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Four Helpful Books About Spirituality

Exploring spirituality in recovery is a great way to strengthen our connection with our higher power and reinforce the spiritual principles of our program. The best books for enhancing our spiritual life will be the basic texts of our program, such as the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, but there are others that are notRead More

Is Addiction a Choice?

There is a great amount of debate over whether addiction is truly a disease or if it is a choice. Anyone who has suffered from addiction, however, can testify that they had lost all choice in the matter. Addiction causes significant changes to the brain’s reward system resulting in compulsive behavior that nullifies any possibilityRead More

Exploring New Avenues of Spirituality

12-Step recovery fellowships are founded in the belief that sobriety can be achieved by having and maintaining a spiritual experience. The idea of a higher power and spirituality is open-ended and can be individualized to each person’s specific beliefs. It may be helpful for some to explore their spirituality through different avenues as a wayRead More

Coping with Change in Sobriety

Major life changes, especially negative ones, can cause us to experience high levels of stress and anxiety. We may experience the loss of a job or relationship and consider seeking a sense of relief in drug or alcohol use. These are times when we must rely on our program of recovery and spiritual connection toRead More

Coping with Cravings in Early sobriety

Cravings for drugs and alcohol are an inevitability in the early stages of recovery. Drug use creates major alterations to brain functioning, and as a result, we feel that we need substances just to feel normal. We once relied on substances to provide a sense of relief from our lives, and in early sobriety weRead More

Addiction and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as, “a condition of persistent mental and emotional stress occurring as a result of injury or severe psychological shock, typically involving disturbance of sleep and constant vivid recall of the experience, with dulled responses to others and to the outside world.” Many men and women suffering from PTSD turnRead More

Finding Joy in Service Work

One of the best ways to stay on track in sobriety is to get involved with your local recovery community. The first few suggestions to newcomers is to get a sponsor and join a home group. Having a home group allows one to take on responsibility in early sobriety and provide service to others. WhetherRead More

How Does Addiction Affect the Developing Brain?

Addiction often begins in teenage years before the brain has fully developed. Recent research into the effects of alcohol and drugs on adolescent brain development has shown that it creates detrimental abnormalities. The significance of brain alteration as a result of substances varies based on type of substance and frequency of use, but even minorRead More

Ending Each Day in Sobriety

Before we end our day, it is important that we take time for self-reflection. In sobriety, we take it “one day at a time,” ending each day with a constructive analysis of our behaviors, thoughts, and actions from the previous 24 hours. By doing so, we are able to reflect on any changes we needRead More

Finding an Internal Source of Happiness

For many of us, the only time we felt any sense of happiness was when we were drinking or using. We had deluded ourselves into believing that we could not be happy without something external, whether it be drugs and alcohol or material things and relationships. In sobriety, we found that our happiness was notRead More