How to Prevent Drug Addiction

You recognize that you cannot use drugs and alcohol like others and that you may need treatment and ongoing support to prevent relapse. Is it possible to prevent drug addiction altogether? Anything is possible, but if you are predisposed genetically to addiction your chances are greater for developing an addiction. This means that if drug or alcohol addiction runs in your family, then you too may be at risk.

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PTSD, Alcoholism and Veterans: What is the Connection?

Harsh. Hostile. Volatile. These words only begin to describe the experience of combat veterans. They are in fight-or-flight mode for extended periods of time. They must make decisions that deeply move against religious, moral and value coding. There is no time for grieving, no safe space to process, no place for emotion of any kind.

It’s no wonder some develop PTSD along with an alcohol use disorder in an attempt to self-medicate.

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Avoidance is Addiction’s Best Friend

Nothing feeds fear like avoidance.  Substance use itself often becomes problematic because it is such an effective method of short-term avoidance.  Eventually, the repetition compulsion of avoidance builds up so much unaddressed residual byproduct that the costs of continued avoidance outweigh the potential costs of facing what we fear.  The fulcrum of change and fear is the birthplace of courage.  Ultimately, whether it relates to addiction, career, love, health, anything that matters, fear keeps us stuck and change comes from honest confrontation with ourselves.

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Coping with Job Loss and Rebuilding Your Life

No matter what has caused you to lose your job – losing employment can be devastating, and if you aren’t managing your stress in healthy ways, relapse can be right around the corner. In order to avoid slipping back into old behaviors, follow these important tips as you begin to navigate your new situation.  

Recovery Before Everything
If you’re in recovery, it’s likely you have heard the saying “anything you put before your recovery, you risk losing” hundreds of times.

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Substance Use Disorder Can Complicate Grief

People with a history of Substance Use Disorder are more likely to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms after a loss. Here’s how to avoid that.

In the past eighteen months, more than four million people around the globe have died from COVID-19. This massive loss has shined a spotlight on a normal, but painful, part of daily life — grief. Grief can occur for a variety of reasons: you can grieve the loss of a relationship, or the end of a career. However, the most acute and deep grief often comes around death.

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How to Change Your Life with 3 Daily Habits

“If you are someone who has struggled with addiction, you are excellent at forming habits.”

The first time my friend Dr. Darlene Mayo said that sentence to me, I was a little taken aback, and very intrigued. She was right: addicts are great at forming habits, and that propensity, when applied for good, can be life-changing.

During our conversation on The Recovered On Purpose Show, I shared with Dr. Mayo the story of my past as a homeless heroin addict, and my present as someone seeking to change other people’s lives through the power of the lessons I’ve learned on my journey to recovery.

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Why Journaling is a Powerful Recovery Tool

Of the many helpful tools you can use to aid you in your recovery, keeping a journal is among the easiest and most powerful. It’s easy in the sense that you can do it pretty much anywhere, at any time. All you need to start journaling in recovery is a piece of paper and a pen. It’s powerful because it works in so many different ways to help you organize your thoughts, process your feelings, and alleviate stress. Here are some of the benefits of journaling for recovery, as well as tips to help get you started.

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Dialectical Dilemmas

Dialectical is a word with a long history (back to the Greeks), but for now let’s define it as “focusing or acting on the interaction of opposing forces or ideas.” Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) identifies and addresses three common dialectical dilemmas, in order to improve emotional self-regulation, one of the primary goals of DBT. DBT can be helpful for individuals in whom large and rapid emotional swings (e.g., from love to hate) are common, painful, and harmful.

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Pitfall in Recovery: Fear

Fear has fueled your entire addiction. This basic emotion set the wheels of your active addiction into motion. Maybe you feared feeling the pain and anger from your past and you sought out that first buzz or high. When you were living through the chaos of addiction, fear kept you from taking the blinders off and seeing the destruction around you. Refusing help and staying in active addiction was fear running your thoughts.

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Arrested? Addicted to Drugs or Alcohol? Look for Drug Court

Getting arrested is a scary thing. It can be even more so when you are dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction. Traditionally, if you were found guilty of a drug-charge, you’d receive a long jail sentence.

Thankfully, drug court entered the picture in 1989. It diverts selected defendants with drug or alcohol related charges – typically those with less serious offenses – into treatment versus prison.

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