The Science of Addiction and the Brain

Scare tactics about the impact of addiction are common, but the science speaks for itself.

If you’re of a certain age, you probably are familiar with the famous “This is your brain on drugs” PSA. In the 30-second spot that aired in the 90s, a man holds up an egg (“This is your brain”) before smashing it into a frying pan (“This is your brain on drugs”).

The idea of drugs damaging the brain has long been used to try to prevent people from using drugs, or to get them into treatment. While there is truth to the scare tactics, the full picture is much more interesting — and concerning.

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Why Acceptance is an Essential Part of Recovery

Acceptance is often times an essential part of recovery. When one is new to sobriety, it can be difficult to accept the new version of themselves. Learning how to see your circumstances clearly and live life on life’s terms can open the door to a whole new level of emotional sobriety. Below are just some of the ways in which acceptance can aid in your healing and enhance your recovery.

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Is “Vitamin No” the Best Self-Care Supplement?

Self-care is frequently pushed as a key to wellbeing.  In the realm of addictive problems, family members are encouraged to put ‘self-care’ first as a way of curbing over-involvement in the lives of someone with addictive problems.  People with addictive problems are encouraged to find healthier ways to practice self-care.  Therapists are trained to implement self-care to manage the stresses and pressures of clinical practice.  Few argue against the merits of taking care of oneself, but simple and effective techniques for how to practice self-care often leave much to be desired.  This article will explore what is perhaps the most effective and simple tactic of practicing self-care – a healthy dose of ‘Vitamin-N,’ aka, saying no.

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10 Reasons Why People Abuse Drugs

The reasons why people use drugs vary greatly for every individual. More often than not, a person is trying to fix an issue within their life and they see drugs as the solution.

A young person may be trying to fit in with their peers and views using or alcohol drugs as a means of feeling “a part of.” In contrast, many individuals use drugs as a way to self-medicate. From chronic pain to mental health disorders, many people use drugs to alleviate symptoms of an ailment.

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5 Ways To Quickly Calm Down In Moments Of Stress Or Anxiety

Stress is a human reaction to many events or environments. Acute stress can appear and disappear quickly, without lingering effects. Chronic stress, however, can take a toll on a person. Living with chronic stress can damage the mind and body. It could also fuel an addiction, unless you have go-to methods for quickly calm down when stressed.

Use A Deep Breathing Technique
Breathing techniques are a foundation for combating stress or anxiety. Breathing is something we can control, making it useful for relaxing and clearing the mind.

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I’m Addicted…And I Just Don’t Care Anymore

Have you ever felt like you understood and shared another person’s experiences and emotions? The ability to share someone else’s feelings is called empathy. And if you’ve never known substance abuse, you may take this ability for granted.

Those struggling with addiction often lack the capacity to tune into the emotions and behaviors of others. Along with so many other important pieces of their lives, the addiction seizes their empathy.

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Feeling Unsteady in Recovery? Take a Break From Social Media

Social media is everywhere these days, and despite its ubiquitous use, these platforms can have some detrimental effects – especially for anyone trying to maintain their sobriety.

Social Media and Your Recovery

Here’s how social media use might be negatively affecting your recovery:

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Are You Enabling Your Loved One’s Addiction?

When someone you care about is suffering from substance abuse disorder (SUD), your instinct may be to do whatever you can do to help them. However, even with the best of intentions, you can do more harm than good if the help you offer is actually enabling.

Enabling. What does that mean, anyway? It means that even if your intentions are in the right place, when you offer help to your loved one who is struggling with addiction, the help you give inadvertently perpetuates the problem.

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The Stages of Change

1) PRECONTEMPLATION STAGE

“It isn’t that we cannot see the solution. It’s that we cannot see the problem.”

Precontemplators usually show up in therapy because of pressures from others… spouses, employers, parents, and courts… Resist change. When their problem comes up, they change the topic of conversation. They place responsibility for their problems on factors such as genetic makeup, addition, family, society, destiny, the police, etc. They feel the situation is HOPELESS.

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Four Things You Should Know About Resilience

Resilience can be developed. Many people have learned that firsthand this year, as they’ve had to build more resilience than they ever expected to need.

In the year or two before the pandemic, a new word started popping up in my writing about addiction, mental health and wellness: resilience. All of a sudden, the word seemed to be everywhere, from my reporting on childhood traumas to my discussions about what can help people succeed in recovery.

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