Cultivating Resilience in Addiction Recovery

Think of the word “resilience” and consider what you know. Children are often called resilient, and indeed many are. Despite falls, scrapes, breaks or a lack of “good enough parenting,” many children continue to develop normally—eventually entering adulthood without incident. In fact, they may even thrive. But what about children (and adults) for whom life…

The Many Triggers That Precede Relapse

Staying sober requires constant vigilance and awareness of the many things that could trigger a relapse. Some relapse triggers are obvious, such as hanging around bars or wandering around neighborhoods known for high drug trafficking activity. Even continuing to hang around with friends or acquaintances who habitually use alcohol or drugs can be dangerous and…

Finding Depression’s Breaking Point

At what point does an emotionally healthy person cross into depression, and can it be predicted? One depression therapy is to ask patients to record their mood throughout the day in order to track mood patterns and potential triggers. What if your smartphone were to question you repeatedly through the day about how you were…

Retraining the Brain in Recovery

Much of the new research into addiction talks about how drugs change the brain. What does this mean? We know that whatever those changes are, they make a person dependent on the drug, but how does it work? It turns out that our brains have an amazing degree of plasticity, which means the brain can…

Overcoming Mental Illness Stigmas

Mental illness affects many of our family members, neighbors and co-workers, yet attitudes remain negative. In the U.S. 11.4 million adults and 2 million adolescents, around 20 percent of the general population, suffer with some form of mental illness. In Canada 6.5 million live with mental illness or substance abuse. Too often people don’t search…