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Getting into treatment for addiction isn’t easy, but getting out can be even tougher. There are 86,400 seconds in a day, and each one presents challenges when your body and brain are aching for a fix.

Relationships are the lifeblood of recovery. Good ones can nourish your self-esteem and bolster your resolve in the darkest moments. But toxic relationships — the ones that bring you down even when you’re feeling your best —don’t just rub you the wrong way. They can put you at high risk of relapse.

Carl is a soft-spoken screenwriter who grew up in an impoverished, alcoholic home. For most of his adult life, Carl has turned to alcohol to cope with grinding depression and a gnawing sense of not being good enough. One night after a weekend of drinking, Carl had a blackout. He awoke in his car with […]

Therapists who treat addiction and co-occurring mental conditions have many weapons in their arsenal: psychotherapy, 12-step strategies, experiential exercises, education, medications and perhaps one more: Mother Nature. In a novel experiment, researchers at Stanford University in California randomly assigned 38 people to take a 90-minute walk in either a natural or urban setting, then assessed […]

We’re told we need to love ourselves. We are told we need to have a healthy sense of self-esteem. But after years of addiction, rebelling against God and making havoc of our lives and relationships, it’s hard to feel anything other than a deep sense of self-hatred and shame. However, this kind of outlook doesn’t […]

Smoking is traditionally tolerated in rehab and early recovery. The prevailing idea has been that if someone can give up drugs or alcohol, she should at least be allowed to smoke. That cigarette may be the only thing keeping her from relapsing, or so the story goes. The truth about smoking in recovery tells a […]

“Skip, skip, skip to my Lou. Skip to my Lou, my darling.” This song evokes my childhood. I remember dancing to its lively tune. Most children skip spontaneously and without abandon. But then they’re told — explicitly or otherwise — to grow up, settle down and curb their enthusiasm. Kids lose a bit of their […]

Stress is natural, and in many ways it can be good. When you’re feeling unmotivated, the stress of a deadline can help you get things done. When you’re in a dangerous situation, stress helps to get you ready to run or fight back with the “fight or flight” response. On the other hand, stress can […]

Insomnia is a persistent problem for many people in recovery from addiction and may lead to an increased risk of relapse, a new study by researchers from Stanford University and the University of San Francisco finds.

One of the most challenging aspects of recovery is how to handle triggers. No matter what the source addiction is—whether it’s alcohol and substance addictions, sexual addictions, addictive co-dependencies or something else—we all have to deal with things that make us want to re-engage in the self-destructive patterns that brought us into recovery in the […]