Substance Abuse Articles

3 Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the Holidays

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

3 Spiritual Tips for Staying Sane Through the HolidaysAs the holiday season winds up for its last big week before Christmas, here are a few spiritual tips to help you remember what the season’s all about. This is part one of a two-part article.

1. The reason for the season.

I don’t care what religious denomination you call your own. The holidays are always about giving and giving back, which — if you really think about it — is the cornerstone of every thriving belief system.

For me, giving has a very specific look. It starts with hour after hour spent poring over the gift lists my wife and I have compiled, followed by standing in line after line at toy stores, department stores, and jewelry shops all over the city.

Celebrity Tips For Beating Depression

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Celebrity Tips For Beating DepressionWhen we suffer from depression, including bipolar disorder and postpartum depression, we may feel responsible for the depressive feelings. Like somehow it’s our fault.

We may also feel alone in battling the illness and lack support or inspiration from others.

Sometimes this may cause us to give up hope and feel like there’s no end to how low we’re feeling; after all, if there’s nothing we can do and nobody we can turn to for help, there’s no point in trying to get better.

The Importance of Good Support Systems in Sobriety

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

The Importance of Good Support Systems in SobrietyIn many ways, recovery is an individual experience. Moving through recovery means becoming well-acquainted with your own thought processes and tendencies.

It is a time when you become highly attuned to why you are abusing drugs and alcohol, and a time to find ways to become the person you want to be.

Although much of recovery involves your own individual journey, the value of support systems cannot be underestimated. There are several reasons they are vital to recovery.

Dealing with Addictions Around Thanksgiving & the Holidays

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Dealing with Addictions Around Thanksgiving & the HolidaysAddictions are never easy to deal with, but they become even more challenging during the holidays. Holidays bring with them tremendous pressures, sometimes good and sometimes bad.

But the one thing that’s true for most people is that the holidays always make the stress much worse, and that increased stress can make it hard for you to hold fast to your goals and your recovery plan.

Despite the fact that the holidays add enough stress to make many people consider alcohol or drugs just to wind down, it’s possible to deal with the stressors and difficulties. You just need to remember a few key points to help you cope.

5 Ways Rehab Will Change Your Life

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

5 Ways Rehab Will Change Your LifeMaking the transition from addiction to sobriety is a major change. It is sure to transform your life in several positive ways.

In order to make this transformation, many people will choose to enter into a treatment program of some kind. In such programs, you will have the support of addiction counselors, doctors, and maybe even other addicts. They will help you find the way to a happier and healthier life.

Here are a few ways you can expect your life to change in treatment.

Interventions That Really Work for College Drinking

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Interventions That Really Work for College DrinkingWhen a student heads off to college, friends, family members and loved ones hope that they are prepared both emotionally and academically for transitions and the independence that comes with college life. But for some students, drinking problems emerge with potentially serious consequences for a student’s academics, relationships and mental and physical health.

Colleges have long struggled to identify who is most at risk for developing drinking problems and which interventions best treat problems once they emerge. 

With more than 1,825 college student deaths from alcohol-related accidents, according to a 2009 study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, it’s also a question of keen interest and scientific investigation for psychologists. What have they discovered?

How to Change Self-Destructive Behavior: Stages of Change

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

How to Change Self-Destructive BehaviorWhen you attempt to change a self-destructive behavior pattern — such as heavy alcohol or drug use, cigarette smoking or binge eating — research has shown that you will go through quite predictable stages of change on your journey to recovery.

These stages of change were first identified by Prochaska and DiClemente in 1982 and since then hundreds of studies have validated their original findings.

The stages of change are: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination.

It is useful to know which stage of change you are currently experiencing because then you can use specific, targeted strategies that will be effective in taking you to the next level in your recovery.

If you don’t use the right strategy for your particular stage of change, then your attempt at recovery can stall. This also helps to explain why rehabilitation sometimes fails.

5 Ways to Deal with the Stress of an Intervention

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

5 Ways to Deal with the Stress of an InterventionStaging an intervention for a loved one is stressful and emotionally taxing. Having an addict in your life is difficult in its own way and leads to many strong and difficult emotions, including anger, sadness, and guilt. If someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may feel powerless and frustrated.

Ultimately, only an addict can decide to get help, but you may be able to influence his or her decision by staging an intervention. Doing so will give you and other loved ones an opportunity to communicate with the addict about the way his or her behavior is making you feel.

5 Ways to Have More Fun in Recovery

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

5 Ways to Have More Fun in RecoveryRecovering from addiction, whether it be a substance abuse or alcohol problem, can be an arduous and trying process. Completely reworking your life into something uncomfortable and different from what it was often is stressful and mentally taxing.

But keeping a positive attitude and an open mind toward learning new things can turn recovery from a lot of hard work to something that can actually be a little enjoyable.

Below are five ways that recovery can be more fun.

5 Tips for Managing Triggers during Addiction Recovery

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

5 Tips for Managing Triggers during Addiction RecoveryCompleting treatment for substance abuse or alcohol addiction is a major accomplishment. But the real work starts when you walk out the door. You are now making a commitment to abstinence from drugs and alcohol every single day.

You will encounter cravings for your drug of choice, and for any escape, an opportunity to numb out, and perhaps, sometimes, an overall desire to not feel what you are feeling.

You will encounter triggers in the form of events, people, and subsequent emotions that will make you want to drink or get high again. What can you do in these situations?

Living with Co-Occurring Mental & Substance Abuse Disorders

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Living with Co-Occurring Mental & Substance Abuse DisordersSubstance abuse is defined as a pattern of harmful use of any substance for mood-altering purposes. Mental illness refers to disorders generally characterized by dysregulation of mood, thought, or behavior, as recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th edition, of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-5).

When a person is suffering from both a substance abuse and a mental health disorder, it is called a co-occurring disorder. Some people refer to this as “dual diagnosis.”

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), approximately 50 percent of individuals with severe mental health disorders are affected by substance abuse. NAMI also estimates that 29 percent of all people diagnosed as mentally ill abuse alcohol or other drugs.

Can Early Childhood Factors Predict Addictive Tendencies?

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Can Early Childhood Factors Predict Addictive Tendencies?Some research indicates that certain markers and behaviors observed in early development may be earmarks for future addictive patterns.

Children will exhibit some of these behaviors as early as 3 years old.

Possible Early Signs of Addiction

Being a risk taker.

Risk-taking behavior often first appears in early childhood. It may be an early sign of future substance abuse. This is the kid who climbs higher, runs faster, and engages in other physical feats that other children their age would shy away from.

Recent Comments
  • oldblackdog: Nice summary – and simple. Simple is definitely good in trying to add a new habit It started me...
  • JoshyJ: I’ve read the article and read all of your comments. I want to thank everyone for sharing so fearlessly...
  • Darlene Lancer, LMFT: It definitely takes time to know someone in order to love them. But even then, sometimes people...
  • Nora: These things really seem to help. I have been trying a few because my anxiety levels are high. I appriciate...
  • Megalodon: Excellent article. I know those symptoms all too well. What has been interesting is that primary doctors...
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