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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Are You Ready to Be a Sponsor?

recovery sponsor

As you’ve probably experienced firsthand, many people who are recently discharged from addiction treatment have questions or concerns between 12-step group meetings. Being able to talk to someone who has dealt with the same challenges can be invaluable in helping a newly sober person prevent a relapse and work toward their goals, but how can you tell whether you’re ready to take on the responsibility of recovery sponsorship? What Does a Good Sponsor Do? The concept of sponsorship wasn’t originally part of the 12-step model, but as the program evolved over time, people working through the program started reaching out […]

5 Fascinating Documentaries About Addiction and Recovery

documentaries about addiction and recovery

The holiday season is upon us, and those of us who are lucky enough to have a break from work during the weeks ahead might be searching for some entertainment options. If it seems like you’ve exhausted your Netflix watchlist in COVID-19 quarantine, why not try one of these riveting documentaries about addiction and recovery? 1. Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery Russell Brand, who played over-the-top rock star Aldous Snow in the comedies Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek, made this film to tell the real-life story of his self-destructive path through heroin addiction and how […]

When Your Family Doesn’t Support Your Sobriety

unsupportive family

If you’ve accomplished something as meaningful and positive as overcoming an addiction, you probably expect everyone you know to be happy for you. However, you might discover that isn’t always the case. Perhaps you alienated loved ones during your active addiction to the point that they’re still angry at you. Or, maybe your toxic or dysfunctional family members are part of the reason you started drinking or using in the first place. Though having supportive family members could help your recovery go more smoothly, you can learn to grow and thrive with these strategies. 1. Keep Your Distance Since addiction […]