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 [...]

"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 [...]

5 Celebrities Who Have Bounced Back From a Relapse

celebrities who have come back from a relapse

Being famous definitely has its perks. But, it also has its downfalls. Some might argue that fame and drugs go hand-in-hand and that it’s probably a common occurrence to see, be around, or use drugs when you’re famous. And no doubt, there have been numerous tragic stories of celebrities who have succumbed to their drug addiction. But, we’re here to talk about something positive: Celebrities who have relapsed but who have also bounced back and are thriving!

But first, a word about addiction and relapse. One of the main working definitions of addiction is that it is a chronic, progressive, relapsing disorder. Now, that doesn't mean that everyone [...]

The Effects Addiction Has On Family Members

families and addiction

Addiction is a complex and progressive disease that slowly robs the addict of their physical, emotional and psychological well-being until they become just a shell of their former vibrant self. While the devastating effects of addiction on the addict is well-documented, it only paints half the overall picture. In order to fully grasp the overall effects of an individual’s addiction, you also need to take into account the effects of addiction on family members. The actions and behaviors of a loved one who is addicted to drugs and alcohol has significant impacts on their family and causes severe dysfunction both in the ways they cope with the addict in the family as well [...]

What is Naloxone? - A Life Saving Drug

What is narcan

Naloxone, also known by the name Narcan, is a drug used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. By increasing the lowered rate of respiration and blood pressure that is seen in fatal opioid overdoses, Naloxone can save the lives of drug abusers who have taken their search for the ultimate high too far.

Naloxone is safe, legal and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It holds no potential for abuse or dependence, as it does not produce any intoxicating effects. Its only function is to neutralize opiates, so it does not produce life-saving effects in conjunction with other drug overdoses.

How Does Naloxone Work?

To understand the life-saving mechanism [...]

Staying Sober and Having Fun At Social Gatherings - 4 Tips To Keep You On Point

social gatherings in sobriety

Social gatherings such as dinner parties, informal family get-togethers, employee holiday parties and other events are those “can’t miss” moments that become scattered on our calendars.

Those events are times where diverse groups of people can interact with each other and strengthen existing relationships while forging new friendships with others. For many who attend these social events, alcohol (and in some cases other substances) can act as the motor in order to keep the good times rolling. While the use of alcohol seems to come with the territory in these situations, it can act as kryptonite for those who are in recovery from substance abuse.

Is It Possible to Be the Life of [...]

Mass Deaths in Crimea as Russia Bans Methadone


Soon one year will have passed since Russia’s annexation of Crimea. I remember it well: March 16, 2014. What happened next caused a lot of distress for everyone in Crimea. Life was upended, from the invalidation of our passports to the loss of land rights to the introduction of a new currency. But for people who use drugs, the annexation and its aftermath unfolded like a nightmare. Under Russian rule, the life-saving treatments of methadone and buprenorphine were abruptly taken away.

Opiate substitution treatment, in which people who are drug-dependent are given daily medicine to aid in their recovery, is used in many countries. It’s part of a broader strategy to prevent the spread [...]

3 Groundbreaking Ideas and Studies Regarding Addiction

groundbreaking ideas about addiction and recovery

Drug addiction has plagued individuals, families and communities throughout the duration of modern history. While it is obvious that this issue must be properly addressed, it is even more starkly evident that the modern war on drugs and many mainstream methods of treatment are broken and failing.

In America and most other countries, drug addicts are punished, isolated from society and forced to endure modes of treatment that may or may not be effective. Logically, this has not resulted in lowered rates of drug use; in fact the punitive measures have caused the USA to become host to the world's largest prison population, the majority of whom are jailed for [...]

The Dangers and Treatment Options for Spice Addiction


synthetic marijuana

Synthetic drugs have garnered quite a bit of media attention recently due to the sometimes bizarre and dangerous reactions some people have experienced when using these substances. One of the most widely available and commonly used synthetic drugs is called Spice. Designed to be a synthetic version of marijuana, Spice is unregulated and can consist of unknown chemicals.

**In 2013 we published a story on Emily Bauer, who had suffered brain damage from smoking spice. It was a heart breaking story.**

What is Spice?

Also known as K2, incense, potpourri or fake weed, Spice is made of dried and shredded plant materials that are coated with psychoactive chemicals. The dried plant and mind-altering [...]

7 Step Process To Regaining Trust In Recovery

7-steps tor rebuilding trust

Drug addicts lose things. It's just what happens.

They lose money, they lose weight, they lose jobs, they lose freedom. From time to time, they will even lose their drugs. We all remember tearing our rooms and our cars apart for that little baggie that was just on our lap. The struggle is real...

At the end of the road, almost every drug addict will lose trust. Losing trust is possibly the most painful loss of all. It's agonizing, knowing that your family hides their valuables before you come over, or hearing the tone in your mothers voice when you tell her you will do something for her and she just doesn't believe you. [...]

Tim Gives Good Advice On Gratitude and Recovery

Tim gives advice on gratitude

"What's up everybody? This is Tim, with www.Sobernation.com. What we're doing, we're starting this video series where every week, or every two weeks, or however long we do this; we're going to talk to different people with different perspectives, different experts in the field of recovery and bring up different subjects so that we can get a bunch of different points of view.

Where we're going to start, since I am going to start this, my favorite subject to talk about is definitely gratitude because when I think of gratitude I always think of perspective.

You can take a situation, look at it from the point of view of all the [...]

11 Wesleyan Students Sent to Hospital; Possibly Overdosed on Drug Molly

UPDATE: 11 Wesleyan Students Sent to Hospital; Possibly Overdosed on Drug Molly

6:13 p.m. Update

The number of students sent to the hospital after reportedly overdosing on the drug Molly has jumped from eight to 11, according to The Wesleying.

Click here to read the full article.

5:21 p.m. Update

According to the Wesleyan Argus, eight students have been sent to the hospital after reportedly overdosing on the drug Molly, or MDMA. Click here to view the full article.

Original Post:

Wesleyan University Dean Mike Whaley urged students to check with their friends and make sure they are OK after six students were sent to the [...]

Parks and Rec Exec - Harris Wittels - Dies From Apparent Drug Overdose

harris wittels dies over overdose

It feels strange publishing news content about celebrities that die of an overdose, simply because everyday men and women die all over the country from addiction. However, addiction rarely gets talked about unless a man or woman of status dies.

I feel that through all of its unfairness, the world still needs to know about these stories. Hopefully it will bring some public light to the subject. The deaths of Robin Williams and Philip Seymour Hoffman brought lots of attention to the subject. Hopefully, these tragedies can create some dialogue and can lead to helping other people.

Harris Wittels Found Dead In His Apartment

According to law enforcement sources, [...]