Addiction is a physical and mental illness where a person compulsively uses a substance or repeats a behavior, such as sex or gambling, despite negative consequences. It is frequently, but not always, a result of using substances or unhealthy behaviors to cope with trauma, mental illness, stress or feelings of social ostracization. Science shows that addiction is tied to the rewards system in the brain and the “pleasure” response tied to dopamine.
There are many paths to recovery, including peer groups, counseling, medication and the replacement of destructive habits with positive ones such as exercise, meditation, self improvement and social involvement with friends, family or community.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline, TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
The NASAIC has a listing of drug and alcohol treatment centers for every level of treatment. You can call, live chat or fill out a contact form to talk with staff who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The National Intervention Referral network is a resource to use when looking for information on and help with interventions with alcohol and drug problems. You can contact the trained staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to talk with them about the intervention process and to get treatment referrals.
This hotline is a resource and referral hotline staffed by trained counselors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, who respond to questions about family and school problems, pregnancy, suicide, chemical dependency, and sexual and physical abuse. They also have a chat room.
NCADD provides assistance to those who need help and guidance confronting alcohol or drug dependence, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Text “Listen” to 741-741
This crisis text line is similar to a traditional hotline in that teens are connected to trained counselors, but instead of talking, you text. They provide assistance for any type of crisis, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Addiction Inbox: This site bills itself as a review of the, “The Science of Substance Abuse”. The author writes clear, accessible summaries of the latest alcohol and drug addiction studies.
The Fix: Blog all about recovery lifestyle and news with personal essays, celebrity news and write ups of the latest addiction studies. Unfortunately it is owned by a for profit addiction treatment center with a bad reputation. Our advice is to ignore the rehab reviews and ads, enjoy the articles.
Hip Sobriety: A site by Holly Glenn Whitaker, an addict who did not want to recover through AA and found outpatient treatment to expensive to afford. She created her own program of recovery and has set herself up as a sobriety coach with a blog all about recovery.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: This site is the gold standard for the latest medical news on alcoholism and recovery. In addition to the blog, the site is full of clear, concise descriptions of medical and psychological conditions related to alcoholism.
Parents Of An Addict: An Addict in Our Son’s Bedroom is about the journey of addiction recovery from the perspective of the family. It is highly recommended to family members, parents in particular, of addicts.
Recovery 2.0: Tommy Rosen is a popular author, life coach and addict in recovery with 25 years of sobriety. On his site he hosts a podcast where he interviews doctors, counselors, nutritionists and spiritual teachers about recovering from addiction.
ShatterProof: Nonprofit of doctors, executives, addiction specialists and people affected by substance abuse dedicated to ending the devastation caused by addiction. They are focused on policy changes as well as personal essays to raise awareness of how addiction impacts peoples’ lives.
The Sobriety Collective: “Living, breathing community of awesome people in recovery (from substance use disorder/mental health concerns), making contributions in music, film, writing, fashion, technology, beauty, business, comedy, photography/art, philanthropy, education, fitness.”