A Brief History of the 12 Steps

When it comes to beating an addiction, the 12-step recovery model is one of the most effective tools used in treatment. They were created by Alcoholics Anonymous as a guideline to working through and overcoming an addiction. The 12 steps, as defined by AA, are as follows: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and […]

Trendy Diets & Their Effects on Recovery

Thanks to the Internet, we’re living in a world of diet trends and fads. In the last few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in people following keto diets, veganism, and more. A lot of people roll their eyes at others who jump on these diet bandwagons, but what if they actually work? More specifically, […]

How Meditation Can Aid Your Recovery from Addiction

At Any Length, we’re big believers in the effects of the twelve-step program for overcoming drug and alcohol addictions. One of the most important aspects of the twelve steps is turning to a higher power and practicing prayer. Meditation is an amazing supplemental tool for prayer – praying helps you establish a connection to God […]

The Importance of Mediation in Recovery

Recovering from an addiction to alcohol or drugs is hard, but we believe that it’s always possible. We believe that twelve-step programs are the most effective method of treatment, but it’s by no means the only way an addicted person can achieve sobriety. Mediation is another helpful and important component in recovery from addiction and […]

3 of the Worst Foods to Eat While in Recovery

Over the last few months, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of diet – not just for your overall health, but also particular foods that contain specific vitamins and minerals that can support your brain and body through your recovery. We’ve told you that it’s important to nourish your body with lots of fresh […]

Is Addiction A Family Disease?

You may have heard that addiction is genetic, and someone descended from a former alcoholic or addict needs to be careful around drugs and alcohol so that they don’t become addicted themselves. This is true in many cases. One study concluded that children of addicts are around eight times more likely to develop an addiction […]

What Does Addiction Do to the Brain?

We know the basics of what constitutes an addiction: a compulsive need for a particular substance that takes priority over things like relationships, work, and the person’s financial situation. To many people who have never had a brush with addiction, it can seem a bit surprising that a person’s need to drink or use drugs […]

Rates of Alcohol Abuse in America vs. Europe

Here in the United States, we have an interesting relationship with alcohol. As you might remember from history class back in school, the prohibition era outlawed alcohol consumption and sale entirely from 1920 until 1933, and the current legal drinking age is 21. Most of our friends across the Atlantic Ocean over in Europe have […]

Which US Demographics are Most Susceptible to Drug Abuse?

As we know, addiction is a disease, and some people may be more susceptible to certain diseases than other people. When it comes to a disease of the mind, like addiction, social factors are the biggest differentiator between those who are likely to develop one versus those who are not. We know that people who […]

What Are Cross Addictions?

“Cross addiction” is a term to describe someone suffering from two or more addictive behaviors. In most cases, the person will have addictions to multiple substances, like drugs or alcohol, but it also includes when a person is addicted to, for example, alcohol and sex or gambling. Other terms for cross addiction include addiction transfer […]

Tips For Daily Mindfulness Practice in Recovery

Being in recovery from addiction requires you to make major changes to your life if you want to remain recovered. Building an entirely new mindset is much easier said than done. Changing your mindset can be made easier by becoming more mindful – that is, learning not to associate so heavily with your thoughts and […]

Drug Laws & Abuse Around the World

In the 1970s, President Nixon declared a war on drugs aimed at stopping the illegal drug trade in the United States. Many people consider this campaign to have been largely ineffective as new people continue to develop addictions and dependencies on drugs each day. Other countries, however, have different and much more lenient laws around […]

3 of the Most Addictive Substances

Addiction is no joke. In 2017, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that nearly 20 million Americans over the age of 12 were struggling with a substance use disorder that year. Of that, around 74% suffered from an alcohol use disorder and around 38% suffered from an illicit drug use disorder. Approximately […]

Diet & Workout Ideas for Those in Recovery

We know that eating well and exercising often are two of the keys to living a long, healthy life. This is true for everyone, but it becomes even more true for people who are recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction. We’ve talked recently about the benefits of healthy food and the implementation of an […]

Pros & Cons of Legalizing Marijuana

The legal status of marijuana is a hot topic – nearly everyone seems to have an opinion. The drug does have some medical uses and in many places around the world, patients use it to manage their chronic pain. Different cultures believe it has spiritual properties and use it during traditional ceremonies. But what about […]

5 Wellness Tips for Recovering Addicts

Completing a treatment program is only the first step in achieving lifelong recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Once your treatment is over, there’s still work to be done – it’s likely that your entire lifestyle will have to change. When you were in the thick of your addiction, you were probably neglecting […]

Codependency and Addiction

Recently, we’ve talked a bit about enabling an addict – that is, protecting your addicted loved one from the consequences of his or her actions. Another common, similar behavior that can develop between an addict and their loved one is codependency. A codependent is a loved one of an addict who puts the addict’s needs […]

What Are “Legal Highs”?

Don’t let the name fool you – legal highs are not necessarily legal. Legal highs are another name for designer drugs or research chemicals and refer to synthetic drugs created to mimic the effects of a naturally-derived drug. These substances are usually created in underground laboratories and involve mixing different ingredients together, each of which […]

4 Commonly Abused Research Chemicals

There is a difference between research chemicals used in scientific research and research chemicals used to get high. The latter are developed in a lab and are meant to mimic the effects of other commonly misused drugs like opioids, cocaine, and marijuana. These substances tend to be cheap to make and to purchase, and produce […]

Carrying the Message

Remember how far you’ve come from the moment you stepped into your recovery program and how far you’ve come since then. According to the twelfth step of Alcoholics (or Narcotics) Anonymous, in order to fully recover and take your sobriety to the next level, you must share yourself and your story with those who are […]

Fentanyl in Street Drugs

Fentanyl is one of the strongest synthetic opioid painkillers on the market today, and it’s become the number one culprit in opioid-related overdoses. From 2013 to 2016, fatal overdoses involving fentanyl doubled each year. This is a terrifyingly quick rise and it doesn’t appear that those numbers will begin going down anytime soon. One of […]

5 Uncommon Drugs That Can Be Abused

It makes sense that drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine are well-known around the country: they are some of the most commonly abused drugs in the United States. But, of course, these three aren’t the only drugs of abuse. There are hundreds of thousands of substances that can create a high when ingested. Let’s take […]

What Is the Most Commonly Abused Drug in the United States

Drug and alcohol addictions are both quite common in the USA. 19.7 million Americans are believed to be addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. However, the problem doesn’t end there. Many people abuse drugs without developing an addiction to them. Drug abuse is defined as any use of drugs for nonmedical purposes, or outside of their […]

How to Help an Addict Without Enabling Them

When you’re watching someone you love suffer from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s common to feel very helpless. Because of this, it’s also common for people to try to do too much, get too involved, and accidentally end up enabling the addict despite acting with good intentions. Behaviors that enable an addicted person […]

Drug Abuse Rates in the United States

Recent government statistics estimate that around 24.6 million people in the United States use illicit drugs every 30 days. That’s nearly 10 percent of people over the age of 12. According to findings from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, overall drug abuse rates have remained steady since 2002, but nonmedical use of […]

How to Handle Employment in Early Sobriety

One of the biggest steps to putting your addiction behind you and returning to a “normal” life is going back to work. Starting to work after treatment is a great way to create structure in your new life, and this is vital to maintaining long-term sobriety. It’s important to be especially careful in your first […]

Why Marijuana is Dangerous for a Drug Addict

Marijuana is the most commonly used drug in the United States and the rest of the world. It’s used medicinally in many cases and can help treat symptoms of chronic illnesses like HIV, multiple sclerosis, cancer, Crohn’s disease, and seizure disorders. Other cultures around the world use it because they believe it has spiritual properties. […]

What is the Opioid Epidemic in the United States?

For decades now, we’ve experienced an epidemic involving opioid misuse in the United States. In 2017, nearly 68% of all overdose deaths involved opioids, for a grand total of 47, 600 deaths. The opioid crisis began in three waves. The epidemic began in the 1990s when an increase in the number of opioids prescribed to […]

Fentanyl’s Overdose Potential

Over 130 people die each day in the United States from overdosing on opioids. Many opioid-related deaths involve more than one drug, but fentanyl has become the number one opioid killer. Each year between 2013 and 2016 alone, fentanyl-related drug overdoses rose by over 100%. What is Fentanyl? Fentanyl is the strongest synthetic opioid pain […]

Signs and Dangers of Complacency in Sobriety

Getting sober can be an amazing feeling after months or years taken up by addiction. However, there’s such a thing as being too comfortable with your sobriety, and it’s not necessarily a good thing. When a person begins feels complacent, they feel they’ve already done enough to improve their situation and no longer feel in […]

The Abuse Potential of DXM (Dextromethorphan)

Before codeine was outlawed as an ingredient in over the counter medications, people would turn to cough medicine for a cheap and easy high. Even now, though, taking too high of a dose of OTC medicines – whether intentionally or by accident – can make a person feel high. DXM stands for dextromethorphan, and it […]

What to Expect When Detoxing from Heroin

Most of us know the United States is in the middle of an opioid crisis. The crisis refers in large part to prescription medication being abused, but there’s another common opioid that’s been around for decades: heroin. Just under a million Americans reported using heroin in the past year, according to a 2016 survey. Between […]

Enabling Addicts and the Dangers of Doing So

It can be incredibly difficult to watch someone in your life suffer from a substance addiction. You want to help them any way you can, but figuring out the best way to do so is not always easy. In addition, it can be tough to initiate a conversation about finding help. It’s not uncommon to […]

Why Reliance on A Higher Power is More Helpful than Willpower for Beating Addiction

Many people who have completed a 12-step addiction recovery program go on to sing its praises once they’ve recovered. One of the key differentiators between 12-step programs and other recovery programs (and arguably one of the reasons it’s so effective for so many people) is its incorporation of spirituality. Spirituality and religion are not necessarily […]

Tips for Your Diet in Recovery

Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is a gradual process that involves making many lifestyle changes. We’ve recently talked about how exercise affects the body and can help a recovering addict manage cravings. There’s another major lifestyle change that a lot of people are making at the beginning of a new year: diet. Is there […]

4 Dangers of Intravenous Drug Use

Intravenous drugs, or drugs that are taken by injecting the substance directly into the body, are some of the most dangerous drugs out there. Yet for many types of drugs, like heroin, one of the most common and preferred ways of taking them is via injection. Addicts who use intravenous drugs usually do so because […]

How Does Exercise Help Addicts in Recovery?

For most people in recovery from an addiction, treatment involves some sort of counseling: speaking with another individual or a group of people to figure out the root cause and to learn how to manage any feelings or emotions that could lead to a future relapse. Recovering from an addiction is all about making lifestyle […]

3 Long Term Effects of Alcohol on the Brain and Body

The use of alcohol has become so normalized in American culture. Many people begin drinking as teenagers in high school, learn how to binge-drink at college parties, and go for after-work drinks with coworkers throughout adulthood. According to a 2017 study, nearly 27% of adults in the US had reported engaging in binge drinking in […]

What is the Difference Between Substance Abuse and Addiction?

If you’ve noticed someone you love has been using drugs, it’s easy to assume the worst. However, not all cases of drug use or abuse mean the user is spiraling downward into addiction. The main difference between substance abuse and substance addiction comes down to how much control the person has over their use. In […]

5 of the Most Commonly Misused Prescription Drugs

It’s easy to imagine that the extent of drug abuse and addictions are limited to illegal street drugs. That is not true. Approximately 48 million Americans have used prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes in their lifetime. After marijuana, legal prescription drugs are in fact the most commonly abused drugs in the US. As we know, […]

What Age Do You Have to Be to Enter Residential Treatment?

Often, when we imagine someone addicted to drugs or alcohol, we picture a person in their 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s. Rarely would we imagine a young teen or an older person as an addict. However, it’s entirely possible for people at either end of the age spectrum to suffer from an addiction. What treatment […]

Why Can’t My Spouse Stop Using Drugs or Alcohol?

Finding out someone you love has been abusing alcohol or drugs can be heartbreaking. Your spouse may have already tried to stop drinking or using to no avail. It can leave you feeling scared and asking a lot of questions – does he or she even care? Are these substances more important to him or […]

How Do I Tell My Loved One They Need Help for Their Addiction?

It can be extremely tough watching someone you love suffer at the hands of drugs or alcohol. They may not believe they have a problem, or they may not want to get help. Having the support of you, someone who loves them, can make it easier for an addict to begin taking steps to get […]

What to Do if You’re Prescribed Narcotics While in Recovery

You probably already know that the United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis. In 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, 58.7 opioid prescriptions were written for every 100 people. The knowledge of how addictive opioids are coupled with how easy they can be to get makes it a […]

What Does Methamphetamine Use Look Like?

During World War II, methamphetamine, or meth for short, was commonly used among soldiers to help keep them focused on the battlefield. In fact, meth was medically approved in the US, and often prescribed to treat depression until abuse rates began to rise and the drug was made illegal for most uses in 1971. Despite […]

Signs of Opiate Use

In 2014, nearly 2 million people abused or were dependent on opioids, and it’s become a nationwide crisis.  You’ve probably heard the words opiate and opioid being thrown around in light of this epidemic. While these terms sound and look similar, there is a subtle yet significant distinction between the two. Both terms refer to […]

Types of Paraphernalia for 5 Common Drugs

If you’ve begun to suspect your loved one of using drugs, one of the most obvious tell-tale signs is whether they have any drug paraphernalia hiding anywhere. Some of these paraphernalia items, like tin foil, spoons, or straws may not jump out at you as items of concern right away, so it’s important to know […]

What Should I Do if I Suspect My Loved One is Using Drugs?

Nobody wants to believe someone they love could be using drugs. It’s easy to let panic set in and worst-case scenarios take over your mind.  Thinking about everything that might go wrong can be scary, but it’s important to remain calm and not let your fears take over.  Here’s what you should do if you […]

Setting Expectations for Yourself in Sobriety: The Do’s and Don’ts

If you’ve lost yourself to an addiction, the concept of sobriety can be a hard one to grasp. You may not remember what it feels like to live a life free from the influence of drugs or alcohol. The idea of achieving sobriety may even feel a bit intimidating, as if you’re venturing into unknown […]

How Does Sober Living Help Maintain Sobriety?

If you’ve been looking into or have recently completed a treatment program for drug or alcohol addiction, you’ve likely come across sober living programs. Maybe you’ve wondered whether sober living is actually helpful. Sober living homes provide residents with a stepping stone from inpatient treatment to “normal” life. In the 18 months following completion of […]

Is Isolating an Indicator of Drug Abuse?

You’ve done your research and you know the signs. You notice your loved one is isolating himself or herself much more than usual, and you suspect it’s because they’re abusing drugs. Isolating is a common indicator of drug abuse, so if your loved one is exhibiting other physical or behavioral symptoms, you may be right […]

Why is Being Involved in the Community So Important for an Addict’s Recovery?

By nature, humans are social creatures. Because of this, we crave connection with other humans. While it’s absolutely possible to achieve success individually, we’re often able to achieve better and faster results when we’re working with a group. If you think about it that way, it makes complete sense that so many addiction recovery programs, […]

How to Get Help for A Loved One Struggling with Addiction

You’ve identified the signs and confronted your loved one. Your worst fears have been confirmed: your loved one is addicted to alcohol or drugs. Now what? It may feel like the end of the world at first, but don’t give up hope. Watching your loved one struggle with an addiction can be incredibly hard, but […]

3 Ways to Help Others Who Are Struggling With Addiction

So you’ve recently beat an addiction and are excited to declare yourself recovered. Congratulations! That’s no small feat. Since you know how it feels to struggle with an addiction and possibly doubt yourself through recovery, you probably want to help others who are recovering from an addiction themselves. Your story and advice could be a […]

3 Common Triggers of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

In the USA, drug use and abuse is on the rise across all demographics. In 2014, it was reported that heroin users had tripled since 2003, and the number of drug overdose deaths involving opioids had quadrupled since 1999. Alcohol abuse rates are also climbing. Between 2002 and 2013, high-risk drinking (more than three drinks […]

Why You Can’t Force Someone to Get Treatment for an Addiction (& What to Do Instead)

Watching someone you love lose themselves to an addiction is never easy. You might find yourself beginning to act out of fear or desperation, trying to manipulate or control your loved one, or trying to force them into treatment. Unfortunately, these fear-based behaviors don’t help anyone, and will likely only make the situation worse. You […]

Is it Possible to Find Lifelong Recovery from Addiction?

Anyone who has struggled with addiction knows it can be hard to imagine what a future free from substance dependency looks like. It’s easy to let yourself be consumed by negative thoughts: “getting sober is too hard”, “only certain types of people have it in them to overcome addiction”, etc.  Remember, almost everyone who has […]

What is the Importance of a Sponsor in Recovery?

Even if you’ve never battled an addiction yourself, you’ve likely heard the word “sponsor” in connection with addiction recovery. A sponsor is a mentor or a guide who has gone through the journey to recovery themselves and is able to mentor or guide another person, known as a sponsee, who is working toward recovery themselves. […]

What Makes Addiction So Difficult to Overcome?

There’s no doubt that recovering from addiction is rarely easy. It’s also difficult to answer the question of why addiction is so hard to overcome. Addiction has many layers, and each addiction is as complex and unique as each person suffering. To best guess why addiction is so difficult to beat, let’s take a look […]

Why Do 12-Step Programs Have Such Success?

Many different programs and roads to recovery from alcohol and drug addictions are available to help people heal. Arguably the most popular method, known about even by people who have never had a brush with addiction, is the 12-step program. The 12 steps were first established by Alcoholics Anonymous way back in 1939. How have […]

How Do I Bounce Back from A Relapse?

Experiencing a relapse after completing treatment for addiction can be disheartening at best. It’s easy to allow negative, self-destructive thoughts into your head, and feel discouraged from trying again. It’s important to remember that a relapse is not a failure. Relapsing can be part of the recovery process for many people, and that it’s still […]

Why do Relapses Occur?

A quick internet search for relapse statistics brings up numbers that look a bit discouraging. Relapses are absolutely a setback in recovery from addiction, but they aren’t a failure, and it’s possible to bounce back from a relapse to achieve lifelong recovery. Your best shot at preventing yourself or your loved one from relapsing is […]

How to Set Boundaries When Your Loved One is Suffering from Addiction

Watching a loved one suffer from an addiction can be incredibly painful.  You want your loved one to be healthy, happy, and to know that they’re loved. Addiction can create a toxic environment in your relationship, making it difficult to communicate these feelings effectively, and causing unbearable emotional or even physical harm.  Knowing how to […]

3 Advantages of Residential Treatment Centers

A staggering 21 million Americans have some sort of substance addiction, according to Addiction Center, yet only around 10% of those people receive treatment. If you’re one of those 21 million and you’re here because you’re considering your treatment options, you’re on the right track. Treatment can make the difference between life and death. By […]