Our Latest Blogs

6 Worst Side Effects of Medical Marijuana on Mental Health

6 Worst Side Effects of Medical Marijuana on Mental Health

Years of research show that cannabidiol (CBD), an active ingredient in marijuana, can treat a variety of conditions including chronic pain, glaucoma, and seizures. Also, there is evidence that cannabis has chemicals that prevent the spread of cancer and the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. But… Even with the rampant decriminalization of cannabis and documentation of […]

The Link Between Addiction and Anxiety

The Link Between Anxiety and Addiction

Everybody at some point will experience periods of uncertainty and unease in their lives. This can lead to feelings of anxiety. Luckily for most people, these feelings are temporary and will recede with some simple breathing exercises and a re-evaluation of the problem that is causing them stress. However, this is not the case for […]

Navigating College While in Recovery from a Substance Use Disorder

friends in recovery

A college campus can be overwhelming for any student, let alone someone who is recovering from a substance use disorder (SUD). There are many challenges to deal with every day—such as meeting class requirements, finding a place to fit in with new friends, and dealing with the increased availability of alcohol and other substances. With […]

My Story of Recovery from Depression and Addiction

new dawn

As early as grade school, I remember struggling to gather up the energy and motivation I needed to get out of bed in the morning and go to school. Some days it was so bad that my mom had to nearly drag me out of bed. I had no problems in school and no real […]

Expectation vs. Reality: What You Need to Know About Alcohol Withdrawal

steps to recovery

Living a meaningful life, one that is celebrated and surrounded by friends and family, often includes alcohol. In fact, it would be difficult to attend some kind of event or celebration without it. So it’s not surprising that alcohol addiction is the third leading cause of preventable death in the US, according to the National […]

Does Depression Lead to Alcohol and Drug Addiction?

empty beer bottle

When we are trying to understand the roots of alcohol and drug addiction, we often must investigate brain chemistry and the history of the individual. There are many risk factors that may lead to the overindulgence of alcohol and use of drugs to self-medicate or manage moods. It is common to see depression coincide with […]

How Volunteering Can Aid Addiction Recovery

volunteer cooperation

Recovery from substance abuse can be a process that requires a lifelong commitment to sobriety. Once recovering addicts leave rehabilitation, there is often still a long road ahead. When reentering society, many former addicts find themselves out of work, or struggling to reacclimate to the job they left behind. While returning to work can be […]

My Story of Hope and Recovery

Substance Abuse Recovery

I grew up with everything I could ask for. A supporting, loving family. Great, safe neighborhood. Basically all the opportunity in the world. If you told 15-year old me that in just a few years I would be living a life filled with drugs, there’s not a chance he would believe you. I was the […]

My Story of Co-Occurring Disorders and Overcoming Addiction

Co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis, refer to the combination of substance abuse and the presence of a mental health disorder. Many individuals who enter treatment for substance abuse are also diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder. Over half of all individuals experiencing drug addiction are also believed to have a co-occurring disorder such as […]

“Marijuana Addiction” or Schizophrenia? The Danger of Misdiagnosis

To the millions of people who turned the original Hunger Games film into a blockbuster, the character Rue played a pivotal role in protagonist Katniss’ evolution from player to champion. To my younger sister, Rue represented much more: The 11-year-old character, from a poor farming community, was actually a personification of my sister herself. Rue’s […]

Our Son’s Path to Recovery: Educational Consultants, Transporters, and Wilderness Therapy

Most parents are not aware that there is a hidden world of dedicated professionals trained to identify troubled teens’ underlying problems and begin the process of repairing fractured families. These professionals help family members hear, understand, and accept each other’s emotional pain. It is a hidden world, not because it is a “dark net,” but […]

Why the Gig Economy is the Perfect Employment Option for Those in the Early Stages of Addiction Recovery

Taking time off for recovery from addiction is a brave first step toward regaining control over your mental health. But as you begin this journey, you may also be wondering how you can make ends meet until you’re ready to work again. Luckily, there are tons of gigs that can help you earn a little […]

Enjoying Music Festivals Sober

If you’re new to a sober lifestyle, you may feel like you need to avoid music festivals. If the scene is a trigger for you, you might fear a relapse. For those with co-occurring mental health and addiction issues, music festivals can be doubly challenging. If this is you and you attend a festival, you […]

Co-Occurring Disorders: Alcohol Abuse & Depression

Co-Occurring Disorders: Alcohol Abuse & Depression

“A drinking man’s someone who wants to forget he isn’t still young and believing.” – Tennessee Williams, author of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”   It may come as a surprise to you that according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information 64% of people addicted to alcohol actually meet all the criteria for […]

Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders – Often the Rule, Not the Exception

This September, www.rtor.org is observing National Recovery Month with a guest blog series on co-occurring disorders – the presence of mental health and substance use disorders in the same person. To kick-off the special series on co-occurring disorders we open with a guest blog post from Lloyd I. Sederer, MD, Chief Medical Officer of the […]

PTSD and Substance Use: How Trauma Fueled My Addiction

PTSD and Substance Use: How Trauma Fueled My Addiction

“And all the while I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a crowded room, screaming at the top of my lungs, and no one even looks up.” I remember watching Titanic as a kid, empathizing with Rose and her emotional turmoil. Growing up, I always felt like I was drowning and desperately waiting […]

When You Have More Than One Diagnosis: Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders

Integrated Treatment for Co-occurring Disorders

According to a recent survey in 2010, over 45% of individuals struggling with addiction, have also been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder. Co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnosis, refer to the combination of substance abuse and the presence of a mental health disorder. Over 16% of individuals receiving treatment for substance abuse have also […]

How I Improved My Addiction Recovery By Learning The Art Of Mindfulness

“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the whole earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future; live the actual moment. Only this moment is life.” -Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness My name is Andy. I have been an addict from the age of […]

Music: A Sound Outlet for Addiction Treatment

When dealing with a substance use disorder, sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself and your recovery efforts is to push the outside world away. Music and music therapy are excellent ways to recover from a difficult past. Here are the benefits of music therapy along with pointers on a few of the […]

Top 5 Mental Health Benefits of Quitting Drugs and Alcohol

I remember my struggles with quitting drugs and alcohol quite vividly. I was at a point in my life when chasing intoxicated states was all that I could think about. It was a way for me to escape the negative feelings and the harsh realities of where I was in my life. My thought process […]

What Comes First: Addiction or a Mental Health Problem?

Mental health and addiction. What comes first?

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association: 53% of people with a mental health disorder also experience problems with alcohol or drugs. 29% of people with a mental health disorder have a co-occurring addiction disorder at some point in their lives. These statistics may lead you to believe that mental health problems cause […]

Co-Occurring Disorders: How Mental Health and Substance Use Are Linked

Co-occurring disorders are two or more behavioral health disorders which occur together in the same person.  The term is often used to describe any mental health disorder that is accompanied by substance abuse, a problem that affects millions of Americans. The reasons may vary widely from one individual to the next, but the symptoms are […]

Depression & Addiction: From Escaping Myself to Fighting the Problem

escaping myself

Almost half of those who live with a mental health disorder also experience a substance use problem (SAMHSA). Today’s guest author, Parker, lived with depression and addiction issues until he was able to find recovery. Parker’s inspiring story shows that there is hope and that recovery is possible. Thank you, Parker, for sharing with us at www.rtor.org. […]

Double Trouble & Beyond: Co-occurring Disorders in Our Favorite Characters from Movies, Novels and TV

Don draper

  In mental health, the term co-occurring disorders refers to the presence of two or more disorders in a person at the same time. In the past, co-occurring disorders were often confused with “dual diagnosis” (or “double trouble”), a term that was used to describe someone living with a mental illness and a substance use […]

Alcohol and Self-Starvation: The Dangerous New Trend

beer on table

  We all know that college can be a breeding ground for partying. Many parents may worry that their kids in college might drink too much and develop an addiction, yet many don’t know that young adults are also at risk for developing an eating disorder. Unfortunately the two can come together to form a variety […]

Spotting the Early Warning Signs of Heroin Addiction

Spotting the Early Warning Signs of Heroin Addiction

  In honor of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Awareness Month, today’s guest blog post comes to us from Matt Abbasfard from Northbound in Newport Beach, CA. He discusses the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction and the importance of seeking help for a loved one who might be struggling with a substance use disorder. Heroin […]

Co-occurring Disorders: Beyond Dual Diagnosis

co-occuring disorders

  Last fall for the third talk in Laurel House/RtoR’s Family Seminar Series, our featured speaker Dr. Jeremy Barowsky pointed out that we had used the outdated term “dual diagnosis” in our promotion of the event. Dr. Barowsky is the Director of Addiction Medicine at Greenwich Hospital Addiction Recovery Center. He also has a private […]