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Filed under By Brad Lamm.

Dual Diagnosis: Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, dual diagnosis is a term used to describe people with a mental health disorder who have coexisting problems with drugs and/or alcohol.

Recent studies suggest that nearly one-third of people with all mental illnesses and approximately one-half of people with severe mental illness, such as bipolar and schizophrenia, also experience substance abuse.

The relationship between the two is complex, and the treatment of people with co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness is more complicated than the treatment of either condition alone.

Filed under By Brad Lamm.

Recovery services

The sponsor-sponsee relationship in 12-step recovery is one of the key components in the process of maintaining long-term sobriety. Initially coined in the early years of Alcoholic Anonymous (AA), the sponsor has the single purpose of helping the sponsee recover from the addiction and compulsive behavior that brought the sufferer into 12-step work, which in turn helps the sponsor recover.

Filed under By Brad Lamm.

Hope for the Relapse Prone

An important aspect of the disease of addiction, after an extended amount of clean time, is that it can resurface, causing relapse. Many people who suffer from chronic relapse often struggle with feelings of guilt and shame that can sink them even deeper into the cycle of addiction.  However, there are triggers that you can look for to guard against this occurrence.

Stress is one of the main causes of relapse. Although avoiding stress is not always possible, the recovering addict must make changes, sometimes drastic ones, to lifestyle, relationship and their priorities, in order to align themselves with the principals of recovery.


Filed under By Brad Lamm.

Self Care is Health Care

Exercise. Diet. Sleep. Meditation. Laughter. They’re all forms of self-care. As a recovering addict, I’ve learned that when I’m in my disease, it all goes to hell in a hand-basket. So I had to put aside my daily life as the walking wounded and learn how to stand in the sun.

Addiction is stressful. Whether you smoke it, snort it, eat it, or buy it, it’s a vicious cycle of hustling to get what you need. Once you’ve laid down with it, you get up the next day and do it all over again.  That life is known as chronic stress and is a massive contributor to the top six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.

Filed under By Brad Lamm.

Early Childhood Trauma and the Disease of Addiction

We know that addiction is a disease and can be treated as such. But recently, science has begun to make the association between early childhood trauma and the susceptibility to substance abuse later in life. All addiction is not caused by trauma, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that it can be a big part of the disorder. Addressing these findings has to be a part of a comprehensive treatment program.

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