Navigating Existential Distress in Recovery

Content Reviewed by Jennifer Wheeler, Clinical & Community Outreach What is the purpose of existence? What happens after death? We live in a world with an abundance of unknowns. Nearly everyone will begin to question these unknowns at some point in life. Humans are meaning-makers. Finding meaning in life helps people relate better to others, … Read more

Accepting a Loss of Control

Content Reviewed by Jennifer Wheeler, Clinical & Community Outreach Most theories on substance use disorder assume that a loss of control is central to the experience of addiction. Most treatment programs validate these theories, recognizing that individuals must admit a loss of power as well as accept this truth for effective recovery to take place. … Read more

Environmental Factors That Contribute to Substance Use

Although addiction affects everyone differently, several unique risk factors can contribute to the development of substance use and addiction in a person’s life. These risk factors are formidable and relevant elements that increase their chance of using and misusing drugs. In general, the three most impactful categories of risk factors include: Genetic or biological vulnerabilities … Read more

What to Expect From Detox

Content Reviewed by Jennifer Wheeler, Clinical & Community Outreach To effectively treat substance use conditions such as addiction, treatment must begin with detoxification. Detoxification, more commonly referred to as detox, is the experience of being medically supervised and guided when weaning or withdrawing from alcohol or other drugs. Detox programs often utilize medications to help … Read more

Staying Sober This Summer Season

Content Reviewed by Jennifer Wheeler, Clinical & Community Outreach With COVID-19 restrictions dropping, social activities are increasing. Summer is also quickly approaching, and social drinking and partying opportunities will be plentiful. For individuals in recovery, this combination of factors can be overwhelming. Although everyone in recovery is bound to face the challenges of staying sober … Read more

5 Ways Drinking Alcohol Can Change Your Brain

Updated on 3/8/2023 Alcohol changes your brain chemistry in many ways. This blog explores the changes it makes in the brain’s reward pathway and what happens when we build up a tolerance to alcohol. It also explores how alcohol changes our cognitive function and sleep patterns and increases our potential for dementia and brain damage. … Read more

What Is Bipolar Disorder and How Does It Affect Addiction?

Content Reviewed by Jennifer Wheeler, Clinical & Community Outreach There is a very definite connection between bipolar disorder and addiction. Many people with addiction are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and many people with bipolar disorder self-medicate with substances that develop into addiction. They are difficult to separate and even more challenging to live with. What … Read more

Replacement Addictions: Trading One Addiction for Another

After seeking treatment for alcohol or drug addiction, there are some people who maintain sobriety from those substances. Yet, they may replace their prior addiction with other habits such as work, food, exercise, smoking, shopping, gambling, relationships, sex or internet addiction. Although they may not be using substances and consider themselves sober, they are not … Read more

Why Are the Holidays So Difficult Emotionally?

The holidays are painted with joy and celebration on storefronts, catalogs and commercials. Yet this joy eludes so many, and the failed expectation of those images likely compounds those emotions of sadness, loneliness and heartache. There is also a significant increase in drugs and alcohol consumed during the holidays, and not just during joyful celebrations. … Read more

Is There a Difference Between Dependence and Addiction?

When discussing what happens when you drink alcohol every day or regularly use a substance of any kind, the words dependence and addiction are often used interchangeably. Are they the same thing? Is there a difference between dependence and addiction? What does substance abuse mean? Substance abuse is another term that is often used interchangeably … Read more

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