Addiction

Why One Doctor Says Medicine Isn’t Enough for Recovery


A double-board certified addiction medicine physician believes that 12-step programs are a critical part of recovery.

Russell Surasky, MD, who is board-certified in Neurology as well as in Addiction Medicine, is certainly well-versed in the pharmacologic treatment of addiction. And yet he is also a passionate believer in 12-step programs for his patients, calling them the “gold standard” when it comes to achieving stable recovery. For more on his treatment approach and philosophy, see below.

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Addiction

Some of the Worst Cliches in Recovery Circles

If you spend time in recovery circles you will hear these same clichés over and over again. Some make you want to run to the nearest bar just for spite, others may become mantra.

You can't not hear them.

If you have spent any time in a 12-step meeting of any sort, or if you have spent time in rehab, chances are that you are more than familiar with recovery clichés. They are often spouted by the old timers in a meeting, or if you are in rehab, by your group counselor.
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Alcoholism

Are You Using Alcohol as a Crutch?

One of my friends hasn’t had a drink in over a year. She stopped drinking because she realized that it clouded her thinking. She realized that she was using alcohol to relieve stress and escape from her thoughts and feelings. No one would call her an “alcoholic.” In fact, many of her friends don’t understand why she quit.

But, without alcohol, she’s seen many positive changes. She has more clarity. She feels more motivated. She sleeps better. She’s more present in her life.

We think of drinking in two ways: Either you’re a normal drinker. Or you’re an alcoholic. Either you have a serious problem. Or you don’t. But drinking is way more nuanced and much more layered than that.
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Addiction

The Importance of Good Nutrition During Recovery


Dietary habits in early recovery can be the difference between staying clean and relapsing.

As the opioid epidemic combined with a rise in illegal drug abuse spreads across the country, effective substance abuse treatment services and inpatient recovery options are needed more than ever before. Since the Affordable Care Act has made these services mandatory coverage, a much sharper lens has been focused on what is being offered and its success rate. As the founder of Nutrition In Recovery, David Wiss, MS, RDN, does not understand why the critical role of good nutrition in early recovery is being largely ignored by rehabs and sober living facilities. In long-term recovery himself, David intimately knows how challenging the struggle to restore personal health can be after the damage done by addiction.

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Addiction

Prescription Drug Addiction: Legal But Very Risky

Generally when we hear the terms "drug" or "drug addict" we assume the reference is geared towards illegal street drugs. There seems to be a silent acceptance of the addictive qualities and negative impacts that legal drugs have on society. When/if the negative impacts they have are addressed, an overt finger is pointed at the person who found themselves addicted to the substance that was either prescribed by a professional or advertised repeatedly through media outlets as a fun, enjoyable way to spend downtime. There are warning labels but for the most part these drugs are depicted as a fairly safe means to cure an ailment or a recipe for a good time.
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Addiction

A Higher Power for Those Who Don’t Believe in a Higher Power

This article is not directed toward individuals who do not find themselves struggling to embrace a Higher Power of their understanding while working toward recovery. It is directed at those who may want to embrace something, yet cannot identify with what they are comfortable.

Several of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (and Narcotics Anonymous) involve a Higher Power, so one could imagine this being offputting to someone who does not identify one. It can be challenging to wrap your head around the steps if God or a Higher Power is not in your life.

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Addiction

8 Reasons You Should Pour Out the Booze and Socialize Sober


When you’re used to taking shots before any social interaction, it feels weird when you show up anywhere sober. But I learned that it's actually better this way.

Let’s face it, socializing is something that is historically associated with alcohol. If you’ve watched television, surfed the Internet, or even browsed your Facebook feed, you’ve seen advertisements from the alcohol industry -- or pop culture sites in general -- on what you should be doing on a Friday night, what you should be mixing your vodka with, and how you can meet good-looking people at the bar. It’s one reason it took me such a long time to try sobriety. I truly thought the only way to socialize was by going out for drinks or by eyeing up my next boyfriend from across the club while listening to “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”

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Addiction

Hitting Rock Bottom: Some, Not All

Hitting rock bottom is a phrase I hear all the time when people talk about addiction. “She needs to hit rock bottom to stop drinking.” “Once he hits rock bottom, he will realize the damage that drugs have caused.” “After they hit rock bottom, they will understand how negatively addiction has affected their careers, finances, and families.” These are common phrases I hear when people talk about friends, family, or acquaintances with addiction.

Yet, what does it mean to hit rock bottom? Literally speaking, it means someone has fallen so far -- perhaps off a cliff -- that they have hit the ground. Metaphorically, hitting rock bottom describes a point in one’s life when they reach a definite low as a result of addiction problems. People generally see it as the lowest point possible, an epiphanic moment or process where one becomes cognizant of their addiction’s destructive nature. This point may be financial, emotional, physical, social, or spiritual.

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