Is Substance Use the Treatment or the Disease?


Editor’s Note: Most of us seem to believe that alcoholism is a kind of treatment: an attempt to resolve an underlying trauma or a “spiritual void” and not, initially at any rate, a “disease” of the brain. Is that correct? If not, why the emphasis, for example, on dealing with “character defects”? This … Continue reading

Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention

Water Lily

Editor’s Note: As you are probably aware, we are working on putting together The Practical Book: Tools We Find Helpful in Recovery. Many people find that meditation is one of those tools. In fact, three people have chosen that as their topic for the book. Today we are sharing an … Continue reading

Ayahuasca and Addiction


Over the past two decades there has been renewed interest in the therapeutic use and potential healing effects of psychedelics. Much has been written about that of late, including an article published in the New Yorker earlier this year: The Trip Treatment. Of particular interest have been plant medicines such … Continue reading

The Buddha and Bill W.

The Buddha

By Regina Walker Originally published on March 3, 2015 in The Fix. AA is often accused of being a Christian cult, but it has a lot more in common with Buddhism than many may realize. Consider the eight-part program laid down in Buddhism: Right view, right aim, right speech, right … Continue reading

Al-Anon Agnostica


By Lisa M. Hi, my name is Lisa and I am not an alcoholic. I am, however, the daughter, the ex-wife and the mother of alcoholics. I was raised in a house with a father who drank. No surprise, my first husband also drank. I had accepted drinking excessively as the … Continue reading

AA as “stealth Buddhism”

buddha wallpaper

By Thom L I’ve sometime heard at meetings in western Massachusetts that AA is “stealth Buddhism”. I like to think of the historical Buddha as one of the first addictions counselors. He observed that the “dissatisfaction / anguish” we all experience in life is a result of our cravings, and … Continue reading

Recovery: Climbing out of Plato’s Cave

Plato's Cave

By Peg O’Connor Originally published on January 8, 2012, in The Stone, a section of the New York Times. Reposted with Permission. Philosophy is one of the oldest areas of inquiry. Out of control behavior fueled by alcohol and other drugs is one of the world’s oldest problems. What could these … Continue reading

SMART Recovery

Smart Recovery

By Jim Braastad Smart Recovery Distance Training Coordinator A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to represent SMART Recovery® in a panel discussion “Alternative Recovery Models” at the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies in Center City, Minnesota. Each panelist responded to five questions. What follows is my response … Continue reading

Buddhism and the 12 Steps


By Roger C. There would appear to be much in common between Buddhist thought and the 12 Step recovery program practised by some in AA. A number of books have made the connection between them. Three of the more popular ones include Kevin Griffin’s work, One Breath at a Time: … Continue reading

Recovery Capital

Recovery Capital

Nourishing and Toxic Attitudes in Recovery By Allen Berger, Ph.D. © 2014 Recovery capital is a relatively new concept in the field of recovery. Our recovery capital is determined by the number of external and internal assets that we have which support recovery. External assets are things like having a … Continue reading


LifeRing Image

By Mahala Kephart LifeRing Board of Directors A Clever, Reassuring Device It seems to me that the Higher Power notion can work if you absolutely don’t think about it. It’s a clever, bright, reassuring device. Just shut your eyes tight, believe it, and don’t ask questions. Once you lift the … Continue reading