How is Addiction Diagnosed Medically?

Addiction is recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) as Substance Use Disorders. These disorders vary based on the specific substance one is using, as well as the severity of the problem. The current edition of the DSM no longer uses the terms “substance abuse” and “substance dependence.” Rather,…

Mourning the Death of Addiction

Our past reliance on drugs was akin to a relationship. Drugs became our closest friends—we relied on them for a fleeting moment of relief from our inner turmoil, and overtime the relationship grew into complete dependence. Saying goodbye to something that we grew to depend on so strongly can be difficult, and we often go…

How Do I Choose a Recovery Fellowship?

Alcoholics Anonymous, the first 12 Step recovery fellowship, began after a meeting between Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith in 1935. The basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous, known as the Big Book was first published in 1939 and explains the process of the 12 Steps. Since then, many other recovery fellowships have developed using Alcoholics…

Accepting the Disease of Addiction

The first step toward recovering from addictions is admitting that there is a problem. For many of us, it took a long time to come to the conclusion that we were, in fact, suffering from a disease out of our control. We had lost the power of choice, and willpower was not sufficient in stopping…

Is it Okay to Take Prescribed Medication in Recovery?

There are many different opinions in the recovery community regarding prescription medication. Each person’s medical needs are different, and coming to the decision of whether or not to take prescribed medications depends on a variety of factors—namely, the specific medication, our need for it, and an honest evaluation of how strong we are in our…

Infections and Intravenous Drug Use

Injecting drugs directly in the vein, or “shooting up,” is one of the most dangerous routes of administration. Many users prefer injection for the rapid onset of drug effects, however there is a strong chance of developing dangerous, sometimes lethal, infections from syringes or from contaminants in the drugs themselves. Infections are extremely dangerous and…

What is Grounding?

Grounding can be an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety in early recovery. Grounding is a coping strategy that allows us to bring ourselves back into the present moment and pull ourselves out of the spiral of anxiety. When we begin to feel overwhelmed by stress or nearing panic, we can utilize a variety…

What are the Health Consequences of MDMA?

MDMA, known as Molly or Ecstasy, is a stimulant and hallucinogenic drug that causes feelings of euphoria, pleasure, increased energy, and increased sensory perception. Due to the effects of MDMA, it is often taken as party drug and it popular at concerts and raves. Many users, however, are unaware of the dangers of MDMA, as…

Steroids in Recovery

Steroids are unfortunately prevalent in the recovery community. Many people do not consider steroid use to be a relapse. However, steroid use goes against the principles that we have made the decision to live by in sobriety. They can also easily lead to addiction and severe health consequences.In recovery, it is easy for one to…

Discovering Internal Validation in Sobriety

Ramana Maharshi, Hindu sage and jivanmukta, once said, “There is nothing wrong with seeking happiness. It is our birthright. The problem is where we look for it: outside of us instead of inside.” Many of us wasted a lot of time and energy seeking happiness and validation externally, but never considered that the true potential…