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 […]

The Best We Can

This weekend my husband, Jonathan, and I, traveled to the Northeast, Boston and then New Hampshire to do a little work, relax and reconnect a bit with some BRC alumni, and speak at a Big Book Workshop for our friends at Granite Recovery Center.  What an exciting trip! The air was cold and crisp, the city was decorated for Christmas and the hustle and bustle of visitors and shoppers made the energy electric. And the Italian food in the North End! Unforgettable… As we were preparing to leave for the trip last week, we suddenly remembered that the traffic in […]

Keeping Your Recovery Strong This Winter

The winter is a wonderful time of year and yet it’s also a time where stress, cold and flu and temptations can put your health and your recovery at risk. Here’s help: Safeguard against stress. Chronic stress can drain your immune system and increase your risk of getting sick. In fact, one study found that people who experienced a major stressful event were two times more likely to catch the common cold. Think of “chilling out” as just another recovery to-do this season. Cuddle up with a good book, soak in a warm bath, sip some warm tea, meditate, color […]

Steps to Overcome Self-Doubt 

self doubt

If you’re not careful, self-doubt can sabotage your recovery. To the rescue: These steps can help boost your confidence, tame your inner critic and make you feel good about you and your new sober life. Write yourself an uplifting note. We’ve all had someone give us a compliment or share a kind word that made us feel better. Even if no one is around, there’s one person that is always there to lift you up – that’s you. Take time to write yourself a little upbeat note. Tap into your positive side and tell yourself that you can do this! Try […]

#GivingTuesday: Create Miracles

10.9% – that is the percentage of addicted individuals in the United States who receive specialized treatment for substance abuse disorders. Only 10.9! That leaves a whopping 89.1% of addicted individuals stuck in the vicious cycle, wondering if that demoralizing and shameful quality of life is all they are destined for. With the opioid epidemic on the rise, and the number of annual deaths associated with alcohol and drug abuse skyrocketing at an alarming rate, it’s no secret that we are in dire need of a miracle in this country. We often hear the word “miracle” and think of something […]

Tips for Surviving Mental Relapse

mental relapse

During recovery, it’s pretty common to think about using again – or mentally relapsing – but it can be a slippery slope if these thoughts aren’t fleeting. If you remain in a mental relapse for too long, you may find yourself battling intense cravings, bargaining, skipping therapy sessions or meetings and/or putting yourself in risky situations. Perhaps worse, you might even begin mentally planning your relapse. Now, here’s the good news: Even if you’re in a mental relapse, you can prevent yourself from using again with some healthy coping skills. If the thought of using becomes too great – even […]