5 Types of Alternative (Non 12 Step) Addiction Treatment Programs

5 alternative types of addiction treatment programs

12-Step based addiction treatment programs have been the bread and butter for millions of recovering people. The reasons are simple: they provide the structure and effective therapy and counseling that help the addict break the cycle of addiction and embrace sobriety. These programs rock, but they aren't the only game in town when it comes to getting clean.

Did you know that almost one-quarter of all drug rehabs use non-12 step programs? If you think about it, recovery isn't a one size fits all proposition. You have unique and specific needs when it comes to getting clean, and while 12-step based treatment is very effective it may not be your best fit. [...]

Managing Money In Recovery - 3 Tips To Help You Out

managing money in recovery

Being in recovery is awesome... and it can be extremely stressful. Once we leave treatment we focus on the people, places and things to avoid in order to maintain our sobriety and guard against the evils of relapse. If you are new in recovery, there are areas in our recovery that may not get much play but are crucial to keeping us safe, sane and sober. One such area that addicts tend to avoid early in recovery is learning how to manage our money.

Money: Is It A Trigger for Relapse?

If you really think about it, what is one of the first things that addicts do early in recovery? For many addicts, an [...]

New Synthetic Drug "Flakka" Is Hitting The Sunshine State

flakka Image source - cbs news.

There is a new designer drug in town that is wreaking havoc on users, causing problems for law enforcement, and is causing significant concern among healthcare professionals and addiction specialists. The drug, called flakka, has spread like wildfire in the state of Florida and it has popped up in Ohio and Texas. Flakka is new...in fact, it is BRAND NEW. The drug is so new there is little to no information available on federal drug information sites such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The Skinny on Flakka

Also known on the street as gravel, the drug's active main ingredient is called alpha-PVP, which is the chemical cousin [...]

Teen Drug Use in America

teen-drug-useThe younger someone begins use of an addictive substance, the more likely they are to become addicted. This very real danger is present for many American teenagers, as they are exposed to and begin to misuse and abuse drugs. However, there are warning signs parents and teachers should be aware of as they interact with teenagers that may help them identify teen drug use. Through awareness and proper education, many teens can be assisted to stop their use and develop healthier coping habits.

Current Teen Drug Use Statistics

Overall, the use of drugs among teens seems to be decreasing in the United States. There has been a decrease in the use of the following substances:


Lost Causes Hope - A Personal Story Written By Joshua D.

joshua davidson

I am an alcoholic. Owning this label is not without consequences. Recovery from substance abuse has caused me to reevaluate life and the relationships surrounding it. The freedom in this refrain has kept me sober and humble. Recovery has caused me to change my life by helping others in the community, become a consciousness person with integrity, restored my faith in God, and a present loving dependable family member. It has gifted me with the necessary tools to deal with my past while living at peace in the present. To carry the message of hope and freedom to those still lost in the despair like I was is vital to my recovered state. It is [...]

4 Of The Most Addictive Drugs On The Planet

what are the most addictive drugs

When considering addictive drugs, many people instantly think of things such as heroin and cocaine. In actual fact though, there are also plenty of addictive substances used by people across the globe that are actually legal, such as alcohol and nicotine.

While there are a number of quite complex and interrelated factors that determine whether someone will become addicted to a drug or not (like their social history, income level, and genetic makeup), the chemical design of addictive drugs makes some of them harder to stay away from than others. In fact, many of the most addictive substances known to man actually train the human brain to crave them — that [...]

Tips For Surviving Your First 30 Days In Recovery

surviving your first 30 days in recovery

I need to admit something... the first 30 days of recovery kinda sucked; well, it REALLY, REALLY sucked.

I couldn't complain about my physical self because I felt awesome. Being able to clear away years of toxic debris from my system and being able to eat healthy certainly made me feel I could run a marathon, climb a mountain, or beat 29 other guys in an over-the-top rope Royal Rumble.

My mental state, however, was another matter.

I was a wreck in my mind and my grey matter was like a sloppy pile of emotional goulash. I was different, but my neighborhood was the same, my friends were the same, my [...]

The Beautiful Work Of Anthony Alvarado - RISE TOGETHER!

anthony rise together

As I reminisce about the past few years I can’t help to think about how fortunate I have been to find recovery; to be alive again. Sure, there is thought of the ups, the downs, and the in-betweens, but more often than not I can’t help to think that getting clean and sober was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

What I have learned is that recovery is something that everyone can understand. In a sense, we all have recovered from something.  Maybe a loss, a traumatic event, a time of hardship, we all have our own challenges; we all learned and continue to learn that recovery is possible no matter [...]

Simplifying The Steps: Step One And The Concept Of Powerlessness

step 1 - powerlessness

We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.

For those who decide to use the 12 steps in their quest for recovery, there is a lot to learn. Not everyone uses the 12 steps, but those who do generally are very passionate about their program.

With that said, there is often some confusion about apprehension towards the steps and the concept of powerlessness.

For every addict who starts their journey of recovery, admitting and truly believing they are powerless over their addiction provides the motivation they need to make the profound changes needed to bring forth long lasting sobriety. The above statement is the First [...]

Knowing Your Legal Rights As A Person In Recovery

know your rights as a recovering person

For those people who are in active recovery from substance abuse, it signifies a new chapter in life which is filled with opportunities, healing and hope.

While this new journey is rewarding and exciting, it also comes with its share of obstacles. While our understanding of addiction and recovery has changed significantly over the past few decades, the stigma that surrounds addiction is still very prevalent in our society.

Whether you are newly recovered or have years of clean time, you have many things that may worry you, and one that is common among addicts is the fear of being discriminated against because of your addiction.

If you’re worried that your [...]

Why America Should Be Grateful For Their 12 Step Treatment Centers

heroin in thailand-compressed (1) Image source via zimbio.com - The Heroin Epidemic In Thailand.

A heroin epidemic in the rustbelt, meth labs on the borders, prescription medications flying out of the doctor’s office and everywhere there is the rise of potent dopamine boosting technology pumping our brains’ reward systems. But is America any different to any other country in this respect? In my view, no, not really.

I am a British addictions counselor running a predominantly 12 Step abstinence based treatment center in northern Thailand and so I am looking at this from the outside in. However, I am also located in one of the world’s largest opium and methamphetamine producing areas and I can say from my professional experience [...]

Project Semicolon: Empowering Through Love

semi colon Depression.. .suicide... addiction.... self-injury.

These events have devastating effects on those who struggle and can tear apart the strongest of families and friendships.

If you or a loved one is in the grip of these afflictions, you may feel alone in the world, feeling like there is no way out of the darkness. While you may put on a brave front and act like everything is fine, you are in agony on the inside and desperately wanting someone to understand the helplessness that you feel on the inside.

Fortunately, there are resources available to you comprised of people who have been through what you are currently going through. These have come through the darkness, and want to help encourage [...]

"Who Are the Wharf Rats? - Enjoying Concerts and Music Without The Drugs

who are the whark rats?

Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll....'

Music lovers of all stripes have long understood that alcohol and drugs have been a part of music culture. Whether you rock the glow sticks, throw up the horns or prefer boots and jeans, it is pretty much a given that any concert you attend will be singing, dancing and enjoying the event in an altered state. If you are in recovery, concerts and festivals can provide the perfect storm of temptations and triggers that can lead even those strong in their recovery back to relapse.

While chances are high (no pun intended) these events provide significant obstacles for those who are sober, loving music doesn't have to [...]

5 Signs of Cocaine Use - How To Tell If Your Loved One Is Using Coke

5 signs of cocaine use-compressed

One of the biggest fears of every parent is that their child is using drugs.

While the thought of a family member using any drug is frightening, cocaine use comes with its own set of worries and fears. Images of your son, daughter or other loved one crouched in a darkened alley or a dirty restroom using a drug that has a real potential to kill them is unsettling to say the very least. Coupled with the myths that surround cocaine use, the picture it paints in your mind can provide many sleepless nights.

While cocaine use can be life-threatening, it is certainly not a death sentence. Fortunately, there are many treatment options that are available [...]

Help Support The "Hello My Name Is Project"

hello my name is project

My name is Douglas Lail,  I’m an Asheville, NC visual artist and I have been in recovery since January 2013. For the past several months I have been working on a project that I would like to share with you. It offers a look at the faces of people that face their greatest fears and reunite with the world. I call it The Hello My Name Is… Project. It is a collection of portrait and personal recovery stories from addiction. There are 23.5 million Americans addicted to alcohol and drugs.

That is 1 and in every 10 Americans over the age of 12.

But only 11% of those get the treatment they [...]

Jon Hamm of 'Mad Men' Completes A Stay In Rehab For Alcohol Abuse

jon hamm

Actor Jon Hamm, who is best known as the heavy boozing ad executive Don Draper in the AMC series Mad Men, has recently completed treatment for alcohol addiction according to several news reports. According to a statement released by his publicist Annett Wolf and published in today's edition of USA Today

"With the support of his longtime partner Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm recently completed treatment for his struggle with alcohol addiction...They have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward."

The news the Mad Men star has entered treatment for alcohol dependence issues first surfaced in late February, when TMZ broke the story that Hamm checked into Silver Hill Hospital in New Cannan, Connecticut. Hamm's stint in rehab was [...]

5 Tips To Staying Sober In The Workplace

staying sober at the workplace

Everybody has to work.

Work is challenging for most people. For those new in recovery, it can be especially challenging to maintain sobriety in the work place.

Part of the challenge is that at work relationships are formed. It is almost inevitable that at some point one of your colleagues will ask you to go out for a drink. What do you do?

You know you can't drink, but you don't want to offend anyone. Should you tell your job that you're sober? Do you keep it a secret? Will your colleagues think I don't like them if I decline the offer to go out?

AAAHHHHH!!!! What to do?

Arguably the biggest [...]

How Do You Know If You Need To Hire An Interventionist?

how do i know if i need an interventionist?

If you are reading this article, you may have a family member or loved one that is struggling with substance abuse and you are at your wit’s end. The person that you love isn’t there anymore and they are a hollow-eyed shadow of the son or daughter that you raised or a lifelong friend that you considered to be part of the family. You probably have tried numerous times to reach out with concern and love in your heart, only to have your offers for help fall on deaf ears. You have pleaded, reasoned, comprised and maybe even threatening your loved one, but their substance abuse problem is [...]

Chrissy's Story - How 10 Days In The Hospital Changed Her Life

chrissy's story

I used to wake up in the middle of the night dry heaving after hours of endless vodka shots and no food. I had convinced myself that the calories in each vodka shot were acceptable only if I had taken enough Adderall to suppress my appetite and enable me to fast all day. At first, I would sit at the rim of the toilet crying, promising myself that I would never drink again if I could just feel better. In the end of my addiction, I would be in the same spot on the bathroom floor, only then I would have a fifth of vodka sitting next to me so that I could take swigs [...]

Emilly's Story - How Her Daughter Had Saved Her Life

emilly's story

I recently celebrated 5 years of sobriety and each year (ironically on St Patrick’s Day) I am swamped with a whirlwind of thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Everything ranging from "Hell Yes! I am friggin incredible! Go team Emilly!" to "there are so many regrets, so much pain and sadness that I can never take away." Inevitably the memories come flooding back. The arrests, the violence, the lies – so many lies. The danger I put myself in and even worse, the harm I caused everyone around me.

Mine is a story that starts in my teens, growing up in a broken family, changing high schools as often as normal people change their knickers. I usually [...]