Coping With Memories From Active Addiction

In recovery, you hear a lot about triggers. These are essentially memories—feelings, places, people, or circumstances that remind you of your substance use. Addiction and the Brain Addiction affects the reward circuit in the brain, which normally gives you pleasurable feelings from healthy activities like eating, socializing, or listening to music. Dopamine plays a large…

Coping With Obsessive Thoughts in Recovery

Many of us with histories of addiction deal with obsessive thoughts. During active addiction, we might have channeled them into—or numbed them with—alcohol  or drugs. Not everyone with addiction is obsessive, but I certainly have this trait even nearly six years into recovery. It’s one I share with many of my sober friends. Telling Unfounded…

Coping With Anhedonia in Early Recovery

Drugs and alcohol interact with the brain’s reward circuit, which normally helps you experience pleasure from healthy rewards like eating, socializing, listening to music, or having sex. With chronic substance use, the brain adapts by lowering dopamine receptors and diminishing the reward system’s sensitivity. This is why in early recovery, some people experience anhedonia, the…

All About Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications—typically in combination with therapy—for treating addiction. Medications like Vivitrol or Suboxone help curb cravings and stave off some of the more unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, so that a person can focus on recovery. For now, there are only approved medications for opioid and alcohol use disorder, but research…