Can Drugs Cause Mental Illness?

Mental illness and drug use seem to go hand-in-hand. Usually, mental illness leads to drug abuse as an attempt to self-medicate symptoms. However, using drugs also can lead to mental disorders by causing drastic changes in the chemistry of the brain. These brain changes can either cause mental disorders later in life, or cause latent…

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Nurturing the Spiritual Experience

Through engaging in a 12-Step recovery program, we begin to feel a connection to a power greater than ourselves for the first time. This can alternately be described as a “psychic change”—our thoughts and behaviors have shifted to a point where we no longer feel the need to use drugs or alcohol. This “spiritual experience”…

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Why is Boredom Dangerous in Recovery?

Boredom was often a contributing factor in our drinking or using. We felt restless and discontent, so we filled our time with alcohol and drugs because we felt that it was the best way to pass the time. In early sobriety, it is imperative that we find healthy ways to fill our time and stay…

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How to Move Past Fear and Embrace Sobriety

Sobriety can seem like a scary prospect. After all, we have spent so much time in a state of addiction that we don’t know any other way to live. For most of us, drugs and alcohol were a way to control our emotions and problems—without these substances, what are we to rely on to make…

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What are the Consequences of Cannabis?

People rarely consider cannabis, or marijuana, to be a drug that requires treatment. However, the disease of addiction is indiscriminate. Although physical dependence does not develop, people can become just as psychologically addicted to cannabis as any other substance. A man or woman who has the disease of addiction can face major consequences and lose…

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Staying Inspired in Recovery

Everybody needs a motivational boost from time to time. We can easily fall victim to depression or self-pity in early recovery that keep us from feeling excited about all that sobriety has to offer. If we can stay inspired, we won’t lose the spark that keeps us going in our recovery. Inspiration seems to come…

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Is there a Difference Between Alcoholism and Addiction?

Alcoholism and addiction are generally spoken of as two different things. The differences, however, had more to do with social factors rather than the disease of addiction. When looking at the reasons why a person develops alcoholism and addiction, there are virtually no differences. Historically, the first recovery programs were designed for the treatment of…

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Striving for Serenity

We strive for feelings of peace and serenity in our recovery. When we are at ease with ourselves and the outside world, we don’t feel the familiar compulsion to use alcohol and drugs because we no longer need to “fix” anything in our lives. Meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, a 12-Step recovery fellowship, open each meeting…

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What are the Long-Term Effects of Alcoholism?

Alcohol’s status as a legal intoxicant makes it no less dangerous than most illicit substances. Chronic consumption of alcohol can be devastating to the brain and body, leading to serious health complications or early death. Excessive alcohol consumption is the fourth leading cause of preventable death in the United States. The effects of acute alcohol…

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What is a Craving and How Can I Get Through It?

Addiction is powerful. We can put together some time sober, but inevitably the urge to pick up a drink or a drug strikes us. In early recovery, this is a constant source of anxiety, agitation, and worry. We must remember that cravings are temporary. If we can get through the moment of obsession without drinking…

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