Category: Health and Wellness

Quitting Smoking Significantly Reduces Risk of Alcohol Relapse

Quitting Cigarettes Helps Prevent Alcohol Relapse

A new study published in Science Daily finds that alcoholics in recovery who smoke are at a greater risk for alcohol relapse than individuals in recovery who don’t smoke. Traditionally recovery has included therapy for all mind and mood altering substances, but left cigarettes out of the equation. Now scientist are finding verifiable evidence that ceasing nicotine abuse could be the secret that helps people stay sober, preventing alcohol relapse.

Many in Alcohol Abuse Recovery Smoke Cigarettes

Most adults who have problems with alcohol abuse also smoke cigarettes, most recovering alcoholics smoke as well. In the groups that smoke and are still actively using alcohol, the craving to smoke is much more intense once the alcohol hits their system. Many finding it difficult to drink without smoking. Once recovery is introduced those in recovery continue to keep smoking for fear of removing another substance from their daily routine. Local Alcoholics Anonymous meetings commonly have large crowds outside the meeting smoking cigarettes. In alcohol abuse recovery smoking has created a bond between members and is used since it does not get the user high. Since the study has been released many fearing alcohol relapse are beginning to attempt to quit smoking, which many find much more difficult than putting down the drink.

Quitting Smoking Improves Health and Prevents Alcohol Relapse

“Quitting smoking will improve anyone’s health,” says Renee Goodwin, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. “But our study shows that giving up cigarettes is even more important for adults in recovery from alcohol since it could prevent alcohol relapse.” Researchers involved in the study followed 34,653 adults in alcohol abuse recovery. They were assessed at two intervals, three years apart from each other. In the study daily smokers were found two-times more likely to suffer an alcohol relapse compared with nonsmokers.

The Link Between Alcohol Abuse and Smoking Is Hard to Break

Behavioral and neurochemical links between smoking and alcohol are cited as potential causes for the link between smoking and alcohol relapse. For many in alcohol recovery their drinking and cigarette use began at the same time. This would cause a psychological link between the two that could take years to break. Alcoholics who stray away from their treatment plans and 12-step groups and continue to smoke lose the influence of the recovery community and can be pulled towards alcohol relapse by the internal link of cigarettes and alcohol. Many in recovery groups caution people to not quit to many things at once and use thing mantra as a reason to continue nicotine use. Now science has provided unequivocal proof that smoking should be discontinued at the same time as drinking to decrease the risk of alcohol relapse. For those who looking to apply the 12 steps of AA to nicotine, there are Nicotine Anonymous groups with many meetings available in most cities across the US.

Would You Give Your Child Heroin To Remove A Wisdom Tooth?

If You Give Your Child Opiates, They Could Turn to Heroin

These days heroin addiction does not begin in a back alley or in a cheap motel. It starts in a place where we normally go to feel better, the doctor’s office. Over the last several years doctors and dentists have been prescribing oxycodone and other highly addictive opiate based pain medications for minor sports injuries and dental procedures. These young children and teens are becoming addicted and suffer from prescription drug abuse. Once their prescriptions run dry they begin to experience horrible withdrawal symptoms. To get these symptoms to stop they must find an opiate based rug quickly and for that most to heroin.

Provocative Billboards Fight to End Prescription Drug Abuse

Many feel it is the over prescribing of opiates by dentists and doctors that has led to the heroin epidemic effecting so many Americans. In an effort to fight back against the medical professionals reportedly responsible for turning children towards heroin, The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey launched a new advertising campaign called “You Decide Before They Prescribe.” The advertising campaign is aimed at encouraging parents to ask questions about the prescription medication being given to their children. The advertising campaign that was developed to combat prescription drug abuse is one no parent will soon forget.

Would You Give Your Child Heroin for A Broken Arm?

A series of billboards in NY’s time square went up with the giant headline reading…
“Would You Give Your Child Heroin To Remove A Wisdom Tooth?” and “Would You Give Your Child Heroin For A Broken Arm?” The most shocking part about this campaign is that buy now the heroin epidemic has received so much attention that most who see the billboards do not think it is a crazy question to ask. The most troublesome fact surrounding prescription drug abuse is that most people know that the over prescribing by doctors is to blame for the heroin epidemic. The ads put up in Times Square do not serve the purpose of educating the public about how most of toady’s youth become addicted to heroin, but serve as a reminder that will hopefully jar their memory as they sit in the dentist’s office. The jump from the dentists chair to rehab, to the grave is becoming way too frequent.

Will Doctors Learn from The Heroin Billboards?

It has yet to be seen if there will be any back lash from the medical community over the ads that all but say, “Doctors Caused the Heroin Epidemic.” The hope is that they will not fight back against, The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey and instead, stop prescribing opiates on such a large scale. It is not yet known to what extent doctors are still giving out opiates to teen but just last year the director of the CDC noted that more than 40 American die each day from prescription drug abuse, all of the from opiates. Hopefully these billboards will help both doctors and parents get on the same page.

Heroin Abuse and The Negative Health Effects

Heroin Abuse Has Severe Mental and Physical Health Consequences

With the availability of heroin of a higher purity and the swift and drastic decrease in cost to obtain the drug, heroin deaths have ben on the rise nationally. The increase in demand for heroin and the subsequent saturation of the market is doing to the increased appeal and desire for heroin in more affluent communities and areas who historically have remained free of high risk narcotics. Fatalities as a result of heroin abuse get most of the nationally media attention, but the short-term and long-term health risks are going widely unnoticed. In an effort to inform the public of these less talk about dangers we have coordinated with the National Institute on Drug Abuse to bring you the consequences of heroin abuse.

The Short-Term Health Effects of Heroin Abuse

When heroin is injected, or snorted the first effect that takes place is most commonly referred to as a “rush.” The first negative effect of heroin is addiction and it cause this phenomena so quickly because of the speed in which it enters the brain. Other immediate health concerns include dry mouth, a heavy feeling in the arms and legs, nausea, vomiting and intense and persistent itching. A sense of drowsiness accompanies the user impairing motor functions and slowing the nervous system and cardiac functions.

Even after one use breathing can slow to unsafe and fatal levels. Additional, yet less catastrophic effects of heroin abuse include decreased appetite, increased stress, skin abrasions and infections and depression. The short-term health risk of heroin differs in severity from other narcotics. Many of the immediate health effects of heroin show themselves only in the long-term abuse of other prescription and street drugs. These drastic and fatal immediate concerns are what makes heroin such a dangerous chemical.

The Long-Term Health Effects of Heroin Addiction

Another unique concern of heroin abuse is that addiction shows it self both in the short-term and the long-term consequence lists. As a long-term heath concern addiction induces compulsive drug seeking behavior, which brings its own financial, moral, physical dangers. With varying levels of tolerance to the drug, the compulsive behaviors only increase in danger and frequency.

Along with addiction comes the physical dependence to heroin. It is this physical dependence that drives many to seek out addiction programs and even more to continued use. Withdrawal symptoms occur very rapidly in individuals who abuse heroin. The body adapts quickly to relying upon having the drug in its system. This cause the withdrawal symptoms to present themselves the moment or high wears off.

Chronic abusers of heroin also experience collapsed veins, infections of the heart valves, liver and kidney disease. Arthritis, pneumonia and tuberculosis may also occur do to the addicted users poor health conditions. The most common health risks come in the form of hepatitis B and C and HIV derived from sharing injection needles. These diseases are particularly harmful since they can be based on to loved ones and even children.

Addiction programs Offer a Solution

Most of the above heath risk have been proven to be removed or lessened through the participation in addiction programs. These programs promote recovery and enhance the overall health of the person with a history of abusing heroin. Many have seen result after only 28 days while most need continued long-term treatment in an intensive outpatient setting to truly recover.

Can Energy Drinks Be Dangerous for Teens?

Can Energy Drinks Be Dangerous for Teens?

Energy drinks have become widely popular in adolescences. Instead of going for a coffee, they grab an energy drink to give them a boost. When teens are drinking so much energy drinks at a young age does affect the way they consume caffeine? We will talk about what is in energy drinks and how they affect adolescences.

Energy Drinks

energy drinksSoda sales are going down and energy drink companies are taking advantage of this. “In 2013, the energy drink industry was a $20 billion enterprise in 2013 and expected to rush upwards of $21.5 billion by 2017.” Many companies are targeting teenage boys to buy their product. Why have they become so popular? The main reason why people chose to purchase and consume an energy drink is to get an extra boost.

Serving Size

Many of the bottles contain more than one serving, and many people ignore the serving size. All of the drinks from Monster, Rockstar, and 5-Hour energy have 2-4 servings. An average serving size has half the amount of recommended daily caffeine. So when teenagers are consuming a full can, they are consuming almost double of their daily recommend caffeine amount in less than an hour.


  • Caffeine is not the only ingredient to help with the added boost. There are many other ingredients the energy drinks commonly have.
  • Taurine, a natural protein that is safe for adults
  • Sugar, helps increase the energy
  • Ginseng is a natural herbal supplement
  • Carnitine is a supplement known to lead to heart disease
  • Gingko Biloba is an herb that requires specific doses
  • B Vitamins are necessary for the body but when combined with other ingredients can cause nerve damage
  • Artificial sweeteners

When all of these ingredients are combined, they can be more dangerous than helpful. There can be many potential  dangers by overusing energy drinks. Some deaths have even been reported from abusing energy drinks.

A dependency on energy drinks exists can become very dangerous. If you know a loved one that drinks more than one a day, they could be in trouble.

Why is Hepatitis C Spreading Across the US in Record Numbers?

Hepatitis C in America

hep c viral disease

What’s the worst disease you can think of?

Most people would probably say AIDS, cancer, or maybe the avian flu. Not many are going to say hepatitis C.

Guess what though? Hep C is currently spreading across the United States at far greater rates than any of the above.

It isn’t easy to admit, or pleasant to think about, but we’re in the midst of several wars. We’re fighting painkillers, heroin, synthetic drugs like spice and bath salts, and now – Hep C and liver disease.

Some sources are quick to point out that as IV heroin use has exploded, so have cases of Hep C. While the two have a close relationship, there still isn’t definitive proof one way of the other.

What we do know, and what affects people like you and me, is this – hepatitis C infection is up approximately 273% from 2009. Something very bad is going on here.

What is Hep C?

Although it’s often talked about, Hep C isn’t that well understood.

While explaining the ins and outs would take much more space than we have – not to mention, hepatitis C and various treatments are explored here – we’ll give you the basics.

Hep C, also known as HCV, is a viral infection that attacks the liver.


    • It can be symptomatic (showing signs) or asymptomatic (showing no signs)


    • It leads to fibrosis (scar tissue), cirrhosis (a build up of scar tissue on the liver causing major problems), and, in some cases, liver cancer


  • It can be acute (the first six months after becoming infected) or chronic (an HCV infection that last longer than six months. Most instances of HCV are chronic)

hep c liver
Hepatitis C is different from hepatitis A or B. Hep A is spread through contaminated food and water and has a vaccine. Hep B is spread through contact with infected body fluids and also has a vaccine.

HCV, on the other hand, is spread through blood-to-blood contact and has no vaccine. The primary route of infection is through IV drug users sharing needles.

Just How Quickly is Hep C Spreading?

That’s the real question, right? How bad is HCV in America? Find that information and more below:

    • Cases of acute Hep C grew 273% between 2009 and 2013


    • That breaks down to over 19,000 deaths due to HCV in 2013


    • This is up from 16,235 deaths in 2009


    • During early 2015, an average of 48,000 prescriptions were filled per month for Hep C fighting medications (Harvoni, Sovaldi, interferon, etc.)


  • Between 2007 and 2013, heroin use also exploded – rising close to 150%

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

All statistics taken from the Star Tribune.

Since injection drug use is the primary transmission route of HCV and, during the same time period, both Hep C and heroin use increased dramatically – it’s safe to say the two are related.

Officials can’t say whether increased heroin use is the only cause, or even the primary cause, for the drastic increase in Hep C infections. Still, it’s clear the two are linked and having some impact on each other.

What States are Being Hit the Hardest?

Based on the above numbers, it isn’t hyperbole to say we’re in the grip of a hepatitis C outbreak…but what does that look like from the ground? What does it look like in individual states and counties?

Well, again according to the Star Tribune, it looks something like this:

    • The national rate of HCV infection is around .7 per 100,000 people. In Washington County, Maine, the rate is around 6 per 100,000 people.


    • Madison County, in Indiana, had 70 cases of Hep C in 2013. This number increased to 130 in 2014. All of which is to say nothing about Indiana’s HIV outbreak.


    • HCV infection in Massachusetts has grown from 10 new cases in 2009 to 174 in 2013.


    • Kentucky has 5.1 cases of acute Hep C infection per 100,000 people. Remember, the national average is .7 cases per 100,000 people.

iv drug use can cause hcv

  • Hepatitis C is on the rise in Springfield, Missouri. Although exact figures aren’t available, heroin is being seized at around five times the rate it was in 2013. This suggests cases of Hep C will be around five times higher than normal.

What Can We Do?

It’s easy to sit back and say that hepatitis C is on the rise in America. What isn’t so easy, though, is figuring out just what to do to slow it down.

Thankfully, there are a host of new medications that boast upwards of a 90% success rate in curing cases of Hep C. These, mentioned briefly above, are Harvoni, Sovaldi, and other direct protein inhibitors.

viral view of what hep c looks like

The downside to these new meds is their cost. They routinely cost upwards of $100,000 for a full course of therapy. This makes insurance companies wary of giving people the go ahead to take them.

The other major option we have is harm reduction. This is a form of substance abuse treatment aimed at helping addicts to, as the name suggests, reduce the potential harm of addiction.

It’s comprised of techniques like methadone maintenance, syringe exchanges, basic healthcare services, safe injection sites, and others.

Despite offering some major benefits – making sure addicts have access to clean syringes can almost entirely wipe out blood-borne disease like HCV – it’s also controversial and faces steep opposition from many politicians.

Regardless of where you stand on harm reduction, the fact that is can help to reduce the current spread of Hep C is pretty impressive. That’s something we can all agree on.

What do you think about the recent rise in Hep C infections? Let us know on social media.

Is Narcan Coming Soon to a School Near You?

High School Heroin Overdoses

keeping narcan in schools to avoid heroin overdose

It’s the start of the school year. That means parents everywhere are buying their children pencils, notebooks, TI-89 graphing calculators, and opioid overdose kits.

Wait…what? Okay, parents aren’t buying their children overdose kits, but a new trend is emerging in middle and high schools across the country – they’re stocking Narcan.

Narcan, the brand name for the anti-overdose drug naloxone, is a fast acting medication that can completely reverse the effects of a heroin or painkiller overdose in minutes.

In the midst of an ever-growing heroin epidemic, Narcan saves lives. It’s also fairly controversial and not without its fair share of opponents. Still, with heroin and painkillers being used by younger and younger people – Narcan in schools offers some serious benefits.

In fact, the National Association of School Nurses is in support of all schools in the United States stocking up on the drug.

Beth Mattey, their President, had the following to say,

“We’re facing an epidemic…People are dying from drug overdoses, opioid drug overdoses. We need to be able to address the emergency” (The Seattle Times).

Narcan in Schools Isn’t Just for Kids

That’s an important point to make! While the primary purpose of keeping naloxone in schools is keeping our children safe, it’s not just for them.

It can also be used to save the lives of a parent or school employee who overdoses. While it’s scary to think about a student’s mother, father, teacher, or principal using drugs…it does happen.

Not to mention that students in one district in Rhode Island responded favorably to the introduction of Narcan.

Kathleen Gage, a nurse at Pilgrim High School in Warwick, RI, showed juniors in a health class how to administer Narcan and what to do to get it at a local pharmacy. Far from being apprehensive or scared, Gage says students were “…really enthusiastic that this could reverse an overdose, and they would have the tool to do it” (CBS News).

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

What States Have Narcan in Their Schools?

That’s the question, right? Where is this happening? What states have approved Narcan for use in middle and high schools?

Well, so far it’s a small group. As mentioned above, Rhode Island has approved this measure. In fact, all middle, junior high, and high schools are now required to have naloxone in the nurse’s office.

Some districts in Vermont have approved the use of Narcan. Schools in and around Hartford are now stocking the lifesaving medicine. This is after an initial push not to stock the drug.

Delaware recently passed a resolution that allows schools to carry Narcan kits. According to news sources, around forty high schools in the state have received donated auto-injector kits.

Massachusetts is also on board. Nurses in over 200 school districts have been officially trained on how to administer Narcan. Some districts are even keeping the drug on premise.

There are also laws in both New York and Kentucky that allow school officials to carry and administer Narcan on school grounds. While there doesn’t seem to be any official rules regarding stocking the medicine at schools, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

What do you think about allowing schools to stock up or Narcan? Let us know on social media!

“Almost Everything We Think We Know About Addiction is Wrong”

Are We Wrong About Addiction?

substance abuse and human connections

According to bestselling author Johann Hari, we’re very wrong about addiction. In fact, the title of this article is a quote taken directly from Hari’s recent TED Talk about addiction, recovery, and how we treat both.

Hari’s been in and out of the media for several years now, sometimes for good reasons – like this article that’s similar to his talk and challenges how we view substance use – and sometimes for bad. Regardless, he presents an intriguing and nuanced view on a subject that often lacks both.

Hari’s TED Talk was inspiring, raised some thought provoking questions, and challenged almost everything we associate with substance abuse and chemical dependency. It also examined popular intervention strategies and suggested a new approach for helping those struggling with drugs or alcohol.

Find an overview of his talk below, as well as our thoughts on the practicality of Hari’s suggestions. Enjoy!

Learn about the Gloucester approach & how it’s keeping addicts out of jail!

The Experiment That Changed Everything

The generally accepted view of addiction is that if a chemical is addictive enough – heroin, cocaine, meth, etc. – and someone who’s predisposed to addiction through genetics uses that substance – then they will likely become hooked and use until they die or are intervened upon.

That story’s played itself out millions of times throughout history. Go into any treatment center today and you’ll find lots of people who back it up.

But what if it’s wrong?

To highlight this point, Hari talked about a classic experiment that was performed in the early 1900s. It’s one we’ve all heard of. A lab rat was given one water bottle laced with heroin and one water bottle of good, old water. The rat drank from the heroin bottle until it overdosed and died.

what if everything we know about heroin is wrong

Well, a professor named Bruce Alexander challenged that experiment in the 1970s. He created an alternative experiment where it wasn’t a single lab rat being tested, but many. These rats were housed together in a cage full of toys and food. More importantly, they had social connections with each other.

Almost none of them choose the heroin-laced water.

At the same time Professor Alexander was carrying out his rat experiment, the Vietnam War was occurring. According to Hari, almost 20% of US troops in Vietnam were using heroin while deployed.

Stands to reason that when they returned to American soil, we’d have a large drug problem on our hands. Well, that wasn’t what happened. According to Hari, 95% of Vietnam veterans stopped using heroin when they returned home.

Of course, that doesn’t touch on the PTSD and other forms of mental illness many experienced, or the alcoholism that many suffered, but it does serve to back up Professor Alexander’s rat experiment.

In other words – what if everything we know about addiction really is wrong?

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

A New Name for Addiction

Another professor mentioned in Hari’s TED Talk goes by the name of Peter Cohen. Cohen suggests that addiction should be called “bonding” due to the social nature of human beings.

Hari believes that if we don’t bond with people, we’ll end up bonding with something else. He lays this point out explicitly in his talk:

“Human beings have a natural and innate need to bond. And when we’re happy and healthy we’ll bond and connect with each other…But if you can’t do that — because you’re traumatized or isolated or beaten down by life — you will bond with something that will give you some sense of relief. Now that might be gambling, that might be pornography, that might be cocaine, that might be cannabis, but you will bond and connect with something because that’s our nature, that’s what we want as human beings” (Huffington Post).

Interesting stuff. When you look at it along with Professor Alexander’s lab rat experiments, it begs the question – is addiction really just a lack of connection?

While we can’t discount the underlying reasons for addiction – things like genetic predisposition, trauma, and mental illness – there is something to be said for this idea.

are we wrong about addiction

Hari goes on to talk about the War on Drugs and how it actually serves to perpetuate this cycle of isolation and a lack of connection. I’m not going to go into detail on this point – we have no political affiliation or opinions on the matter – but it is interesting to think about.

What happens when addiction & mental illness occur together?

We’re Increasingly Connected & Increasingly Alone

Towards the end of his talk, Hari touches on how technology has made us increasingly connected but also increasingly lonely.

He makes a good point. Almost the entire human race uses the internet and a large portion are on social media. Facebook alone boasts around 1.5 billion active monthly users.

As we’ve become dependent upon social media for our connections – we’ve lost an element of depth and weight to our relationships. Sure, we may have 1,000 Facebook friends, but how many are real friends?

does technology isolate us from each other

Hari uses this logic to suggest that we need to look at fighting and ending addiction – or bonding, if you’d like – as a social task that requires real people, real friends, real relationships, and real connections to be successful.

He brings up an interesting point about how interventions function. At their most basic, interventions are a way for an addict’s loved ones to say “we’ve had enough, either you change or we will no longer do X, Y, or Z.”

While that sort of brinkmanship is effective at getting people into treatment centers, it also creates a large disconnect between offering meaningful emotional connection. Think about it – you’re basically saying “do this or I walk.”

Instead of taking this hardline approach, Hari suggests that we surround someone struggling with connection and love. He suggests we say “you’re not alone, we love you” (Huffington Post).

Fair Enough…But is This Approach Practical?

That sounds great, right? I’m not sure how practical it is though. After all, addicts are master manipulators. I say that as a man in long-term recovery myself.

When I was using, there was nothing I wouldn’t do for more drugs. It took an intervention – it took several actually – to get me into treatment and on the road to recovery.

Which serves to highlight some of the problems I have with Hari’s TED Talk. It all sounds great. It even makes a lot of intellectual sense…but when you’re living in addiction, well, things are a bit different.

I agree with him that we should change how addiction is viewed by society and, in many cases, punished by our judicial systems. I don’t think that love is the answer though.


Now don’t get me wrong – love is vital. Human connection is vital. Friendship and relationships are vital to recovery. Those things don’t exist in active addiction though. I was selfish and self-centered to the core when I was actively drugging and drinking. I couldn’t feel the love and support of my family and friends because I couldn’t feel anything.

I guess what I’m driving at here is that I think a bit of Hari’s approach and a bit of our current, intervention driven approach would work best.

Combining tough love and every other form of love? Combining old relationships with loved ones with new relationship in recovery? Combining real human connections with counseling? Now that sounds like something that could end addiction to me.

What’s Comprehensive Addiction Treatment anyway?

When Is It Time to Quit Smoking and How Can I do It?

What’s Wrong With Smoking While in Recovery?

quitting smoking

Smoking and recovery go hand in hand. Alcoholics and addicts are portrayed in pop culture as cigarette smoking maniacs, even if they’re sober! This depiction is actually pretty accurate.

The American Family Physician Organization states that around 85% of recovering alcoholics smoke, compared to only 25% of the general public. Not only are there more sober smokers, but we seem to smoke more frequently than the non-alcoholic smoker. Well, that makes sense…after all, we’re alcoholics!

Cigarettes serve many purposes beyond appeasing a nicotine addiction. They’re a ritual and part of fellowshipping. They’re the last vice, the one we won’t let go of. Anywhere you find a rehab, you find smokers.

And what’s so wrong with that? If we’ve finally given up drugs and alcohol, do we really have to give up cigarettes? The short answer is no, we don’t. However, if someone does want to quit, how do they know when’s the right time?

 Looking for South Florida’s best drug rehab for women?

How Do You Know When to Quit Smoking?

To put it bluntly, there’s no such thing as a wrong time to quit smoking.

There’s no evidence that suggests quitting smoking in early-recovery will lead to a drug or alcohol relapse. In fact, addiction professionals agree that smoking should be treated like the addiction it is – admit there’s a problem and seek help!

Ultimately, the only people who can determine the right time to quit smoking are the individuals themselves. Anyone in rehab will readily acknowledge that getting sober is a tumultuous, intense, and difficult experience. No one can say what’s right for another person’s recovery, but the attitude regarding smoking in recovery IS often skewed.

Again, there’s NO evidence to suggest quitting cigarettes will lead to a drug or alcohol relapse. There’s NO evidence to suggest that quitting cigarettes is so overwhelming that it can’t be done at the same time as quitting drugs or alcohol.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

How to Quit Smoking

Empowering those in early sobriety to look at smoking cessation is an often ignored aspect of drug treatment.

A holistic approach to health and addiction recovery absolutely includes an honest appraisal of the dangers of smoking. As a final note, it’s important to remember that just like with drugs and alcohol, it’s the individual themself who has to be ready to quit smoking. That time can be immediately or it may be years into sobriety. Whatever the time frame, quitting smoking should be encouraged as an achievable and worthy goal.

It no longer serves us to say that just because we’re in recovery we should continue to smoke. There are a ton of resources and alternatives to cigarettes out there. Like any addiction, the foundation of recovery is built through a commitment to stop and stay stopped, no matter what the circumstances.

Want to get serious about quitting? Visit Tobacco Free Florida

Find Out the Truth: are E-Cig’s Safe?

What’s the Deal, are E-cig’s Safe?

are ecigs safe

Electronic Cigarettes, or E-cig’s for short, are the newest fad to come out in the smoking cessation community. Vaporizer, or vape for short, sales have grown tremendously since 2008. That year there were 50,000 sold, versus the 3.5 million in 2012.

Find out if you’re powerless over smoking

What are E-Cig’s?

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cig’s and vapes, are electric inhalers used to replace tobacco smoking. Vapes use different amounts of nicotine and come in a variety of flavors. There’s no smoke involved, only vapor. They often look like regular tobacco cigarettes. They have the same shape, but are usually much longer, almost like a pen. Vaporizers can also be much thicker and hold large amounts of liquid. These liquid containers can be screwed off, allowing the user to try different flavors, as well as increase and decrease nicotine levels.

An electronic cigarette consists of four main parts: the battery, the atomizer (a wick which absorbs nicotine liquid and is heated by a coil to produce vapor), the cartomizer (a tank which holds nicotine liquid), and the mouthpiece.

What are the Pro’s of E-cig’s?

  • Not smoking tobacco
  • May help to taper off cigarette addiction
  • May be more effective than traditional nicotine replacement methods
  • Has a less toxic make-up than cigarettes
  • Less nicotine than cigarettes
  • Offers similar sensation to smoking cigarettes

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

What are the Con’s of E-cig’s?

  • Not proven to help stop smoking cigarettes
  • Still contain cancer-causing agents
  • FDA found a poisonous liquid in some e-cig’s that claimed to be additive-free
  • Still somewhat harmful to humans
  • Those experimenting with e-cig’s may find themselves moving to cigarettes
  • Addictive
  • Still can cause Heart disease, Asthma, Emphysema, and pregnancy issues

10 Facts about E Cigarettes


E-cigarettes and vapes are becoming increasingly popular. On a positive note, they’re great for the maintenance of nicotine use, and to help quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Many find this method instead easier than using nicotine patches or gum. Being able to have the same sensation as smoking cigarettes is helpful to many e-cig users.

However, the use of e-cig’s and vapes hasn’t been proven to be a completely effective method of quitting cigarettes. People have been able to quit while using e-cig’s and vapes, but have ending up relapsing into cigarettes months, or years, later.

Young people can also be suckered into vaping by it’s fad appeal or attractive flavors. There’s also peer pressure to take into account. Using e-cig’s and vapes may be a gateway to smoking cigarettes for these younger people.

E-cigarettes and vaporizers still contain nicotine and are still dangerous to one’s health over long periods of time. There are numerous studies currently taking place about the health effects of e-cig’s. Also, the legalities of e-cig’s and vapes are being looked into. Right now, nicotine liquid is a largely unregulated market.
The Best Way to Quit Smoking 

This Common Trait May Actually Predict Alcoholism

Blue Eyes = Alcohol Abuse?

Do you have blue eyes? Well, not only were you genetically gifted with a beautiful set of peepers, but you may also be at a higher risk for developing a drinking problem.

blue eyes alcoholic

At least that’s what the latest scientific research suggests. A recent study from the University of Vermont discovered that individuals with blue eyes possess a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.

If you find that a bit strange, well, you’re not alone. Can eye color really aid addiction professionals in determining if someone will grow up to struggle with alcohol abuse? According to Arvis Sulovari, the lead author of this study, it can.

Sulovari said, “This suggests an intriguing possibility — that eye color can be useful in the clinic for alcohol dependence diagnosis” (Pioneer News).

To reach this conclusion, Sulovari and his team examined genetic profiles of over 1,200 people. They then applied filters for individuals with a history of alcohol abuse and of European descent.

Their findings? Individuals with European ancestry and light colored eyes are more disposed to alcohol dependence than individuals from other parts of the world and with other eye colors. Of light colored eyes, those with blue eyes present the highest risk of problem drinking.

This latest study confirms the long held idea that Caucasian Anglo-Saxons are more prone to alcoholism than other races.

Did you know that more Americans have alcohol use disorders than ever before?

What This Mean for Diagnosing Alcoholism

It’d be easy to get carried away with this new information and make blanket statements like “you’re automatically an alcoholic if you have blue eyes.” That sort of over the top reaction helps no one and, in fact, does no good at all.

Rather than falling into hysteria, let’s take a balanced look at what this can tell us about the future of diagnosing alcohol use disorders.

First and foremost, it gives clinicians one more tool in their arsenal. Remember, addiction and mental health professionals aren’t blindly diagnosing someone as an alcoholic because they drink too much. Rather, they have a number of criteria, pulled from the DSM-5, that helps distinguish alcoholism, alcohol abuse, and heavy or binge drinking.

So, if someone is displaying signs of alcoholism, but are “on the fence,” their eye color may help clinicians make a final decision. That’s, ultimately, all this study means.

[BLUECTA title=”Addiction is not a choice!”]866-205-3108[/BLUECTA]

Should I Be Worried if I Have Blue Eyes?

That’s the million-dollar question. Should you be worried if you have blue eyes and like to drink? What about if you have a loved one with blue eyes who might be drinking too much?

The answer is a resounding no! You shouldn’t be worried simply because of something one study said. As mentioned above, this is a great tool for professionals to use to help diagnose alcohol dependence.

The key words there are professionals and help. You’re not a professional, so don’t sweat it! Leave the heavy lifting to the men and women who have made fighting alcoholism and drug abuse their life’s work.

Second, blue eyes and ancestry only help clinicians. They don’t automatically make someone who’s a heavy drinking into an alcoholic. I said that before but it certainly bears repeating.

So, what does this latest study into possible genetic signs of alcohol dependence tell us? Not much more than we already knew. It’s that simple.

Was she fired for drinking too much or something else?

We are here to support you during your time of need and help you make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. Click below to speak to a member of our staff directly.