Progression of Addiction

Discovering the Effect of the Substance Every addiction starts with that first choice to use. Perhaps you were curious about the effects of a drug, or you started drinking because your friends were into the party scene. You quickly learned that when you used the substance, there was a certain effect. You might have even […]

Brain Chemistry of Addiction

Pleasure Centers Drugs and alcohol impact the brain in a variety of ways, but one of the most significant is the way in which these substances alter levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is often referred to as the “feel good” neurotransmitter because it influences the brain’s pleasure centers. When the body experiences a pleasurable […]


What is an Intervention? Interventions are carefully-planned, professionally-guided meetings between the person with the abuse problem and those closest to them. The purpose of an intervention is to help the person realize the compelling connection between their substance use and current problems they might be facing. As a result, the hope is that the individual […]


It is often the case that any mental conditions or previous trauma’s are the cause of alcohol and drug dependency. Alcohol and drug dependency are an individuals way out of confronting those previous experiences or having to acknowledge mental illness. The counseling options begin with one-on-one sessions that gradually work their way into becoming larger […]

Self Medication

Self-Medication and Trauma The Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACE) offered compelling evidence to show a strong link between traumatic events in childhood and a substance use disorder. Researchers found that the more traumatic events people experienced in their childhood (loss of a parent, abuse, neglect), the more likely they were to develop an addiction to […]

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

Symptoms of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome While acute withdrawal is typically characterized by physical symptoms, people experiencing PAWS often have psychological or emotional symptoms to grapple with. Common symptoms of PAWS include: Cloudy thinking and memory problems Anxiety and depression Erratic mood swings or irritability Sleep interruptions and disturbances Fluctuating energy levels, low motivation Acute sensitivity […]

Effects of Addiction and Recovery

Physical Effects of Addiction Effects of substances on the body will vary, based on the specific substance used and the way in which it is administered. Some of the common physical effects of addiction might include: Sexual dysfunction and fertility issues Increased heart rate, heart irregularities, increased risk for heart attack Lung damage, increased risk […]

Family Education

Features of Family Education and Therapy Family education primarily focuses on providing facts about addiction, while therapy focuses on restoring relationships and finding healthy ways to deal with the negative impact of addiction on both individuals and the family unit. To that end, family education and therapy programs may include the following features: Education about […]

Managing Urges and Cravings

Then there are the urges and cravings that appear to come on without any warning whatsoever. You weren’t expecting that strong desire to appear; therefore, you were not prepared to meet and conquer it. Whether your craving is anticipated or seems to strike out of the blue, there are ways to handle these urges without […]

12 Step Program

Originally designed to help alcoholics overcome their dependence on alcohol, the model has grown to address nearly any type of addictive behavior. Today, most addiction treatment facilities incorporate the 12-step program in some way, because it is relatively easy to follow and it boasts a high success rate in the recovery process. History of 12 […]