How Do I Know if I’ve Hit Rock Bottom?

Rock bottom is a complicated concept. Many people assume that rock bottom must include serious consequences such as financial problems, homelessness, and jail time or legal problems. However, rock bottom is a different experience for everyone and can be entirely internal. Peg O’Connor, in a 2014 Psychology Today article entitled What’s Wrong With ‘Rock Bottom’,…

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When We Aren’t Forgiven for Our Addiction

Pat Schneeweis, better known as Pat the Bunny of the band Ramshackle Glory, sings in the song Never Coming Home (Song for the Guilty): “Forgiveness from those that we hurt in this world never was guaranteed.” Schneeweis, whose struggles with heroin and sobriety are well documented in his songs, touches on an important note about…

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What Does Spirituality Have to do with Recovery?

Words like “God” and “spirituality” can make newcomers to recovery run for the door. After all, what could spirituality possibly have to do with addiction recovery? The answers may be surprising. Spirituality and living by spiritual principles is a major part of many recovery programs. The concept is that addiction is a complex disease that…

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The Problem with “War Stories”

There is nothing wrong with discussing one’s past during treatment and recovery. The problem arises when our discussions turn from a frank and honest examination of our past to romanticizing our addiction. Often, addiction has consumed our lives to such a degree that we have little else to talk about. When we begin telling “war…

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How Important is Therapy in Addiction Treatment?

Therapy and the development of coping skills are an important part of treating addiction. However, therapeutic treatment is only on part of the puzzle. For treatment to be effective, the problem of addiction must be addressed from a variety of angles, including every mental, physical, and spiritual aspect of the disease. That is not to…

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Confronting the Past

We all have past experiences that we are ashamed of. Our lives were hijacked by addiction and we become selfish and self-centered, caring little for anything except our next drink or drug. In the past, we may have harmed others, ruined relationships, or done any number of harmful things to others. We may find it…

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Why Can’t I Maintain Sobriety?

Detoxification and achieving sobriety is a strong step toward overcoming addiction, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. The real work begins when we leave treatment and reenter the world. Many people in recovery share similar stories of achieving sobriety, only to relapse shortly after treatment or after a brief period of sobriety.…

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Alcohol and Benzodiazepines: The Most Dangerous Detox

Ceasing drug and alcohol use abruptly is extremely dangerous. Our bodies have adapted to the increased intake of substances and made physiologically changes. When we abruptly discontinue drug and alcohol use, our bodies respond with painful withdrawal symptoms. Many drugs cause withdrawal symptoms that range from mild to extremely painful, but alcohol and benzodiazepines are…

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Is Addiction a Moral Failure?

Many people do not understand the true nature of the disease of addiction. Rather than accepting that addiction is a chronic and compulsive disease, they tend to assume that addiction is the result of immorality. This misconception about the nature of addiction can lead to shame and low self-worth among men and women suffering from…

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Is There a Cure for Addiction?

Addiction is a complex disease that affects mental, physical, and spiritual health. The complexity of the disease means that it requires daily maintenance and recovery practices to maintain sobriety. There is no cure for addiction, but that does not mean sobriety is not possible. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, “Not always—but like other…

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