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Woman considers the dangers of substance abuse

Dangers of Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is characterized by a pattern of harmful use of any substance. This can include alcohol, drugs, and even some legal substances. People who abuse substances often do so because they feel that they need the substance to cope with things like mental health concerns or past trauma, or because long-term use of the …

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Woman on steps represents 12-step treatment approach

Learning From the 12-Step Treatment Approach

When we hear about someone “working the 12 steps,” our minds go to recovery. After all, the 12-step treatment approach was developed to help people all over the world reach sobriety through Alcoholics Anonymous. You may have a close friend or loved one progressing through the 12-step treatment approach right now. If so, you probably know …

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Woman at the harbor ready for setting boundaries in addiction recovery

Setting Boundaries in Addiction Recovery

A Few Simple Things to Know About Setting Boundaries in Addiction Recovery Before we get started on setting boundaries in addiction recovery, take a moment to gather a few supplies: A blank sheet of paperA pencilA toddler A few crayons(If you don’t have a toddler handy, your imagination should do the trick). Use your pencil to draw a simple …

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Illustration of woman that depicts the struggle of addiction as a chronic brain disorder

Is Your Addiction a Chronic Brain Disorder?

Diabetes, a broken arm, a heart attack—these are all widely recognized as medical conditions. But what about a chronic brain disorder? How does it relate to addiction? In some cases, the patient may have even contributed to the onset. Right? And yet . . . A sedentary woman diagnosed with type 2 diabetes receives understanding, guidance and …

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First responders struggling with addiction and the risk factors for substance use disorder

To Our First Responders Battling Addiction: There’s Hope for You

If you work as a first responder, I’d like to start by saying thank you. Secondly, if you are one of the millions of first responders battling addiction, I want to tell you, there is hope. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to our local emergency medical technicians, firefighters and police officers. You show …

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White pills on a table for someone with Opioid dependence

Discovering Signs of Opioid Dependence: What Now?

If you’ve had an injury or surgery, you may have taken opioids to manage pain. But you may be surprised what happens as you heal. It may only take a short period of misuse before it becomes opioid dependence. You may not realize how much you’ve relied on opioids until you try to stop taking …

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Woman feeling stigmatized while in substance abuse treatment

How Stigma Interferes With Substance Abuse Treatment

We all know about the supposed power of first impressions. Allow us to illustrate how this applies to substance abuse treatment. Cut someone off in traffic only to sit across from them at a dinner party minutes later? That’s bound to be awkward. Show up to your first day on the job early, sharply dressed, and …

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Man reading to help you understand addiction

3 Books to Help You Understand Addiction

Where do you turn when you need help understanding addiction? There’s a book for that. They have a way of transporting us from all that we know into a completely unknown world—that is, from our own mind to the mind of the narrator. We see and understand things as they see and understand them.  In this way, …

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What is Illness Management and Recovery

What is Illness Management and Recovery?

Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) is a program that teaches coping and self-management skills. This program helps people with serious mental health conditions. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. It’s new to behavioral health, and most of the public isn’t aware yet either.  IMR is backed by research and is part of many …

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