Non-Stimulant Treatments for ADHD

non-stimulant treatments for ADHD

Ritalin and Adderall are many people’s first experience with potentially addictive prescription medications. While doctors commonly prescribe these drugs to help ADHD patients focus and achieve mental clarity, they are stimulants, which makes them Schedule 2 drugs – the same category as cocaine and opioids. Once you are in recovery from a substance use disorder, you’ll want to avoid taking Ritalin, Adderall or any other risky medications that might threaten your sobriety. However, if you have ADHD and need help managing your symptoms, you might worry about how to do so in a way that doesn’t jeopardize your health. What […]

Prefrontal Cortex Activation in Addiction Recovery

brain

Nobody deliberately starts drinking or using drugs intending to develop an addiction, but many people get caught in the vicious cycle. Understanding how intoxicating substances impact the brain explains why some people continue to misuse alcohol and drugs despite a cascade of adverse life effects. The Brain’s Role in Addiction Substance abuse disorders develop because drugs, alcohol and other intoxicants jump-start the production of a neurotransmitter called dopamine, which stimulates the brain’s reward center in the prefrontal cortex. The dopamine rush leads to pleasurable feelings, creating an unconscious association between drug and alcohol use and satisfying experiences. Once that connection […]

My Family Is Sabotaging My Recovery

sabotage your recovery

In substance abuse recovery, you’ll encounter various obstacles to overcome. One of these is coming to terms with the fact that some people in your life might not want you to succeed in sobriety. While they don’t necessarily wish you ill, their behavior may sabotage your progress. It’s crucial to develop a strategy for dealing with people who come between you and your goals. Why Would Anyone Sabotage Your Recovery? One group of family members who may try to get in the way of your recovery are those who still regularly use and abuse substances. To these people, your newfound […]

OCD vs. Daily Worries: How to Tell the Difference

obsessive-compulsive disorder

Many people find themselves wondering about what characteristics separate obsessive-compulsive disorder from typical anxiety. Nowadays, it’s common for detail-oriented people to jokingly describe themselves as being “so OCD,” which might make you ask yourself whether doing something like straightening a stack of menus at your favorite takeout restaurant indicates you have a disorder. What is the difference between OCD thoughts and behaviors and everyday concerns? What Is Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? OCD consists of two components: intrusive thoughts, followed by specific actions taken to neutralize these disturbing ideas. These behaviors only provide temporary relief, which traps people in an ongoing cycle of […]

Tips for Coping With Pandemic Trauma, Stress and Depression

coping with pandemic stress

Though the novel coronavirus reached U.S. shores in January 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t significantly affect most people’s lives until March. Then, schools, professional sports leagues, major attractions and international travel shut down nearly overnight. As the one-year pandemic anniversary approaches, you might find yourself dealing with more mental health challenges than usual. Here are some strategies you can try to manage your emotional ups and downs. 1. Give Yourself Permission to Express Your Emotions The pandemic might make you feel a sense of grief, even if you haven’t lost any loved ones to COVID-19. Perhaps your inability to see […]

What Are Relapse Dreams?

relapse dreams

Dreams’ meaning and purpose have fascinated us for millennia. Despite extensive scientific research into why we dream, we still don’t have a concrete answer to the question. However, the fact that most animals dream suggests dreaming has a deep-seated evolutionary purpose. Most prevailing theories point to the idea that our dreams help us retain memories, process complicated emotions, express long-held desires and “rehearse” dealing with difficult or dangerous circumstances. If you’ve ever had a vivid dream about returning to substance abuse after a prolonged period of sobriety, you might wake up wondering what caused your subconscious mind to explore the […]

Can Music Improve Your Mental Health?

listening to music

The idea of using music to affect your mood won’t surprise you if you’ve ever felt more invigorated after listening to your favorite rock anthem or had a heartfelt ballad move you to tears. Some studies suggest music can have a surprising array of mental health benefits, including the following advantages. Release Stress and Tension If you’ve ever gone to a day spa for pampering treatments like a massage, you may have felt instantly relaxed by the soothing background music. Or, perhaps you’ve used gentle instrumentals during your regular yoga or meditation practice to set your intention and help put […]

Does Sober Living Improve Your Recovery?

sober living

While completing an accredited treatment program is an essential first step in getting clean and sober, it’s only one part of the continuum of care. You also need a plan for where you’ll go and what you’ll do after you get discharged from an inpatient rehab center. Many people in the vulnerable early stages of recovery find they need the additional structure and support found in a transitional living facility. What does this entail, and what benefits can you expect to discover? What Is Transitional Living? Newly sober people may find that a return to the “real world” after living […]

Tips for Treating Yourself on Valentine’s Day (Without Drinking)

valentine's day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you have Feb. 14 circled on your calendar, you might be wondering what you can do to celebrate the holiday without drinking. Here are some of our favorite tips for treating yourself, even if you don’t have a date. 1. Step up Your Self-Care Game If you struggle with your confidence, your self-care strategies may suffer as a result. Take Valentine’s Day off for a day of indulgence. Enjoy a nap, watch your favorite romantic comedy or treat yourself to a long, relaxing bubble bath. Order delivery or takeout from a […]

How to Be a More Present Parent in Recovery

being a present parent

What made you choose to become a parent? While juggling responsibilities like changing diapers, cooking nutritious meals, doing laundry and homeschooling, you might lose sight of the answer to this question. Parenting is a thankless, 24/7 job, and you can never take a day off. If you start getting overwhelmed, you can feel less motivated to embrace the joys of parenthood. Once you’re pursuing recovery, how can you be a more present parent? 1. Put Down Your Phone You may carefully monitor your kids’ screen time, but do you keep track of how much time you spend staring at your […]