founded in the spiritual principles of Buddhism and utilize the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path. The…

Ending the Day in Sobriety

Addiction is never cured. Overcoming the disease requires consistent mental and spiritual maintenance. Our nights are yet another time to exercise the recovery practices we have learned as a means of ensuring our sobriety in the day to come. We take the opportunity before we go to bed to bolster our spiritual connection and commitment…

What is a “Higher Power” in 12-Step Recovery?

Many newcomers will enter the rooms of 12-Step recovery meetings, see the word “God,” and run for the door. There is a common misconception that 12-Step recovery programs are religious in nature, and that spirituality comes from developing a dogmatic approach to the concept of a Higher Power. Many members of recovery programs do hold…

When is it Time to Reach Out for Help?

Addiction is a complex disease that is chronic, progressive, and often fatal if left untreated. One of the defining characteristics of addiction is a lack of power over drugs and alcohol, or an inability to stop using despite negative consequences. There is no “right time” to seek help for addiction, as our disease has often…

The Controversy Over Opioid Maintenance Medications

Arguments abound over whether drugs like suboxone and methadone are more effective in treating addiction that abstinence-based treatment and recovery programs. The controversy, it seems, revolves around two factors: mortality rates and quality of life. The medical community recognizes that opioid maintenance medications reduce the risk of death in opioid-dependent users, while abstinence-based treatment recognizes…

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Many men and women enter into treatment suffering from more than just addiction. There are often underlying mental health concerns that must be addressed if they are to overcome their problems with alcohol and drugs. Dual Diagnosis is a term used when a person suffers from both addiction and a mental health problem simultaneously, regardless…