AA Meeting Topics

AA meeting topics

A Quick Summary of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA or Alcoholics Anonymous is more than what you see in the movies. Alcoholics Anonymous is an inclusive and welcoming support group. Since its humble start in 1935, AA has grown to the largest support group model in the world.

With free and open-to-all meetings across the globe, there are over two million Alcoholics Anonymous members. The only requirement for entry into an Alcoholics Anonymous group is the desire to stop drinking.

The Typical AA Meeting Format

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, outlined in The Big Book, starting with admitting the control alcohol has over us and ending with the spiritual practice of AA principles, are guidelines for overcoming addiction to alcohol.

If you’ve never attended an AA or 12-step meeting, you may be wondering what to expect. The typical AA meeting format has a few different components. First, expect to take a seat in a semi-circle surrounding the meeting chairperson who sits in the middle.

To start, the chairperson will read the AA Preamble, which outlines the AA mission and values and lead the group in the nondenominational Serenity Prayer. After, members will read aloud sections of The Big Book before newcomers are given the chance to introduce themselves.

Don’t worry if you’re not ready for this step, introductions are optional. While the preamble, prayer, and introductions are generally part of every meeting, what happens next may change depending on the type of AA meeting you are attending.

Different Types of AA Meetings

There are four major types of AA meetings, including:

  • Discussion meetings.
  • Speaker meetings.
  • Beginner meetings.
  • Study meetings.

In a discussion meeting, a member of the group acts as the leader, opening the meeting and selecting a discussion topic. In a speaker meeting, one individual or multiple will share their story, focusing on their journey with alcohol abuse and recovery goals.

Beginner meetings are led by AA members who are further along in their recovery journey. These meetings typically follow a question-and-answer format to help newcomers get a feel for what happens in AA.

Rather than diving too deep and risking overwhelming newcomers, leaders of beginner meetings often focus on the first three or the twelve steps. This brings us to the last type of AA meeting, a study meeting.

These are sometimes also called step meetings, tradition meetings, or Big Book meetings. By any name, study meetings focus on an in-depth look at one of the AA steps or traditions. And no matter the type, most AA meetings end with the Serenity Prayer or a moment of silence.

Open vs. Closed Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

AA Meeting Topics

Sometimes, bringing a friend or family member to a meeting makes it easier to open up and share with the group. In an open AA meeting, any community member is welcome, and you can bring someone with you if they agree to respect the members’ anonymity.

Most open meetings are speaker meetings. Closed meetings, on the other hand, are usually more informal. Attending a closed meeting is limited to existing AA members and new participants who want to stop drinking.

This is an ideal setting for discussing vulnerable topics with other group members who understand them. But both open and closed AA meetings can provide members with support and valuable learning opportunities.

Choosing AA Meeting Topics

If you are leading a discussion meeting, you will get the chance to open the meeting and choose the topic for discussion. Choosing AA meeting topics can be a daunting task for some. But remember that participating can help you gain more from your time here.

The member acting as the meeting’s chairperson may choose a topic and lead the discussion. And there are endless potential AA meeting topics to choose from.

Potential AA Meeting Topics: A Short Listing

Potential AA meeting topics can range from those listed in The Big Book to the current emotional state of the chairperson. The 12 steps and the 12 traditions are two of the most common topics of discussion, but they are far from the only ones.

Some groups discuss one Big Book chapter each week, while others read from the book each week and discuss the chapters as they move through them. But while these are common courses of discussion, AA literature provides dozens of other suggestions.

A shortlist of potential AA meeting topics:

  • Acceptance
  • Forgiveness
  • Freedom through sobriety
  • Hope
  • Inventory
  • Making amends
  • Patience and tolerance
  • Participation and action
  • Sponsorship
  • Willingness
  • Working with others

Click here to read the full list of suggested topics for AA discussion meetings.

What to Bring to an AA Meeting

If you’re not gathering AA meeting topics to lead the discussion in your meeting, you may be wondering what else you need to bring. As we mentioned before, Alcoholics Anonymous is free, and membership is less formal than many other groups.

All you need to bring to an AA meeting is an open mind and a desire to stop drinking. There are no forms, applications, fees, or other formal requirements. Members are free to come and go and participate or observe as they wish.

Getting the Most Out of a 12-Step Meeting

AA Meeting Topics

Sharing your story with others who are on the same journey is a great way to make connections for lasting sobriety. Having a sober social circle or support group you can turn to at any moment provides the social support necessary for true recovery.

Social support helps you better relate to your environment, understand those around you, strengthen your place in the community, and develop healthy communication skills. Social support groups like AA allow you to connect with others with shared goals.

They promote feelings of belonging and shared purpose, while on an individual level boosting our self-esteem and confidence. There are many benefits to attending 12-step and other social support meetings during and after recovery.

And getting the most out of your meetings depends on what you are willing to put into them. If you’re wondering where to start, we recommend that you start by paying attention to the length and frequency of your meeting attendance, combining AA meetings with other treatments, and finding a sponsor.

Alcoholics Anonymous vs. Treatment for Alcoholism

While AA and other support meetings are crucial tools in recovery, they are rarely sufficient as the sole treatment methods for alcoholism. Depending on the severity of your addiction, we can recommend several different treatment types and settings, including:

  • Inpatient care (starting with medical detox)
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Intensive outpatient program

This list starts with the most high-level program and works down to the most flexible. In an inpatient program, you temporarily relocate and work toward sobriety from the comfort and safety of one of our facilities.

With 24-hour access to medical support and recovery guidance, inpatient programs offer the highest level of care. This makes them ideal for those with moderate to severe addictions and withdrawal symptoms, a history of relapse, or a stressful home life.

In a partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient program, you live at home while attending weekly counseling sessions, support group meetings, and other recovery treatments at our facility. Partial hospitalization is common for those battling both addiction and mental illness.

These programs feature an average of 20 hours per week spent with us. Stepping down another level of care, intensive outpatient programs typically require nine to 19 hours of attendance per week. These are best for people with intermediate-level substance abuse problems.

It bears mentioning that while this is a step down in time requirements, it is not a step down in treatment or effectiveness. And it is also worth mentioning that we do not expect you to know which program will best suit your needs.

If you are unsure of where to start, call our 24-hour line for guidance.

Forging Your Path at Pathfinders Recovery Center

If you’re looking to start your journey with Alcoholics Anonymous, we can help you find a local meeting to aid the other treatments in your recovery plan. Addiction treatments work best when they are well-rounded and holistic.

We can help you build a treatment plan that addresses your emotional, physical, and spiritual recovery needs. The road to recovery starts right here at Pathfinders Recovery Center. Call us today at 866-263-1820.

Pink Cloud Syndrome

Pink Cloud Syndrome

What Is the Pink Cloud?

When you are newly sober, you go through a wide range of emotions. When I completed treatment at Pathfinders, I felt like I could take on the world. I had gone from being a hopeless alcoholic to being full of energy and ready to take on any challenge.

For newly sober people, this is referred to as the pink cloud syndrome. The signs and symptoms of pink cloud syndrome include feeling overly confident and elated. There are positive elements of a pink cloud, but it can also lead you to slip up if you are not careful.

It’s important to feel accomplished once you’ve become sober. It’s a huge achievement. A lot of addicts never get to experience what it’s like to overcome your addiction. There are many positive elements of a pink cloud, but you have to be careful.

There is a big risk of relapse in pink cloud thinking. While it feels great to be newly sober, it can be scary as well. Your emotions can flip from moment to moment. It’s very important to recognize that when you are newly sober, you are vulnerable.

You did not expect to feel the feelings that you are experiencing. I expected my recovery to be a bigger struggle. Not to make it sound like it wasn’t, but I didn’t anticipate the pink cloud.

I struggled with feelings of guilt as well. It was almost like a survivor’s guilt of some kind. Why was I able to get sober yet so many other people can’t? First of all, you should never feel guilty because you got clean and someone else didn’t.

If you manage to overcome your addiction, you deserve all the happiness that you can get. It’s difficult to achieve and you don’t understand that until you’ve experienced it. You should expect the unexpected. Not only will getting sober be a tough challenge, but it’s also a very unique one. There is going to be vulnerability no matter what.

This vulnerability can make you think a lot of things. There is a chemical understanding of the pink cloud that you must have. Because your brain is still recovering from the damage done during your addiction, you have good days and bad days.

On your good days, you think you’ll never get high or drunk again. On your bad days, it takes every last ounce of effort for you to not relapse. The pink cloud can be very deceiving.

The roller coaster of emotions can be very difficult to deal with, and it may make you want to give in and throw away your progress. This is where aftercare planning becomes very crucial. If you don’t have a plan in place, you can be in danger of relapse.

Long-term sobriety takes a lot of work. The longer you are sober, the more likely you are to remain sober. This is not always the case for everybody. I’ve met plenty of people who have been sober for decades and one slip up makes them go right back to their old ways.

Sobriety is tricky, and it really is a day-by-day process. On your bad days, it can take everything in you to not use again. There are pitfalls of pink cloud thinking. The pink cloud can go away as quickly as it begins. How long can a pink cloud last? It’s different for everyone. Everybody’s sobriety journey looks a little bit different even if there are similarities.

When I first got sober, everything seemed easy. I thought it was too good to be true, and it was. When I left Pathfinders, the last thing I wanted to do was drink. The idea of drinking made me nauseous.

I could taste the alcohol on my lips and it made me sick to my stomach. I felt energized for the first time in years. I started to allow myself to think that I had totally defeated my addiction. It was over and done with.

I was never going to drink again. Then, after one bad day, I got the urge. It was very disappointing for me to go through that and realize that I had been thrown off the pink cloud. I didn’t relapse, but I came very close.

Paint It Pink: Long Term Sobriety

Paint It Pink Long Term Sobriety

No matter how well you are doing in your recovery, achieving long-term sobriety is a full-time job. If you aren’t willing to put in the work, it will be hard to stay on the right track.

Because of aftercare services and therapy, I have learned some good tips for managing pink cloud syndrome. First and foremost, you have to live moment to moment. When you start thinking too far ahead, it can really mess you up.

Each day, your goal should be to not drink or get high on that specific day. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will come and you will have the opportunity to deal with it when that time comes.

It’s important to have a balance in your life. Avoid extreme emotions. When you are using drugs or alcohol, you are living on both extremes. You have high highs and low lows.

If you can find a way to manage your emotions and the way you react, you will teach yourself the power of rational thinking. Cultivating a healthy lifestyle will help you achieve this.

Developing healthy eating habits and engaging in physical activity is great not just for your body, but your overall mental health as well. If your mental health is in a good place, you have a great advantage.

Leaving behind the pink cloud and settling into your new lifestyle may be difficult, but it is a natural process. You’re not going to feel like Superman forever.

Eventually, sobriety just becomes another aspect of your life. It’s not the new thing in your life that’s bright and shiny. You have to remember that life ebbs and flows, and you are going to have challenges in the future. Taking on these challenges with a clear mind and a positive attitude is all part of living a sober lifestyle.

The 12 steps are a great outlet for you to learn about the pink cloud warnings. Anyone familiar with the 12 steps has heard about the pink cloud. If you are over-confident in your sobriety, it can give you a cocky attitude.

You don’t think you have a problem anymore. What meetings will help you realize is that you are not above your addiction, even if you have those fleeting moments where you feel that you are.

Meetings and therapy are a great way to keep you in check and bring down your ego a notch or two. I constantly have to remind myself that I am powerless against my addiction. The triggers for the pink cloud syndrome can affect anyone in recovery.

Leaving Behind The Pink Cloud

Leaving Behind The Pink Cloud

For all of us in recovery, there are plenty of occasions when we need to pick each other up. The pink cloud may make you feel all-powerful, but your peers in recovery will help you understand that these feelings will not last forever.

The ups and downs of sobriety vary from person to person, and there is no real handbook to follow. When you are newly sober, it’s a rollercoaster. Once my pink cloud went away, I was hanging on by a thread. It took everything in me not to get high.

When I think back on those days, I have a better understanding of how to help those who have just begun their journey. I know how I feel when I’m having an off day. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in.

Knowing that there are people in your corner who will help you through it can give you just enough of a boost to come out on the other end. However long you last on your pink cloud, you will still require the tools needed to maintain your sobriety once you jump off of it.

We all need affirmation from time to time. We need to be reminded by the people we respect that we are on the right track. The addiction peer support that I’ve received has given me an opportunity to maintain a righteous path.

The addiction support my family has received has only made things easier for all of us. They know when I am in need of help. They can see the signs. When I’m in a dark headspace, they know how to help lift me out of it.

Rehab romance and pink cloud thinking are very real. You have to understand and respect the process in order to keep moving forward. I take every experience I’ve had and every story I hear very seriously.

The moments of weakness are just as important to the process as the moments of strength. It’s been a wild ride for me, but I wouldn’t change a thing. We all need to keep our heroes close. You never know when you might need them.

Ted Talks on Addiction

Ted Talks on Addiction

What Are Ted Talks?

Ted Talks are conferences organized by a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas.

Typically, Ted Talk videos are short and powerful talks you can listen to for free in 18 minutes or less. The speakers are experts in their fields. 

The topics cover a wide range, from activism to virtual reality.

The tagline for these videos is “ideas worth spreading.” And when we consider how popular they have become, this tagline seems fitting. 

Top Ted Talks on Drug Addiction

Top Ted Talks on Drug Addiction

Addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, or something else, is a widespread issue.

This is why we weren’t surprised to find that there are countless inspirational videos and talks relating to addiction and recovery.

But with so many options to sift through, how do we choose? 

We want to make it easy for you to find the information you need, so we sifted through tons of content to find the top Ted Talks on addiction for you. 

A Breakdown of Our Top Three Ted Talks on Addiction

Gabor Mate, in the power of addiction and the addiction of power Ted Talk, uses his background as a physician and specialist to evaluate why we become addicted to anything.

He links addiction to the lack of love, the desire to escape, and susceptibility. 

In Hari’s TED Talk, titled everything you think you know about addiction is wrong, this expert dives into the root causes of addiction.

And not just to drugs and booze. In the video, he asks the question: what really causes addiction – to everything from cocaine to smartphones? 

Dr. Volkow is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a world leader in the neurobiology of diseases involving our reward and self-control systems.

Addiction is one example of this type of disease. Obesity is another example. 

She delves into these systems and the ways that addiction affects them in her video, why do our brains get addicted?

These are some of the best addiction recovery videos available today.

Addiction and connection Ted Talks like these can help compassionately and conversationally shed light on this complex and sensitive topic. 

Ted Talks on Mindfulness and Addiction

Ted Talks on Mindfulness and Addiction

Another Ted Talk that may be interesting to those in or approaching recovery is how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime.

This one is a meaningful discussion on healing from childhood trauma and why that it is so important. 

While it is not specifically about addiction, pediatrician Nadine Burke takes a deep dive into the ways that we carry our traumas from childhood into adolescence and adulthood.

Individuals with a family history of high stress, abuse, neglect, mental health conditions, or substance abuse problems carry the weight of these events with them. 

In the video, she tells us that those who experience high levels of trauma are three times more likely to develop heart disease or lung cancer later in life.

She stresses the importance of preventing and treating trauma in maintaining our health throughout life’s various stages. 

Since trauma, stress, mental health issues, and feelings of neglect are often linked to drug and alcohol addiction, this video is much more relevant to us than it may look at first glance.

Being mindful of and treating the root cause of an addiction is crucial to recovery. 

Similarly, Judson Brewer’s Ted Talk, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit,” explains the motivation behind a whole range of addictive behaviors to make them more understandable.

This acclaimed psychiatrist acknowledges that addiction is not simple, but our approach to overcoming it can be. 

He uses mindfulness exercises and simple techniques to help patients break the habit of addiction.

In his insightful speech, he talks about the profound results you can find simply by paying more attention to something. 

His studies on the link between addiction and mindfulness offer a fascinating glimpse into the ways we make and break habits.   

Key Takeaways from Ted Talks on Addiction

Addiction is not a weakness; it is a disease. It undermines the functions of our systems responsible for reward, self-control, and motivation.

Overcoming addiction requires making meaningful connections and understanding this important distinction. 

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection.

Connection to our true selves, to each other, to nature, and to other things that are important to us.

By building more meaningful connections, we can stop using drugs or alcohol as a crutch. 

For some people, this might mean joining a book club, learning to paint, taking exercise classes, learning a new language, or simply spending some with supportive loved ones.

In the Johann Hari Ted Talk, “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong,” he discusses an interesting study often referred to as Rat Park. 

Rat Park – A Study of How Environment Impacts Addiction

The study we mentioned above was run by a professor of psychology in Vancouver in the 1970s.

In this professor’s experiment, he built a cage called Rat Park for his test subjects.

He loaded the cage up with cheese, colored balls, tunnels, and friends. 

He also provided two separate water bottles – one filled with normal water and another filled with drug water.

In Rat Park, the rats did not enjoy the drug water and almost never used it. None used it compulsively. None ever overdosed. 

But rats in isolation with access to the same drug water overdosed 100% of the time.

This means that his test subjects went from a 100% overdose rate in isolation to a 0% overdose rate when they had happy, connected lives. 

This professor posited that addiction is often about your cage, an adaptation to your environment.

He maintains that when we are happy and healthy, we bond and connect with each other.

But trauma, isolation, and mental health disorders can make this bonding difficult. 

When we lack healthy connections, we often bond with something that will provide relief instead.

Having meaningful people, events, careers, and activities to bond with can help us prevent this.

This might mean choosing a less stressful job, building a sober social network, participating in support groups or other healthy group activities, or improving existing relationships. 

Treatment for Addiction – What Are My Options?

Treatment for Addiction – What Are My Options

Behavioral therapies, support groups, and stress management training are a few of the pillars of recovery.

In each of our programs, we aim to help our clients understand and overcome the root causes of their addictions. 

By building a foundation of understanding first, many people are better able to maintain their sobriety even as challenges inevitably arise.

We will teach you how to build healthy habits, coping mechanisms, and support systems you can rely on. 

From detox through aftercare, we will work with you to ensure that you get the care you need, when and how you need it.

We offer a convenient and diverse range of inpatient, outpatient, and hybrid programs to meet a wide range of unique addiction needs. 

Choosing Pathfinders Recovery Center

When you choose Pathfinders, you choose dedicated professionals, personalized programs, and proven techniques.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions here.

Call us today at (866) 263-1820 to see the difference a Pathfinders approach can make.

Does Drug Use Speed Up Aging?

Does Drug Use Speed Up Aging

Can Drug Use Speed Up Aging?

One of the earliest signs of drug abuse is a drastic change in someone’s physical appearance. From dry skin and wrinkles to rapid weight loss and glassy eyes, many illicit drugs make themselves known through your appearance. 

Drugs and alcohol can alter your appearance in different ways. While the alterations may vary depending on the type of drug, method of use, length of abuse, medical history, and other individual factors, one thing remains the same. 

Individuals who abuse drugs almost always look older than others at the same age. There are a few different reasons and many different ways that drug use speeds up aging.  

Why Do Addicts Age Faster?

Why Do Addicts Age Faster

The three primary reasons that addicts age faster than others include: 

  • Health conditions and diseases induced by drug-related toxicity. 
  • Neglecting your physical and mental health and hygiene due to drug use. 
  • Nutritional and vitamin deficiencies caused by a poor diet and lack of hydration. 

While these are three of the most common ways that drugs can accelerate aging, there are many different causes. Drug and alcohol abuse can cause you to become dehydrated, inflamed, and malnourished. 

They can weaken your immune system, leading to damage on the cellular level, cognitive decline, and other concerning health impairments. Your organs, including your skin, take a hard hit in both short and long-term drug or alcohol abuse. 

This can leave you feeling and looking far older than you are. 

Drug Abuse and the Skin

How does drug use speed up aging? Drug abuse can cause dehydrated, dry, patchy, flaky, or scabbed skin. Sores are also common in certain types of drug abuse. This is due, in part, to the tendency of drug-addicted individuals to pick or scratch at their skin. 

Skin picking is a side effect of several different illicit drugs. The feeling that something is crawling all over you can lead you to scratch away at your body’s outer defensive layers. Other effects of drug abuse on the skin include: 

  • Rashes and other irritations.
  • Color changes. 
  • Dry, swollen, inflamed, or cracked lips. 
  • Gum and tooth decay. 
  • Dry, red, itchy, and inflamed skin patches. 
  • Extreme acne breakouts. 
  • Open sores. 
  • Scarring after picking at the skin or sores. 
  • Skin infections. 

No one wants to age faster than we already are. We worry about skin damage and fret over our appearances, but we forget that what we put into our bodies is often more important than anything else in the aging process. Here are the facts about how drug use speed up aging.  

Drugs and alcohol can age you far faster than normal and cause far more extensive damage than everyday wrinkles. These side effects may start as mild irritations or causes of lost confidence, but they can escalate into health concerns that are far more troubling. 

Over time, open sores and skin infections can take a toll on your immune system, making it harder for your body to fight off common illnesses and diseases with long-term impacts. 

Nutritional and Vitamin Deficiencies in Addicts

When it comes to the impacts of drug and alcohol abuse, nutritional and vitamin deficiencies are common concerns. Prolonged abuse can deplete your body of the essential vitamins and nutrients that it needs to function properly. 

Without these essential vitamins and nutrients, your body has trouble with certain functions. Cellular growth, rejuvenation, and repair are three functions that suffer and will worsen the aging effects on the skin. 

But these deficiencies do not only impact your skin. These effects can also damage your bones, organs, and brain. With a weakened immune system, it is harder for your body to heal and renew itself. You become more prone to get sick and to stay sick for longer. 

Drug Abuse and Your Teeth

Speaking of bones, let’s talk about the toll that drug abuse can take on your teeth. Among drug users, decaying, broken, or missing teeth are common. Drug abuse can also cause dry and cracked lips and damaged gums. 

Oral health issues are particularly common among meth users. That is where the term meth mouth comes from. One study of nearly 600 meth users revealed that the majority had oral health issues. More specifically, 96% had cavities, 58% had untreated tooth decay, and 31% had six or more missing teeth. 

The risk of dental and periodontal diseases is higher among drug-addicted individuals because drugs are linked to dry mouth and poor oral hygiene. Others are acidic, which wears away at the tooth’s enamel, while others make you crave sugar, grind your teeth, or clench your jaw.

Drugs like meth also cause bouts of unconsciousness, which makes it easier to lose track of time. After waking up, it is more likely for a user to go back for more than to get up and brush their teeth. Each of these effects can wreak havoc in and around the mouth.  

Drug Abuse and the Brain

If you think drug use speed up aging only, then you are wrong. The impacts of drug abuse aren’t limited to the skin, bones, body, or mind. Drug and alcohol abuse can affect a person from head to toe. But some of the most concerning side effects are the ones that affect the brain. After all, our brains are what keeps us functioning every day. 

Drug and alcohol abuse can age our brains, causing memory impairments or loss, inability to concentrate, overall cognitive decline, and permanent brain damage. Confusion is also common. These impairments can range from mildly distracting to crippling. 

Drug and alcohol abuse can also impact our brains in another way. Common mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety, are intrinsically linked to these types of abuse. And they can occur in either order. 

Some people develop mental health disorders after abusing drugs or alcohol. Other people abuse and end up addicted to drugs or alcohol to cope with the overwhelming symptoms of an untreated mental health disorder. 

Whichever condition comes first, this combination can create a vicious and crippling cycle. We can help you break it. 

Drug Abuse and Your Physical Health

Depending on the drug, method of use, frequency, medical history, and other individual factors related to the user, drug abuse can cause a wide variety of physical health impairments. One of the most common is the heightened risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Many different types of cancer, strokes, and heart attacks all occur at higher rates among drug and alcohol addicts, as well. People who regularly abuse drugs or alcohol often show and feel pronounced signs of physical decline. 

From memory loss and wrinkles to heart attacks and overdoses, there are many different reasons to quit using drugs. There are no positives to long-term drug abuse. When you are in it, it may seem like there is no way out. But we are here to show you the light. 

Pathfinders Recovery Center

Pathfinders Recovery Center

Getting help for drug addiction is easier than it has ever been. With proven and personalized programs in our safe and convenient facilities in Arizona and Colorado, we make it easy to get the help you need when and where you need it. 

We offer a wide range of inpatient and outpatient programs, proven and holistic treatments, and personalized guidance to ensure that you have access to everything you need on your recovery journey. Why wait another day to see the difference a Pathfinders approach can make? 

Call our addiction counselors today at 866-576-4892.

Ways Drugs Are Abused

Ways Drugs Are Abused

What Constitutes Drug Abuse?

Drug abuse is not always straightforward. It is not always about illicit drugs like heroin or cocaine. What are the ways drugs are abused? Drug abuse is often more about the method or the approach than the drug itself. Many people are surprised to find how frequently prescription drugs are abused, too.  

For example, prescription drugs like antidepressants that are given by doctors to improve mental health can also be addictive. They have a high potential for abuse due to their powerful side effects and chemical structures. 

Both prescription and illicit drugs are abused every day. When it comes to prescription drugs, what matters more is how and why you take them. But when considering illicit drugs that have no approved medical uses in the United States, any use constitutes abuse. 

Methods and Ways Drugs Are Abused

Methods of Drug Abuse

Whether illicit or prescription, there are many methods of drug ingestion. Some are more common than others. The most common methods of drug administration include: 

  • Injecting
  • Smoking
  • Snorting
  • Swallowing 

Now, let’s talk about which methods are the safest and which carry the most risk. 

Taking Drugs Orally

Swallowing pills, tablets, capsules, or other forms of medication is the most common way to take drugs. When you swallow something, it must pass through the stomach before absorbing into the bloodstream. 

This gives your body time to gradually absorb and disburse the ingested drug rather than flooding the bloodstream with it right away. For this reason, oral ingestion of drugs is generally considered to be the safest method. 

Requiring a pass through the stomach before entering the blood also gives your body the chance to rid itself of substances that it does not agree with. The digestive system will reject substances that do not belong or substances that belong in smaller quantities. 

This reflex is the reason why we vomit when we drink too much alcohol or eat spoiled foods. As a defense mechanism, purging helps keep the body safe and avoid poisoning the blood. As such, swallowing drugs also decreases the likelihood of an overdose. 

Although, that does not mean that it is not possible. With a high enough dose or a history of certain health complications, swallowing drugs can still be problematic or even fatal. While it is the safest method of ingestion, it is still important to only take drugs orally when they are prescribed and at the times and quantities that they are prescribed. 

Why Smoking Drugs is More Dangerous Than Swallowing Them

Drugs enter the body’s system faster than they are smoked rather than swallowed. Instead of traveling through the digestive system, they enter the lungs and quickly move into the bloodstream. This makes it a more dangerous method of drug ingestion than swallowing. 

Smoking also carries the additional risks of certain cancers, including lung cancer, throat cancer, and cancer of the mouth. Some other common health conditions associated with smoking include: 

  • Heart disease
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Chronic bronchitis 
  • Emphysema 
  • Stroke 

Not all drugs are smoked. Some of the most commonly smoked drugs are marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, and opium. Smoking either prescription or illicit drugs can cause addiction, long-term or permanent damage to the lungs and various other health complications. 

Snorting Drugs to Get High Faster

When you begin to develop a dependence on drugs, you may feel the need to push for more frequent or intense highs. Many drug abusers start by taking prescription drugs through the appropriate methods. 

Some studies found that nearly 80% of heroin users reported using prescription opioids first. Powerful prescription drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines are often gateways to more dangerous drugs and methods. Therefore, it is critical to follow prescriptions closely. 

Over time, prescription drug users may become addicted and desperate for more. They take higher or more frequent doses, mix them with alcohol or other substances, or find ways to intensify their highs, boost their moods, or relieve their pain. 

Snorting drugs is one way that drug abusers try to achieve these goals. Heroin, amphetamines, cocaine, and ecstasy are some of the most frequently snorted drugs. When you snort a substance, it enters your bloodstream through the mucus membranes in your nasal passages.

Through this method, side effects typically begin to appear around 15 minutes after ingestion. Nasal ingestion is a method that is only recommended for certain prescription or over-the-counter medications, such as allergy sprays. 

Snorting drugs can deteriorate the nasal cavity lining, leading to significant and permanent nasal damage. It can cause swelling of the nasal lining, lung infections, nasal blockages, and compromised respiratory tracts. 

Another danger of snorting drugs is that powdered drugs are often tainted with other substances. Impurities like talcum powder and caffeine may be mixed with certain drugs without the user’s knowledge. 

This is a common practice among drug producers and dealers looking to increase their profits. And sharing tools to snort drugs with can cause the transfer of additional conditions like HIV and hepatitis C. 

Why Injecting Drugs is the Most Dangerous Ingestion Method

Of all the ways people take drugs, this is the fastest method for producing a drug high. Injecting drugs puts them directly into your bloodstream. The effects are almost immediate. Because it enters your bloodstream so quickly, it also moves to the brain quickly. 

This rerouting allows the drug to avoid your body’s natural defense mechanisms. Injecting drugs causes many preventable drug overdose deaths. It may also cause infections at the injection site, HIV or hepatitis from shared needles, collapsed veins, or arterial damage. 

Drugs should not be injected unless recommended by a medical professional. Certain prescription medications may involve injections. But these should either be administered by a doctor or nurse or under the guidance of one. 

What Other Ways Are There to Abuse Drugs?

What Other Ways Are There to Abuse Drugs

Outside of ingestion methods, two of the most common ways to abuse drugs are to take more than you are supposed to or take them more frequently than you are supposed to. These two methods are particularly common with prescription drugs. 

When a medical professional prescribes medication after an accident, for chronic pains, or to reduce the symptoms of a mental health disorder, their guidelines should be carefully adhered to. They will tell you how and how often to take your medication to achieve the best results. 

They will tell you what can be taken with this medication and what cannot. Despite popular belief to the contrary, prescription drugs can be highly addictive and dangerous. Following professional medical guidance can help mitigate these risks. Avoiding illicit drug use can do the same. 

Finding Treatment for Drug Abuse and Addiction

It is easy to give in and consider the outcome bleak, but hope is not lost. Addiction is a treatable disease. And recognizing that you have a problem is truly the first step toward recovery. The team at Pathfinders Recovery is uniquely qualified to offer a compassionate and well-rounded approach to addiction recovery

We will work with you to determine the best treatment plan based on your unique addiction and needs. Everyone is different. Our one-on-one approach ensures that you get the type and level of care best for you, not what might be best for someone else. 

Call our addiction counselors today at 866-263-1808. Someone is available 24/7 to provide insurance verification, guidance on choosing the right program, and answers to common questions. Today is a good day to get the help you need and deserve.

Ah – St. Patrick’s Day — How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery?

Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A green background with a wet four leaf clover lying on it to symbolize the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Celebrate Differently

When I entered recovery at Pathfinders, my idea of celebration, especially for St. Patrick’s Day, changed drastically.

Each holiday that comes up on the calendar seemed like an occasion to relapse, especially for well-known drinking holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day.

When I was newly sober I looked at each holiday as a battle.

I had to prepare myself accordingly and put in extra effort to keep myself in check.

The alcohol treatment program at Pathfinders gave me a lot of tools, yet I still felt anxiety.

Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A green background with a wet four leaf clover lying on it to symbolize the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were especially tough for me during my first year. Even with my family going out of their way to not trigger me, I was still terrified of relapsing.

When I got through those particular holidays unscathed, I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief.

Then I remembered St. Patrick’s Day.

Immediate Placement in Alcohol Rehab Following A Relapse on St. Patrick’s Day




I feel like St. Patrick’s Day is probably the one holiday all of us in recovery have to be careful of. Preventing a relapse on St. Patrick’s Day is almost like winning the lottery. When you see many people wandering through the streets intoxicated, it can be a massive trigger. I remember when the months switched from February to March, I became increasingly nervous.

All I could think about was my behavior the year before. I made a complete jerk out of myself, and it was one of the driving factors toward me getting sober a few months later. I did what everyone else does that day. I went from bar to bar consuming green beer in between shots of whiskey.

Learn More About How To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Sober




One thing I should mention is that I tended to be a mean drunk. I was one of those guys that you had to walk on eggshells around. I could be a lot of fun to drink with, but it didn’t take much for me to turn. I remember waking up the next day to text messages from two separate friends who were offended by my behavior.

I had made inappropriate comments about their significant others and had no memory of it. I thought they were being unreasonable. It wasn’t until months later that I started to take what people were telling me seriously. They all came up with the same conclusion. “Dude, you’re a horrible drunk.”


Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A group of individuals in recovery meets with an addiction therapist and their support group to offer advice to one another on how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day without risking their sobriety.

Talk it Out

So that next St. Patrick’s Day was scary for me. I stressed so much about what I was capable of doing. All I could think about was what could end up happening. Should I just lock myself in my house that day and not even go out? Should I check myself in somewhere? It was freaking me out. It got so bad that I considered relapsing weeks before St. Patrick’s Day just so I could get it out of the way and start all over.

I forgot all about the wonderful people around me who were there to help. One of the big things about recovery is talking things out. You have to talk about your feelings and let your temptations be known. Getting sober is in a lot of ways very much a group effort. Sometimes you are the one picking others up out of their despair, and sometimes you are the one that needs to be picked up.

The program at Pathfinders taught me that meetings are invaluable. The folks at Pathfinders have always been there to give me a hand. Sometimes I fail to recognize this. Even when you have a great team around you, you can still be pulled back into your previous thinking.

This year, I’ve tried hard to remind myself of what I have around me. I think about the people I would be letting down if I slip back into my old ways. I think about being a beacon for others. I don’t want to be a reason someone else has a relapse. I want to be the person you call. I try very hard to be positive for others, but I also understand I am fighting my own battle. You can be there for others, but you must always be there for yourself first.

24-Hour Addiction Aftercare Hotline – Get Help Now




Finding the Right People

Pathfinders have done a wonderful job of setting me up with the right outlets. There are a lot of St. Patrick’s Day events that are specifically targeted at people in recovery, and they are not hard to find. First of all, the hotlines are your friend. A lot of sober hotlines now are 24/7, so you can reach out to someone whenever you feel the need. Not only do these hotlines provide a way for you to talk out your feelings, but they also provide you with resources and sober events local to you. These events are a great way to get out and socialize with like-minded people.

The more people I meet in recovery, the less alone I feel in the process. It almost always helps me to meet a new person going through this process. It reinforces to me that I’m a part of something bigger than myself. I plan on attending a couple of different sober parties on St. Patrick’s Day, and I have the same amount of enthusiasm for them as I used to have for the bars. I understand now that the sober version of me is so much more likable and approachable than the drunk version of me. It makes me feel a tremendous amount of confidence to be the best version of myself when I meet people. I also know that when I go to these sober events, I am meeting the new and improved versions of a lot of my peers.

It’s never a bad idea to be of service to other people. If you are comfortable being a designated driver for your friends who do drink, it can be a great help. Not only are you doing them a solid favor, but you are also preventing someone from getting behind the wheel drunk. You could be drastically altering the course of a lot of people’s evenings. I usually offer to be the DD whenever I know my friends may need it.

Free Insurance Verification for Rehab if You Relapse Over St. Patrick’s Day




Sometimes I don’t feel like doing it, but I always feel better about myself after the fact.

Whatever you decide to do on this holiday, keep in mind that being a help to others is an invaluable practice.

Being considerate goes a long way on the road to recovery.

Staying Sober While Social Distancing

How to Stay Sober While Social Distancing

Just a few short months ago, staying sober while social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak wasn’t something any of us anticipated.

Since then, social distancing and shelter-in-place orders have abruptly and drastically changed our day to day lives.

Even things that seemed simple before, like going to work and visiting your therapist, may be off limits now.

However, there are quite a few creative ways that we can maintain our important social connections while we follow the CDC’s best practices and precautionary measures.

Staying Sober - A woman meets with her therapist over a video chat. Staying sober is more difficult with social distancing. Those in recovery need new ways to connect for support.
A woman meets with her therapist over a video chat.

Staying Sober with a Video Chat

Facetime will never be a permanent replacement for in person social connections, but it can help us through this difficult time.

Ask your sponsors and therapists to make your meetings virtual for the time being. They’re stuck at home, too, so they’ll be happy to hear from you and to offer support in a new and unique way.

Whether it is weekly or daily, your sessions, meetings, and conversations can take place online so you don’t have to go too long without speaking to them.

Use a Virtual Meeting to Spend Time with Your Support Group

Most of us are well-versed in Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Facebook video chats by now, especially those who have been working from home since social distancing closed all non-essential businesses.

You can use these apps (and others) to meet with your support group once per week (or even more). Zoom can be used to merge up to 100 users into one virtual meeting, so no one has to be left out.

These meetings include two-way video, audio, or other collaborative features, and the basic version is free to download if you don’t have it already. If you’re looking for additional support, Facebook has a number of virtual recovery groups available.

Many of them will require a request to join, but they’re typically approved within a day or two, and then you will have access to many other individuals who are going through similar struggles.

Use this platform to swap stories and offer one another support.

24 Hour Recovery Hotline – Call if You Need Help



Join AA/NA Meetings Online or Over the Phone

Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are a resource that many people in recovery rely on.

While all large, in-person gatherings are canceled, you can find these meetings in a few other places.

There is a long list of online AA and NA meetings, as well as meetings that are taking place over the phone and speaker tape archives that you can listen to.

Virtual support can fill in the gaps until we can all recover together again.

Staying Sober - A woman does a video conference with her support group during social distancing. She is fighting to stay sober without the in person meetings she usually goes to.
A woman joins an AA meeting over a video conference during social distancing.

Spend Some Time in Nature

Whether we are talking a walk, riding a bike, reading a book, or simply enjoying the warmth of the sun on our skin, spending time outside can be hugely beneficial to our health.

Reconnecting with nature is a free and easy way to find inner peace without breaking social distancing rules.

Use this time to enjoy the fresh air or call a friend to catch up. While we are apart, continue to meet each day with integrity, honesty, and the will to work hard.

If you need help reach out. We are here for you.

Here are links to the resources mentioned in this article:

If You Need Help Finding Resources Call Us



Jobs for Recovering Addicts: How to Get Your Career on Track After Rehab


Jobs for Recovering Addicts: How to Get Your Career on Track

One of the most important ways to stay sober is to occupy your time and energy with a career. Here’s how to find the best jobs for recovering addicts.

Living with purpose is a cornerstone of the recovery process. That’s why pursuing a career is one of the most beneficial steps a person can make.

Careers not only develop purpose, but they also cultivate accountability, responsibility, management, communication, and more. In fact, the skills you learn in recovery overlap with the skills you gain from a rewarding career.

Most importantly, you need a stable career that aligns with the goals of your long-term recovery plan. This means some jobs are more suited for people leaving recovery than others.

Let’s take a look at the best jobs for recovering addicts to help you find the right career path.

Jobs to Avoid

It’s crucial to avoid careers that thrust you back toward addiction. Avoid any and all work environments where alcohol (or recreational drugs) are present. No job is worth compromising all your hard work.

Steer clear of these career paths after leaving recovery:

  • Bartender
  • Pharmacy associate
  • Liquor store clerk
  • Beverage host
  • Club doorman
  • Bar promoter

It’s so important to avoid careers that present potential triggers for relapse. These also include emotional triggers like stress. That’s why it’s best to avoid high-stress jobs immediately after recovery.

Corporate executive positions, jobs in law enforcement, and public relations are all high-stress jobs to think twice about.

Remember, talk to your recovery counselor and sponsor about which jobs to avoid before setting your sights on a career path.

Use Your Strengths

Recovery is a journey. Along the way, you pick up invaluable skills. Ask yourself, how can you lend these skills to your new career?

Many people discover a passion for helping others while in recovery and find themselves working as professional addiction counselors. This career path lets you apply your experience and best skills learned in recovery.

Did you grow your skills in building, cooperation, problem-solving, and writing at your program? These are all highly applicable (and preferred) skills for the job market.

Did you grow as a communicator in recovery? Strong communication is a tremendous career asset. Not only can it lead to an addiction counseling career, but a career in teaching or physical therapy.

Here are several more careers to consider!

Art Therapist

For art therapists, art is more than just aesthetics. It’s a means to communicate. This is a wonderful career path that blends the creative and communication skills learned in recovery.

Art therapy is also recommended for people suffering from severe anxiety, self-esteem issues, trauma, and addiction. Since it’s offered at many recovery programs, art therapy, like addiction counseling, is a natural career fit for recovering addicts.

This career typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field. However, a master’s is highly preferred. Art therapy masters programs are offered at several schools across the country, including the University of Chicago, Pratt Institute, University of Louisville, and Drexel University.

There are many more art therapy masters programs to pursue. But if you’re looking for something more flexible, you can earn an art therapy degree online through Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Colorado State University Online, and the International University of Professional Studies.

More Therapy Careers to Consider

Art therapy is one of many therapy jobs for recovering addicts. If you don’t want to become a therapist, but enjoy the field, you can always work as a therapy office manager or assistant. This is a good way to get your feet wet before pursuing a therapy career or degree.

You could also pursue a career in physical therapy, eating disorder therapy, trauma therapy, or social work therapy.

Wellness Careers

Another skill acquired through recovery is a passion for wellness. This passion could lead to these rewarding careers:

  • Yoga teacher and trainer
  • Personal trainer
  • Nutritionist or dietitian
  • Health store associate
  • Mindfulness coach
  • Aerobics instructor
  • Gym employee
  • Health food chef
  • Aromatherapy specialist

Let’s take a closer look at some of these exciting jobs for recovering addicts!

Yoga Teacher and Trainer

Remember, how important it is to choose a career that fits with your recovery goals? Nothing fits the bill more than yoga.

Yoga keeps you both physically and spiritually fit. These are essential tools for addiction recovery and this career path. If you already picked up yoga at your recovery program, build on your progress and channel these skills into a rewarding career.

To give yourself a leg up in the job market, make sure you have a certificate of completion by your side. Trained yoga teachers are expected to complete a set amount of hours before becoming instructors. Programs approved by the Yoga Alliance mandate at least 200 hours of training.

Personal Trainer

Like yoga, a career as a personal trainer aligns right with your recovery goals. You can maintain your physical fitness, help others, and apply communication skills learned in recovery.

While not mandatory, a professional certification in personal training is a great resume booster.

But not just any personal trainer certificate will do! Make sure it’s from one of these five certifying institutions:

  • National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • American Council on Exercise
  • International Sports Sciences Association
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine

As a certified personal trainer, you can land a job at a major gym or even start your own business with clients.


As you know, nutrition plays an important role in both detox and recovery. If your recovery program inspired a passion for healthy eating, imagine what you could do for others.

Most entry-level positions in this field require at least a bachelor’s degree. To take your career higher, consider pursuing a nutrition master’s program at Boston University, New York Chiropractic College, University of Connecticut, or John Hopkins Center for Human Nutrition.

There are also flexible online degrees through Arizona State University Online, Purdue University Global, and American University.

A degree, or experience, in nutrition can also lead to opportunities in health-related retail, health food service, food labeling, food safety, and education.

Health Food Chef

Don’t let those culinary skills go to waste!

If you have an exceptional palate and the cooking skills to match, parlay it into a fulfilling career as a chef! Careers that require you to focus on patterned tasks, like cooking, are ideal jobs for recovering addicts.

This doesn’t mean you have to work in a high-stress restaurant. Pursue low-stress food service jobs or chef positions you’re familiar with at recovery centers. You could even build a rewarding career as a personal chef and cook for others right in their own home!

Consider open chef positions at vegan cafes, smoothie shops, raw food restaurants, and other health food establishments.

Outdoor Jobs for Recovering Addicts

Fresh air is essential for a strong immune system, healthy brain function, energy, and stress reduction. These are just a few of the reasons why outdoor careers are some of the best jobs for recovering addicts.

Luckily, there are several job categories to choose from. Here are some popular careers that take you outdoors:

  • Gardening and landscaping
  • Geologist
  • Botanical garden employee
  • Garden groundskeeper
  • Farming
  • Plant nursery employee
  • Nature guide
  • Dog walker

Let’s hop outside and take a deep dive into some of these awesome careers.


Like being a chef, a career as a professional gardener lets you focus on patterned tasks. This is an important trait to look for when deciding on jobs for recovering addicts.

Not everyone is a people-person or has the communication skills required for counseling, therapy, or management careers. Jobs with patterned routines are great for individuals who prefer to work independently.

Gardening is also creative and physical, two more traits to look for in a post-recovery career. A day in the life of a gardener may include raking, mowing, seed planting, pruning, watering, and more.

Related careers to consider include plant nursery associate, florist, and landscape designer.

Nature Guide

Coming out of recovery, it’s important to immerse yourself in nature and fresh air. There’s no better way to do this than to get involved with your city’s state parks!

You can also turn your love of nature into a fulfilling career as a nature guide. Look for open positions at public parks, local zoos, botanical gardens, and other outdoor attractions. Private companies may also have positions available for outdoor tour guides.

Dog Walker

Did a four-legged best friend help you through recovery? If you’re a dog person skilled in training, dog walking may be the perfect career for you!

Not only do you get to work with what you love, but you can also maintain a schedule that works with your recovery plan. A daytime schedule that works around your recovery is an important quality to look for in a career.

Not a dog person? No problem! Become a cat sitter or apply for a job at your local pet supply store or shelter.

Start Your New Chapter

A new career is your next stop on the recovery journey! Set yourself up for success with a career that aligns with your long-term goals for recovery.

Remember, your counselors and sponsors are here to help you make the right career decision for your new sober life. Use this article as a guide to help you find the right career and path that fits your needs.

You’re never alone in recovery. Check back often for more tools on navigating your recovery or talk to an expert who can help right away.

Addiction and Loneliness

loneliness-and-addictionIf you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction this article will cover a perspective proven through clinical studies that you must not miss. Society in general has led addicts to feel ashamed of the insidious affliction they suffer from, and the stigma can contribute to both addiction and loneliness. Addicts cause pain and confusion in themselves and anyone that truly deeply cares for them.

What Does Loneliness Look Like?

Loneliness may not be the same for everyone. The Huffington Post explains, “Being lonely is more of a state of mind and that state of loneliness can change on a dime if one so desires.” Loneliness in addiction can look like:

  • Disconnection from others
  • Little to no interest in relationships
  • Feeling depressed and anxious
  • Thinking there is no one to talk to
  • Believing there is no hope
  • Feeling like no one cares

A History Of Failure

A little over a century ago this country made the decision to ban and make illegal nearly all drugs.  They instituted punishments as an incentive to deter people from abusing these substances.  This makes sense on a basic level of thinking, but the issue is that it is clearly not working, as shown in this chart. In my experience When something doesn’t work, you either have to fix it or throw it away.


From the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Adapting To The Environment

In the early 1920s there were some interesting experiments conducted regarding addiction. They took a rat, placed it in a cage on its own and put two water bottles, one with Cocaine laced in the water and one containing fresh water.  The rat drank the cocaine water until it overdosed and died. Bruce K. Alexander, Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University conducted some similar experiments but added some new variables. He made a “rat park” with cheese, tubes, toys, and most importantly friends!  In this rat park he put the same two types of water bottles, one with cocaine laced water and one with pure water.  The following observation was astonishing. The overdose rate amongst the rats dropped to 0 percent.  Most rats didn’t even touch the cocaine water, and the ones that did stopped before overdose. Professor Alexander questioned, “What if addiction is not about being hooked on chemicals but it is instead an adaptation to your environment?”

The message to be heard here is that humans want to bond and connect. If our self-esteem is low, or we have been beaten down emotionally, we will naturally feel a desire to bond with something other than people.  This could look like food, gambling, drugs, sex, television, shopping…really anything that makes us feel okay for a short period of time and provides relief. Therefore, it is counterproductive to punish addicts, remove them from society, label them felons, make them unemployable, shun them, etc…it just perpetuates the cycle.

Finding Solutions To The Drug Problem

In 2000, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe with 1 percent of their entire population being hooked on heroin.  Portugal decriminalized all drugs and set up social programs to help drug addicts reintegrate back into society. They took all the money they were spending on housing, feeding, arresting, and policing these addicts and put it into social programs where they would set drug addicts up with jobs and pay half their salary for the year, thus incentivizing companies to hire them and affording the addict the opportunity to reconnect with people and find a sense of purpose. Fifteen years after these programs were set in motion the addiction rate is down 50 percent, overdose is down, HIV rates have gone down drastically in addicts, and in EVERY addiction study shows massive decreases.

Hopefully one day our society can catch on and be this progressive and in the solution.

Helpful Tips to Overcome Loneliness and Addiction

  • Build a social network from the ground up. We addicts are intelligent people; we can see who is healthy and working on themselves and who is not – stick with the winners and you will become one.
  • Find someone that you can trust that understands addiction and talk to this person VERY REGULARLY about your feelings of loneliness, anger or whatever it is that you’re experiencing
  • Volunteer work and support groups such as 12-step fellowships are great places to make new healthy connections this will take time and attendance and may not happen right away so you have to keep going.
  • I want to reiterate the importance of cutting out negative connections – not all connections are good connections.
  • Make friends and family a priority in your life.  When you’re down and out it’s not going to be your online “friends” there that save your skin; the real connections that you make will be there for you when you need them the most.
  • Commit to people and make a plan to show up for them and then follow through with that plan!

Contact Us

Pathfinders Recovery Center
Scottsdale, AZ
(855) 728-4363

*This blog post was authored by Lawrence Briggs, Director of Operations at Pathfinders Recovery Center. Ph: 480.320.0752