Addiction is a disorder that is often characterized by constant impulse use and total reliance on substances for pleasure or survival despite fatal consequences.

Addiction is a disorder because it affects the brain and a person’s willpower or sense of control. This implies that often people who get addicted to substances do not have control over their desire to use.

It often begins with the voluntary use of substances due to certain reasons like peer pressure, or to achieve a goal such as relieving stress.

However, the use of these substances sends a signal to the brain and reduces the level of dopamine in the brain. It affects the ability to control the use of drugs which leads to compulsive reliance on drugs.

People get addicted to substances due to various factors referred to as “risk factors”. Risk factors comprise biological, environmental, psychological, and developmental factors. They are those factors that put a person at a greater risk of becoming addicted to substances than another.

  • Biological factors:

Factors relating to genetics, gender, ethnicity, or mental disorders can contribute to why people get addicted to substances. The genetic makeup of a person and the effects environmental factors have on a gene expression constitutes 40 to 60 percent of the risk of addiction.

  • Environmental factors:

The family, school, and neighborhood are environmental factors that can increase the risk of substance addiction.

If a child grows up with parents who use substances, he will likely suffer addiction in the future. Also, having friends who are into substance use can influence a person to start using too.

  • Developmental factors:

A person will be at a high risk of getting addicted to substances if he starts using them early in life before age 18-25. The drugs can harm the brain as it is still developing.

Is a Faith-based Addiction Treatment Facility Right For You or Your Loved One?

Finding the right alcohol and drug treatment and recovery program for you or a loved one is no easy task. The search becomes more complicated if you are looking for a Christ-centered or faith-based program where the patient’s faith leads their journey to recovery. 

In our society spirituality is at the core of many families. So spiritual beliefs can be powerful motivators in the fight against drug and alcohol addiction. If you or someone you love is a Christian looking for help to win the battle against alcohol or drug addiction, if you keep the following in mind it will help in your search for a faith-based rehabilitation program.

Christians are better helped by a rehab center that integrates teachings from the Bible into their program delivery. Every treatment facility’s approach to faith-based methods vary. It is critical that the treatment options are well-aligned with your religious beliefs and are customized to your unique needs. 

Since the patient’s spiritual beliefs will be at the center of a faith-based rehabilitation, the patient has chance to fully surrender their struggles with addiction at the feet of God who is all-powerful and cultivate fellowship with other Christians. 

In general, faith-based rehab programs seamlessly combine their spiritual components of the therapy with evidence-based therapy methods. This integrated style of treatment provides an opportunity to achieve healing in a profound and spiritual manner. Experience shows that when people surrenders their addiction and struggles to a power higher than themselves, it strengthens their resolve to find healing from the addiction, and also help them from back sliding into the old patterns of substance abuse. Patients who join faith-based centers that support their religious beliefs experience healing in a way that is impactful and long-lasting. They often achieve a sense of freedom and restoration that they may not get from a general program.

Each addiction treatment and recovery facility that uses faith-based treatment approach is different in how they organize their interventions. But, most will have a combination the following components:

  • Daily prayer, worship services
  • Bible study groups
  • Meetings with pastors, priests, or chaplains
  • Bible journaling 
  • Adult coloring with scriptures 
  • Meditation
  • Therapy sessions with Christian counselors
  • Group sessions led by a Christian counselors

Before committing yourself or someone you love to a faith-based treatment facility, it is also important to ask questions to find out specific routines to see if you are okay with them. For example, some centers will require prayer or worship services at specific times. Some will require attendance. 

Above all, please pray for God’s guidance to lead you to make the right decision and to guide you in the recovery journey. 

Horse-Assisted Therapy: Does it Work for Addiction Treatment?

If you witnessed a loved one struggle with an addiction you know the burden it puts on a person’s mind, body, and spirit. It has been noticed by experts that one reason people tend to be caught in the cycle of addiction is the damaged or dented view of themselves. 

Though it is not true, it happens so often. Those grappling with drug or alcohol abuse tend to think they are “too far gone,” and don’t deserve a chance to recover. 

There are a number of ways to approach addiction treatment. The most effective and high-quality care would include a variety of options, including traditional and alternative therapies. In recent years, there has been an increase of complementary therapies and wholistic approaches that take patients outside of a traditional, clinical setting.

Equine Therapy, also known as Horse-Assisted Therapy, has evolved as an interesting alternative approach to addiction treatment. 

This form of therapy involving horses allows patients to create a positive sense of self that is responsible, useful, and accepted. In fact, for quite a long time this method is being successfully used for people with a variety of mental illnesses including depression, anxiety and eating disorders. 

More recently, several addiction recovery centers in the United States and Canada offer rehab programs that include equine therapy. These facilities noticed that patients who participate in horse-assisted therapy are more likely to complete treatment and stay engaged throughout their recovery process.

This could be because this form of therapy offers the person recovering from addiction an opportunity to feel useful, motivated, and connected to the bigger picture of their life. This treatment option seems to be especially helpful for those who have a treatment goal of improving relationships and building personal responsibility.

One point to note is that the Horse-Assisted therapy is not about riding horses. It is actually interacting with horses and, as strange as it may seem, working through emotions such as resentment, fear, anger, sadness, resentment, joy and peace. 

According to experts, horses mirror human feelings and facilitates us to get in touch with our emotions. Horses respond to people around them through non-verbal signals. In the context of addiction therapy, these signals help the patients to learn and better understand themselves. This is the key factor in the healing process because many patients avoid feeling their emotions for a long time and are not sure how to effectively manage them anymore.  

There is something magical about horses. It is possible that patients not familiar with horses could be skeptics at first but those who tried usually say that once they get started interacting with the horses, their doubts disappear.

It is also important to note that sustaining sobriety is a tough journey, and while long-term success can be built on therapies such as this, long term results are achieved by a strong support network, including aftercare services.

Tips for Overcoming Addiction

Addiction is strong. It is like a rope that just takes a hold of you and won’t let you go. And, even if you want to get rid of your addiction, it usually isn’t just as easy as saying you are giving it up.

Plenty of things trigger an addiction and those same things can also keep encouraging it. So, oftentimes, committing to overcoming your addiction also means doing a complete overhaul of your life.

You have to decide to make a few changes such as:

  1. How you deal with stress – without relying on drugs or alcohol.
  2. Who you allow into your life – bad influences can easily bring you down.
  3. What you do in your free time – boredom is when addiction can easily creep back in.
  4. How you think about yourself – self-hate can easily make you run right back to addiction to take your mind off things.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can overcome addiction with a little work and dedication. And, the first steps to making a change is determining exactly what steps need to be taken:

  1. Explore your treatment options.

    Treatment is the most effective way to overcome addiction as it offers professional help and resources you might not otherwise have access to.

    Check out what is in your area and even outside of to see what might work best for you. Finding a treatment option that you will like can make all the difference when it comes to recovery.

  2. Determine what stands in your way.

    What are the obstacles standing between you and recovery? Is it that you really don’t want to get better, is it that you don’t have the resources – or feel like you don’t?

    You have to address those obstacles so then you can address how to overcome them.

  3. Ask those you love the most for advice. 

    Sometimes, the harshness of our loved ones can be painful. But, it can also be just what you need to help you make that move in the right direction.

    Ask those around you what they think about your addiction and why they would like you to get help. You never know, they might say exactly what it was that you needed to hear.

  4. Follow through.

    This is probably one of the hardest steps.  But, once you decide to make that change, follow through. Do whatever it takes to reach that next step and to hit each milestone.

Cocaine 101: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to drugs, there are various different ones on the market that plague our streets- from alcohol to marijuana to cocaine. While all drugs are clearly harmful to the body and they are addictive, it is still important to note the various facts between the drugs.

In this article, I will discuss the ins and outs of cocaine. One of the best ways to help avoid yourself or someone else getting addicted to drugs is to first be knowledgeable about them.

What is cocaine?

Cocaine is a very powerful and very addictive drug. People commonly recognize cocaine from the coca leaves (Erythroxylon coca) that people in South America have been chewing on for thousands of years.

The leaves themselves provide the stimulant effects of the drug, but people have since developed a purified chemical, cocaine hydrochloride, which was isolated from the plant more than 100 years ago.

Cocaine is now a Schedule II drug. A Schedule II drug means that it has a high potential for abuse but it can still be administered by a doctor for legitimate medical uses if needed – such as for throat surgeries, eat surgeries, or ear surgeries.

But, when it is on the street, cocaine is a fine, crystalline, white powder. And, it also has several other street names such as powder, blow, C, coke, or snow. Furthermore, street dealers often dilute the substance by mixing it with other drugs…

While this makes it cheaper for them, it just makes it that much more dangerous for those who are using and abusing it.

How is cocaine used?

The primary methods of cocaine administration include intravenously, inhalation, intranasally, or orally.

But, the method of administration does not make the drug not dangerous. All methods pose serious health risks to those who take abuse the drug.

What are the effects of cocaine?

The effects of cocaine addiction range from short-term to long-term effects. But, the issue with drugs is that you never know which of the side effects will affect you. It could affect you the first time, the third time, or the one-hundredth time – that is the problem, you never know when or to what severity.

A few of the common side effects of cocaine include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, elevated body temperature, headaches, cardiac arrest, seizure, and even death.

Does any of that sound pleasant?

If you are worried someone you know might have a drug addiction, talk to them about the negative side effects of common drugs like cocaine.

Alcohol: America’s No. 1 Problem

When we think of addiction, drugs and alcohol are likely the first two things that come to mind. And, especially amid the opioid epidemic that has spread across the globe. But, addiction is not just specific in nature to drugs…

In fact, alcohol is actually what the No. 1 problem in America is. Rather it is because of stress, just because that is all they have ever known or some other various reason – several people around the world turn to alcohol to help them “solve” their problems.

But, many people also do this in silence.

An estimated 16 million people in the United States alone can be diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcholism.

Alcoholism is such a common issue among our population because:

  1. It is easily and readily available.
  2. The age of onset for most people.
  3. The societal acceptance of alcohol as a whole.

Underage drinking also greatly contributes to the issue of alcoholism in our society. All too often, young people get a hold of alcohol and abuse it. And, sadly, they grow to have a dependence on this toxic substance.

Of course, there is an age restriction on alcohol, but that doesn’t stop most people from finding a way…

So, with it being such an evident problem in our society, it is important to know how you can help protect those you know and love.

Here are a few signs that someone you know might have a problem with alcohol:

  1. They just can’t put the bottle down.

    This seems like an obvious sign, but it might actually be one that is more subtle. Someone might have an alcohol problem if they don’t know when it is time to call it quits.

    For example, every time you go out they are always the friend that drinks too much.

  2. They have been in legal trouble as a result of their alcohol.

    Even the smallest of problems can be detected with a DUI. Oftentimes, people who drink frequently become comfortable with themselves in that state.

    And, as a result, they often feel comfortable enough to drive… Drunk.

  3. They have hurt themselves or someone else while drinking. 

    It might be one too many bar fights, or it might be domestic abuse. But, if violence and alcohol are involved – and especially if the incident has happened on several occasions – then it is likely that the common denominator is the cause…

Alcohol might appear as just a social thing, but it can easily become a real problem.

The Most Common Addiction Replacements

In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of staying aware of your surroundings and how an addiction replacement can so quickly creep in.

Just because your addiction is now shopping instead of alcohol or eating instead of smoking does not make it a healthy habit. So, you have to keep track of yourself and ensure that you are not just replacing one addiction with another.

Of course, like we mentioned in our last blog post, you are not doomed to a life of addiction, but some people are more prone to addiction as they naturally have an addictive personality. And, you can easily pick up another addiction without even noticing it. But, that is like taking one step back in the wrong direction instead of making progress.

And, aside from tracking anything you fear might be becoming an addiction, you should also be aware of what the most common addiction replacements are so you know the main things to be aware of:


A study done in 1993 found that individuals who emerged from drug or alcohol rehab were more likely to spend more time working. While working is a positive thing, you need to know when to take a step back.

Overworking could cause you additional stress which could cause you to fall back into your previous drug or alcohol addiction.


Gambling is another major addiction people face, and it can easily be substituted for a previous addiction. It is fun and gives people the same kind of rush that drugs or alcohol might give.


Believe it or not, some recovering addicts can turn to sex as their new addiction. While sexual intimacy is natural and part of a healthy relationship, it can also pose a threat to someone who is newly sober.

Sexual intimacy releases dopamine – the happy hormone – and can easily become just as addictive as drugs or alcohol. And, an addiction to sex can lead to promiscuity which can lead to an entirely new realm of things that could potentially be harmful to a recovering addict.

These three common addiction replacements are just a few. Other actions that pose a threat include smoking, overeating, and exercise.

Remember, too much of anything can be harmful. Yes, exercise is good, but even too much exercise could be a bad thing. And, just about anything can become an addiction – especially to someone who naturally has an addictive personality.

Are You Just Replacing Your Addiction?

We replace things in our life often – we replace our favorite running shoes when they get worn out, we replace our car when it is too old to run anymore or we just simply want a new one, we replace our dishes when they break. All of this stuff is knowingly replaced; we make the decision to go to the store and get a new one because of some obvious reason – either it is worn out or broken or we just want a new one.

But, then there are also times when we replace something unknowingly, too. You might stop doing one thing and begin doing another as a replacement for your old habits but not even realize it. And, while of course, it is good that you ditched the other habit, the one you’ve replaced it with might become just as problematic.

This act of replacement is common with addicts and recovering addicts. For example, the drinker who decides to ditch all alcohol might become a compulsive shopper. Or, the smoker who ditches the nicotine might become an overeater. But, the issue with this is that they have just replaced their addiction with another addiction…

Rather than overcoming addiction altogether. And, furthermore, their new addiction could be just as damaging to them, maybe just in a different way.

So, they might not be an alcoholic anymore, but they might be up to their ears in debt because of their new shopping habits. Or, they might not be a chain smoker anymore but they might now be obese because of their poor eating habits.

And, just replacing one addiction with another is not healthy – it is not any different than just keeping your original addiction in the first place.

But, this does commonly happen with recovering addicts because they are looking for something to keep their mind off of what they are quitting.

This is why it is important to find healthy and productive things to do and to always be aware of when something has become too much. You are not doomed to a life of addiction, but it does take constant effort to avoid it.

Start by finding productive activities that you can participate in to help keep your mind busy. Then, it might help to make note of how often you are doing something. For example, if you fear that shopping might become an addiction, make a note of when you are going shopping and what for.

Keeping track of your actions is one of the best ways to avoid another addiction.