Your Heart on Drugs

your heart on drugs

If you’re in recovery from a substance use disorder, your heart is likely saying thank you right about now. That’s because alcohol as well as the majority of illegal drugs can have an adverse impact on your heart health, ranging from irregular heart rate to heart attacks. In honor of American Heart Month this February, here’s a look at your heart on drugs. According to the American Heart Association, chronic drug use can lead to a variety of cardiovascular problems, including: Rapid or irregular heart beats (arrhythmia) Sudden increase in blood pressure Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart lining) Dilated cardiomyopathy […]

Another Opioid Scourge: Infection-Related Strokes

Experts warn of yet another danger of opioids: the risk of infection-related stroke. According to reports from the annual meeting of the American Stroke Association, the rate of hospitalization for stroke rose 20 percent in the last 10 years. And it’s no coincidence that these numbers coincide with the current opioid epidemic. “People need to be more aware that stroke can be a devastating complication of injecting opioids,” lead study author Dr. Setareh Salehi Omran, who is a fellow in vascular neurology at the Weill Cornell Medical Center and Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, told HealthDay. How […]

Using Aromatherapy in Addiction Recovery


Essential oils are certainly not a cure-all elixir for people in recovery from a substance use disorder, but it might not hurt to add them to your daily routine along with a reputable addiction treatment program. Holistic therapy has become an important part of many rehabs and helps heal the mind, body and spirit from the tolls of addiction. Aromatherapy is a type of holistic therapy that more and more people are exploring. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy defines it as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health […]

Common Misconceptions About Rehab


There are more than 23 million people living with a substance use disorder and yet only 10 percent receive proper treatment. Among the reasons is the stigma associated with entering rehab or how the media often portrays people struggling with substance use disorders. A better understanding of addiction and addiction treatment can ensure that you or someone you love gets proper help. To get you started, here is the truth about some common misconceptions about rehab. Misconception 1: You Must Hit “Rock Bottom” to Get Help The media often makes it seem like you need to reach “rock bottom,” or […]

Addiction: How Women Differ From Men

women addiction

Thanks to a growing body of research, we now know that addiction and addiction recovery is different for men and women alike. In fact, women face some unique challenges including having a harder time quitting and a greater chance at relapse. Differences between women and men also include how they develop a substance use disorder, experience consequences of use and what they need in terms of treatment and lasting sobriety. Men and women experience addiction differently and often wrestle with different societal pressures and emotions. Here’s a look at a few key differences: Women become addicted faster with smaller amounts than […]

For Family: Spotting the Signs of Mental Illness

signs of mental illness

Mental illness and substance use disorder often go hand in hand – in fact, there’s even a name for it: co-occurring disorder or dual diagnosis. According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 8 million people in the U.S. experience both a mental disorder and substance use disorder simultaneously. Either disorder — mental illness or a substance use disorder — can develop first. Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows high rates of cooccurring substance use disorders and anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder) as well as  mental disorders such as depression and […]

Celebrate the New Year: Have Fun, Stay Sober

sober New Year

Attending a New Year’s Eve party tonight is a surefire way to challenge your sobriety. Especially if you’re new to recovery, you may consider finding a sober alternative or plan your own celebration with a few, close trusted friends or family members. It’s not too late to head to the movies, plan a potluck and have a dance party or go for a midnight run together. Talk to your sponsor or addiction counselor and make the decision together. If you do decide to attend a party where there will likely be alcohol and/or drugs, make sure you follow a few steps […]

Why You Should Embrace Being Uncomfortable

comfort zone

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” This is a great quote and it can’t be more spot on – especially as you work through recovery and begin to build a new sober life without the crutch of drugs or alcohol. Think about. A big part of the recovery journey requires going outside of your comfort zone – to talk about your history with a counselor or group of recovery peers, to go through the 12-steps, to try a new food or relaxation technique, to make amends with a family member or friend, to fight through a craving […]