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 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

Summer Time Living Is Easy; Or Is It? – Jeanne Foot

The statistics speak for themselves; according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health 88,000 people die from alcohol related causes annually, making Alcohol the fourth leading cause of death in the United States alone. As a culture, we seem to underplay the pervasiveness of people who suffer or die from alcohol related accidents every single year. The uncanny part of this equation, is that social drinking is looked upon as the ultimate way to enjoy yourself, kick back relax, and have some fun! Summer time can be notorious for the culture of drinking and general overindulgence. Everywhere we turn, it seems to be there.  A simple lunch on the patio, barbeque get togethers, weekend getaways and not to mention vacations, are all within a backdrop of a drinking culture, as the ultimate way to treat yourself. We seem to equate ‘excess’ with treating ourselves. But, can we… Continue reading

A little of my 12 Steps

A little of my STEP 1: once I start using, I can’t stop or control my using. Using controls me. As a result, my life becomes garbage. I’m totally focused on getting & using my substance of choice, coming down when I can’t get more, scheming and planning how to get more – but more is never enough. A little of my STEP 2: Sitting in a meeting of people like myself while I was still detoxing, I came to believe these other people found a way out, a way to live and function without drugs/alcohol. If I believed in them, then I could get the same results. A little of my STEP 3: This is a very big step for me. I felt I was on a precipice. Keeping my will and my life solely in my care meant I would again get high. Back to step 1. Back… Continue reading

It Works, It really Does!

Despite my white knuckling, I have somehow managed to get fourteen months free of drinking and drugging under my belt. I went to rehab not knowing anything about A.A or that it would even be a part of my treatment. I still remember my first meeting and the relief I felt at not being alone in my problem. That feeling lasted for a little while. The truth was though, that I wasn’t ready yet for a different life. That fact became apparent after over a year “dry” and in a bad relapse. I believed that by reaching out and asking for help I would be somehow bothering people.  Being in a year-long abusive relationship added to my feelings of unworthiness – an all too familiar reality inside the walls of domestic chaos. Finally I had found a sponsor and was going to at least a meeting a day in addition… Continue reading