Brain Recovery Following Alcohol Use Disorders – William L White

Since the early promulgation of addiction as a brain disease, I have warned that such a model could increase rather than decrease addiction-related stigma if not also accompanied by a parallel understanding of the neurobiology of addiction recovery (See HERE and HERE). To that end, I joined several colleagues in calling for a recovery research agenda that includes a focus on the degree to which brain functioning is restored during the recovery process (See HERE and HERE). In the intervening years, significant research has illuminated such healing processes and their implications for recovery management. The most significant of this work has been done on alcohol use disorders. The extent to which these findings are applicable to other substance use disorders remains unclear. Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are associated with significant cognitive impairment, though not all individuals with an AUD experience such impairment and the degree of impairment can vary widely depending on AUD severity and duration, number of… Continue reading

How is Your Dependence Serving You? Unlocking Your Truth – Nicola O’Hanlon

Addiction and dependence have many definitions. There are many different opinions and many heated arguments around the subject. For me there is no one clear definition for each person regarding their dependence or addiction. Humans are too complicated and their circumstances too individual to stick a generic prescription on what looks like a similar dis-ease. This is what fits my personal experience; Addiction or dependence is the act of relying on or being controlled by someone or something else to keep me functional. You can define your own experience how you want to. When we think of addiction or dependence, most of us will immediately turn to things like drugs or alcohol to identify the concept. Some of us are or have been addicted to these substances and now see ourselves as alcoholics or addicts. Of course, we know that addiction or dependence covers a vast arena of substances and… Continue reading

3 Social Benefits of Recovering from Alcoholism – Mary Lamphere

If you’ve ever turned to alcohol with hopes of becoming more outgoing and social, you’re not alone. Many who struggle with alcohol abuse started drinking in the first place due to feeling shy, awkward, or anxious in social settings. But what many don’t realize is that quitting drinking can actually improve your social life, and repair relationships that may have suffered on behalf of alcoholism. Nobody should have to quit drinking on their own without help and support, including you. Recovery is a long and rewarding process with many benefits along the way. Here are three social benefits associated with quitting drinking and overcoming alcohol addiction. 1. Gain Total Control of Your Actions Intoxication can make you say and do things you normally wouldn’t do when sober. In most cases, drinking can lower your inhibitions and influence you to engage in negative, destructive behaviors. For instance, you might say hurtful… Continue reading

The Leroys–A Recovery Parody – by Mark Masserant

With the final days of the winter of 2015 approaching and extreme boredom setting in, the Pink Elephant Group decided it was time for something new. Already in the books were several Bowl-a-thons, Karaoke Nights, and finally, the fly-by-night Velcro Twister Games, which led to random thirteenth steps and oodles of resentments.  We dropped them like a bad habit. Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Drunkard was proposed, knocked around and hastily shot down unanimously—our butts had fallen off long ago, leaving most of us disqualified. After multiple suggestions were scrapped, Bitter Bill spoke up from the back of the room. “How’s about handing out some awards to a bunch of ex-drunks?  ‘Course, I probably won’t get one,” he droned drearily. With the Oscars on the horizon, we decided he was right—we could host an awards ceremony, with our own peculiar spin to it. It immediately wobbled into our Pink Elephant think tank. After much debate,… Continue reading

How to Stop Drinking – By Christine Beck

No point in telling yourself that Chardonnay tastes like Windex. It doesn’t. It tastes like walking under waterfalls, like sinking backwards into bed with the guy you flirted with at the bar. It smells like a necklace made of daisy chains or the waft of Queen Anne’s lace on a summer Sunday. It always has. It always will. Even the fourth or fifth glass (and that, of course is the problem) tastes just as good as the first. Don’t try aversion therapy. Even if they showed you livers corroded into cardboard, like those stone-black lungs of tiny Chinese men splayed open in an exhibit called  ]“Bodies Revealed,” you wouldn’t stop. Face it, some smokers don’t get lung cancer. Some drinkers have livers pink as kittens’ tongues. You know that will be you. The one that gets away with it. You didn’t get caught—no DWI, no blackout at the kids’ concert.… Continue reading