June 8, 2018

What Happens to Your Brain When You Blackout from Drinking?

You may have had the experience of waking up somewhere unsure how you got there. Blackouts are common during episodes of binge drinking. The more frequently you drink, the more likely you are to black out. And while heavy drinkers tend to blackout more, anyone can blackout while binge drinking. It’s alarming to not know where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing. What exactly happens when you blackout?

June 7, 2018

Why is Cocaine so Bad for Your Brain?

All psychoactive drugs affect your brain, by definition. Habitual use will cause change neurotransmitter levels, making you physically dependent so you need more to feel the effects. Long term use of many drugs causes cognitive impairments, including poor memory, poor focus, and lack of coordination. If you quit, many of the withdrawal symptoms affect your mood and cognition, sometimes for months or years until your brain heals. Cravings may last for years or decades. Cocaine does all that and more.

June 6, 2018

Why Does Heroin Constrict Your Pupils?

Constricted pupils is one of the physical signs of heroin use. Other physical signs include bloodshot eyes, drowsiness or nodding off, sudden weight loss, and lack of motivation. Needle marks are another sign, but new users typically don’t start injecting right away. Many drugs make your pupils dilate, so why do heroin and other opioids make them constrict?

June 5, 2018

How Achieving Flow Can Help You Stay Sober

Most of the work you have to do in recovery requires some grit. You have to confront old wounds and examine some aspects of yourself you may not like. You have to learn constructive ways to deal with stress and wait out cravings. You have to make lifestyle changes like eating better and exercising. You need to find ways to relax, of course, if only to deal with stress. With all this work, the importance of positive emotions, and especially fun, don’t get much attention.

June 4, 2018

In Recovery, Focus on Essentials

You’ll have no shortage of advice about what to do in recovery. People will tell you to eat right, exercise, go to meetings, work the steps, make new friends, get plenty of sleep, and the list goes on. Most of this is no doubt good advice, especially if it comes from someone you trust, like a doctor, therapist, sponsor, or just someone who is strong in recovery. The problem is that you can’t do everything at once. If you try, you might just get overwhelmed and make no meaningful changes at all.

June 1, 2018

Ketamine for Depression?

Most people know ketamine as an animal tranquilizer that’s often used as a party drug. It causes a dissociative euphoria known as a ‘k-hole’ that is short enough that you can still find your way home at the end of the night. Lately, ketamine is being put to another use: depression treatment of last resort.

May 31, 2018

Should Smoking Be Discouraged in AA?

They say if you can’t find your AA meeting, look for the building with a group of smokers outside. Cigarettes, along with pastries and coffee, have been associated with AA since the beginning. People recovering from alcohol addiction smoke at much higher rates than the general public. While estimates for smoking around the world are around 20 percent and steadily declining, more than half of AA members smoke.

May 30, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Coffee at AA Meetings

Nearly everyone in recovery drinks coffee. It’s a fixture at AA meetings, along with pastries and cigarettes. It’s commonly said that coffee is just one way recovering alcoholics replace their addiction to alcohol, but is that all it is? There may be some good reasons for drinking coffee in recovery. There may also be some good reasons not to. Here are some things to think about when you’re trying to decide whether to have another cup of coffee or tea.

May 29, 2018

Why is Quitting Benzos So Hard?

Benzodiazepines are a prescription medication and relatively common. They don’t cause euphoria like opioids and they aren’t ubiquitous like alcohol. Since they’re fast-acting, unlike SSRIs, you can take them only when you experience acute anxiety or can’t sleep. Benzos seem like a convenient and relatively harmless drug, yet it’s very hard to quit. What’s going on?

May 28, 2018

Why Detoxing Alone Can Be Dangerous

It’s common for people wanting to get sober to shut themselves in their rooms and wait out the storm. The appeal of this approach is obvious. It’s free, for one thing. You also get to be somewhere safe, comfortable, and familiar while you spend a few days feeling awful. No one wants to see anyone else while he’s sweating, shaking, vomiting, and whatever else. It seems much better to hide out at home until the worst is over. As appealing as this is, it can also be dangerous. Here’s why.

Back to: Blogs