Through my eyes: Addiction and recovery

Growing up, I had the picture-perfect family. I lived in a beautiful home in the suburbs of Detroit with my parents and younger brother. I had every opportunity in the world, attended private schools, and even made it onto the honor roll. I was involved in dance, theater, and many of the school sports teams.

Beneath the surface, however, I always felt a lot of pressure to be perfect.

I was the first of 12 grandchildren, and this led to me feeling that I had to be the best at everything I did, which gave me terrible anxiety from the early age of 5.

Full story at Medical News Today

Commentary: Changing Your Personal Narrative in Recovery

It’s a common misconception among those entering treatment that their goal is to stop drinking or using. However, ending your substance use is the beginning of a much longer journey. Once the brain starts to heal, life comes into focus, and with the clarity to see the far-reaching effects of their addiction, people realize they are in a truly transformative process.

We begin to form both negative and positive ideas about ourselves at a very young age, all influenced by genetics, environment, past experiences and society. As we grow, those ideas become a pattern of thoughts that form well-worn pathways in our brain. These make up our self-perception, or, our personal narratives.

Full story at drugfree.org

Survey Finds Many Positive Aspects to Recovery

There are many positive aspects to being in recovery, suggests a new survey of people who are experiencing recovery from alcohol or drug problems. The findings of the national survey of more than 9,000 people will help both people in recovery, and those who treat them, according to the researchers.

Currently there is no agreement about the definition of recovery, says lead researcher Lee Ann Kaskutas, DrPH, of the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group in Emeryville, California. Many people believe it requires total abstinence from drugs and alcohol, while others do not. “Most of what we know about the definition of recovery has come from scientists and expert panels, not from people in recovery,” she says.

Full story of aspects of recovery at drugfree.org

Brief Interventions May Not Be Useful in Counteracting Drug Use: Studies

Two new studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest that brief counseling may not be effective in counteracting drug use. Previous research has shown brief interventions can help some problem drinkers, NPR reports.

Public health officials have been urging primary care doctors and hospital emergency rooms to ask patients about drug use, and to immediately give those with a drug problem a 10- to 15-minute counseling session, known as a brief intervention.

One of the new studies looked at more than 500 people who were determined to have a drug problem, based on a verbal screening at a primary care clinic. They were divided into three groups. The first two groups received brief counseling, while the third group received no counseling. After six months, those who had received brief counseling had not reduced drug use any more than people who received no counseling.

Full story of counteracting drug use at drugfree.org

Those in Recovery Should Speak Out, Give Hope to Others: Drug Policy Official

People in recovery from substance abuse should speak out and give hope to others in similar situations, according to the Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Michael Botticelli, speaking at a forum in New Haven, noted 23 million Americans are recovery. Only about one in nine people with a substance use disorder receive treatment, he said. Botticelli said stigma and denial about substance abuse are obstacles to treatment, the Associated Press reports.

Full story of people in recovery speaking out at drugfree.org