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“Selfish” vs. “Self-seeking” Behavior

Under Step Four– “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves”– in the Big Book of AA, there is a passage that often makes people scratch their heads: “Putting out of our minds the wrongs others had done, we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. Where had we been selfish, dishonest, self-seeking, and frightened?”Read More

Is it Normal to Crave Sugar After I Stop Drinking?

It is common for people to stop drinking and realize later they have started eating a lot of sugar. Part of the problem is addiction transference. This is sometimes described as addiction whack-a-mole–you get a handle on one addiction and another one pops up. Sometimes it’s gambling, sometimes it’s porn, sometimes it’s exercise, and sometimesRead More

Addiction and Counselling

Counselling is an important part of treatment and recovery. Many people think recovery is about abstinence–once you detox, you are clean and now you are in recovery. You might be in recovery, but probably not for long. Addiction is certainly a problem but it’s usually not the problem. Most of the time, there is someRead More

What is a Dry Drunk?

“Dry drunk” is an AA term that refers to someone who has quit drinking but hasn’t done any of the steps. It could also refer to someone who started out well, got complacent and started to backslide but hasn’t yet relapsed. This is typically someone who lives with all the stress, anger, and resentment sheRead More

Opioid-induced Hyperalgesia

Opioid-induced hyperalgesia, or OIH, is a problem that sometimes occurs with long-term, high-dose opioid use where an opioid paradoxically creates a higher sensitivity to pain. OIH is often mistaken for tolerance. The two conditions are often difficult to distinguish because clinical pain evaluation typically relies on a one-to-ten scale, which doesn’t distinguish between kinds ofRead More

How Many Recovering Addicts Relapse?

Relapse is extremely common in recovery. About two thirds of people relapse within a year of leaving treatment. The good news is that the longer you stay in recovery, the longer you are likely to stay in recovery. If you make it a year, your chances of relapse fall to less than half. If youRead More

Every Sober Day is a Win

People in recovery often downplay their time sober. They say things like, “I’ve been clean for seven days. I know it’s not much compared to some people.” The impulse to downplay is understandable. You may feel defensive. You may have tried to get sober before and relapsed. You might be competitive and feel the needRead More

Can I Use Kratom in Recovery?

Kratom comes from the leaf of a tree similar to a coffee tree and is mostly grown in southeast Asia. It has become popular in the US in recent years for a variety of uses, the most common being to break addiction, manage pain, or get high. Kratom is currently legal in most states, theRead More

Managing Emotions in Recovery

People often have trouble managing their emotions early in recovery. For many people, drugs and alcohol were a way to avoid feeling negative emotions. After detox, not only do they have to deal with the depression and irritability that often accompany abstinence, but they also have to confront thoughts and emotions long buried by drugsRead More

Do I Have to Relocate to Recover from Addiction?

Generally, you don’t have to move to recover from addiction, and often it’s even a bad idea. People often feel like there is too much temptation where they are–they see the old places, their old friends call, they sometimes feel they have burned too many bridges and it might be easier to just start overRead More