Attentional Bias in Addiction Recovery – William L White

People addicted to alcohol and other drugs see the world differently. They SEE the world differently as a result of neurocognitive changes in perception that accelerate in tandem with increased tissue tolerance, increased intensity of cellular hunger (craving), and the resulting obsession with maintaining the drug relationship at all costs. As drug seeking, drug procurement, and drug use rise to the top of one’s motivational priorities, one develops attentional bias toward words, symbols, and images linked to these substances. Perceptual preferences for drug-linked stimuli are an essential element within the neurobiology of addiction. In recovery, this perceptual preference is reframed, giving perceptual priority to words, symbols, and images that reinforce the recovery process. The journey from addiction to recovery is marked by extreme ambivalence, particularly during the early stages of recovery, and exposure to these contrasting sets of cues can tip the scales toward either addiction recurrence or the transition… Continue reading

Your Loved One’s Alcohol Problem and CRAFT (An Intervention You’ve Never Heard Of) – By Lee Weber

  In this article you will learn to recognize Alcohol Use Disorder for yourself or a loved one. Then, know how to approach it and where to seek help using CRAFT, the Community Reinforcement and Family Training method. Here, we explain the symptoms, the condition, and where you can turn for help. Read and learn more. The Definition of a “Problem” Hangovers. Missing social, work, or school obligations after a party. Regretful behavior. All of these come with drinking. But are they signs of a drinking “problem”? By definition, unhealthy alcohol use includes any alcohol use that puts your health or safety at risk or causes other alcohol-related problems. If your loved one’s pattern of drinking results in repeated significant distress and problem functioning in his/her daily life, then they likely need professional help. Technically, Alcohol Use Disorder is a pattern of drinking that involves problems with controlling alcohol intake.… Continue reading

The Secret of Relating to your Addicted Son or Daughter – By Lee Weber

Relating to your addicted son or daughter is possible…especially when you learn to practice “tough love”. The most important thought to keep in mind? You are not alone unless you choose to be. Read more about how to relate to your addicted son or daughter here. First, A Range of Emotions Parents of addicted children can sometimes become misguided and misdirected by their emotions. In fact, it’s common for us to feel: Fear Shame Guilt, or Anger …when we first find out about a son’s or daughter’s addiction. For this reason, it is important that – in the beginning – we learn how to deal with our emotions. This article provides parents of drug addicted children with information and resources about the who/what/when/where and how to address substance use disorders. So, continue reading to learn more on the topic of relating to your addicted son or daughter. All of your… Continue reading

Addiction Neurobiology & Personal Destiny – By William L White

In 2005, Nature Neurosciencepublished a special issue on the neuroscience of addiction that summarized the advancements in unraveling the biological mechanisms that contribute to the etiology and progression of addiction to a wide spectrum of psychoactive drugs.  The technical papers included in the 2005 special issue stood as a progress report on the biological model of addiction that has been aggressively promulgated by National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, MD, and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Director George Koob, PhD.   The state of addiction science was updated in 2011 in Nature, and Nature has just published a special supplement of articles on addiction that provides a further update. In reviewing this series of collected papers, it is difficult not to be swept up in the advancements in our understanding of the neurobiology of addiction.  These papers mark an evolution from a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of addiction, to new… Continue reading

Are You Ready for Step Eleven? – By Robert Weiss

  Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Step eleven, like step ten, is not a step that is worked once and then forgotten. Instead, it is part of an ongoing (usually daily) ritual of recovery. That said, recovering addicts often find “prayer” and “meditation” to be somewhat baffling concepts. And some, especially those who began the recovery process as agnostics or atheists, may still be struggling with the idea of having a higher power at all. For these reasons (and many others), step eleven can be a difficult one to work. If you find yourself struggling with this step, take heart in the fact that you are not alone. Even the most devoutly spiritual and/or religious members of twelve-step recovery groups sometimes lose their… Continue reading