How Dangerous is Synthetic Marijuana?

Synthetic marijuana has grown in recent years as a major public health danger. There seem to be constant news stories about deaths or serious health problems tied to using synthetic forms of marijuana. The process of creating the chemicals used to mimic the effects of marijuana is often unregulated and unresearched. Using these products can…

Three Effective Ways to Get Through a Craving

Cravings for drugs and alcohol are entirely normal in the early stages of recovery. We have yet to go through the work of our recovery program and do not have a strong defense against the first drink or drug. As we progress in our recovery, we will develop healthy coping mechanisms and achieve a state…

What Does Addiction do to the Brain?

There are many different views about addiction. Some believe it is an entirely spiritual sickness while others believe it is entirely mental and physical. Regardless of the spiritual and mental components that propel one into addiction, one thing is true: addiction makes major changes to the brain that cause an individual to become completely powerless…

Maintaining Compassion in Sobriety

Compassionate is the ability to have sympathetic pity and concern for the suffering of others. In recovery, compassion is a great motivator for us to seek out and help others who are still suffering from addiction and alcoholism. In fact, most recovery meetings begin with a moment of silence for those who are still sick…

What is MDMA?

MDMA, also known as ecstasy, is an illicit synthetic substance that creates powerful euphoric and empathogenic effects. MDMA effects are both stimulating and psychedelic, and the drug is popular among teens and young adults for its ability to alter perception and enhance feelings of empathy, sensitivity, and euphoria. MDMA use carries the risk of major…

Setting Healthy Expectations

Men and women suffering from the disease of addiction tend to have issues surrounding unrealistic expectations. The problem stems from an inherent need for control. Just as we attempted to assert control over every facet of our lives and ourselves, we can become easily discouraged when our expectations are not met. In recovery, we do…

How Can I Prevent Relapse?

Relapse is very common among men and women in the early stages of sobriety. Rates of relapse mirror the recurrence of symptoms of other chronic health problems—about 40 to 60 percent. However, relapse is not a necessary part of the recovery process. There are a variety of things that we can do to help safeguard…

What is Sponsorship?

12-Step recovery focuses on helping others as a way to maintain sobriety. The Twelfth Step states: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” Sponsorship is a concept that arises from the need to carry…

When Friends in Recovery Relapse

Overcoming addiction requires that we make a promise to ourselves that we are willing to go to any lengths for victory over drugs and alcohol. Not everyone is willing to go through the process of recovery and many people fall victim to the delusion that they can drink or use again after some time sober.…

Is Physical Dependence the Same as Addiction?

Addiction is a complex disease marked by chronic and compulsive substance use despite negative consequences. Physical dependence, on the other hand, is when the brain physiologically changes as a result of substance use, requiring users to continue taking the drug to stave off withdrawal symptoms. While physical dependence is often a part of addiction, it…