Advice for Living Sober in Chicago | Stairway to Freedom

Identifying your Addictive Personality

Addictive PersonalityWhat is an addictive personality?

What are signs of the signs and do you have it? These are the important questions to answer when beginning on the road to recovery.

The road to sobriety is lengthy and requires many steps. First, it’s important to recognize your weaknesses, and pinpoint when and how the addiction began. Unfortunately, an issue regarding addictions is that once becoming addicted to one substance, it is likely that another one will follow. Therefore, in order to win your battle against the addiction, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the research on addictive personalities, and its causes and symptoms.

What is an Addictive Personality?

While there is no exact definition for an addictive personality, medical professionals have established different criteria to help answer this question. Michael Weaver, a medical director at the University of Texas, writes that the majority of addictive personalities stem from a combination of one’s genetic makeup, the environment in which they reside and their past addiction history.

Another school of thought, is an addictive personality is the excessive need to perform a particular action constantly, which alters a person’s mind and makes their day-to-day life much more difficult without it.

Signs of an Addictive Personality

Mark Griffiths, a PHD behavioral addiction professor, classified a few different symptoms relating to having an addiction. Griffiths said that:

  1. If the action of addiction conflicts with other relationships and activities. 
  2. If one has withdrawal symptoms when away from the addiction.
  3. If there’s a gradual increase in tolerance of the substance.
  4. If use of the behavior in question alters their mood.

Griffiths believes that these 4 scenarios are calling cards for assistance regarding a person’s current and growing addiction.

Other signs of an addict include:

  1. Constant lying about their medications and behavior.
  2. Claiming the actions or substances are healthy and necessary.
  3. The behavior soothes discomforting situations.
  4. Feelings of guilt are experienced after indulging in the action or behavior.
  5. An inability to stop and in following guidelines that you have set for yourself.

Do you have an Addictive Personality?

Luckily, there are many resources available to help everyone answer this question. Some clues could be:

  1. Genetics.
  2. Prior addictions.
  3. Certain personality traits, having lots of excitement, impulsivity, an inability to quit.
  4. Other mental disorders, ie. depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, PTSD, anxiety.
  5. High levels of dopamine.

Additionally, there are various quizzes on the web that help people self-diagnose themselves. If interested, here is one short examination that can help you in your road to recovery. 

The Next Step:

If you find yourself stuck in an addiction, you shouldn’t feel alone or afraid. Almost 21 million Americans are addicted to at least one commodity, however only 10% of them receive treatment for it. “The important thing to remember is that your personality doesn’t determine your fate” Michael Weaver says, “You can get help and lead a successful, productive life.” “The first step”, Weaver builds on, “is acknowledging the potential problem and asking yourself whether you have an addictive personality.” 

Asking for help isn’t something to be ashamed of, in fact, it’s a necessity of life. Luckily for the people of Chicago, Stairway 2 Freedom Sober Living is the place to inquire. We are established in helping people pass over their hurdles, and assist them in moving forward. Don’t let an addiction take over your life, let it become an obstacle of the past.

Recommended Books on Addiction and Recovery (2019)

Recommended Books on Addiction and Recovery

Recovering from addiction is a process. There’s so much to learn, whether it’s about yourself or ways to help you recover and create healthy habits to make sure you don’t fall off the wagon again. And once you get your life back on track, the journey is not over. You’ve won half the battle and now you must maintain the life practices and habits to win the war. Here are five recommended books about addiction and recovery that can help educate and inspire.

1) A Million Little Pieces, James Frey

This semi-fictional book has the accolades and notoriety, having sold over 2 million copies and was selected in the prestigious Oprah’s Book Club in 2005. The story is told through the eyes of James Frey, a 23 year-old drug abuser and alcoholic who gives us a glimpse of his journey to recovery as he recalls his days at a rehab clinic. This book doesn’t come without controversy. After an appearance on the Oprah Show, it was revealed through journalistic investigation that the originally marketed memoir contained false claims and stretched truths. Despite the accusations, the book has an inspiring narrative that anyone can enjoy and apply to their own life.

2) My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean, by Amy Dresner

If you’re looking for a good laugh just as much as you’re looking for a good story, this is the book for you. Amy takes us through her sex, alcohol and drug addictions through hilarious anecdotes and is as honest and raw as it gets. Dresner herself is a stand-up comedian and a columnist for, an outlet we mentioned in our previous blog.

3) The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Bessel Van Der Kolk M.D.

Traditionally, addiction treatment has focused on the healing of the mind and spirit. In this book, Dr. Van Der Beek explores the physical aspects of recovery, focusing on scientific evidence to explore how trauma affects the drug and alcohol use has on the body and brain. He also dives into a number of physical exercises that can help rejuvenate the brain’s neuroplasticity. This book is recommended for people looking for a fresh perspective on recovery.

4) The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath, Leslie Jamison

This is a popular memoir amongst recovering addicts and is regarded as a must-read within the sober community. The Author of multiple New York Times Best Sellers, Leslie Jamison takes us through a time in her personal life where she was dealing with addiction recovery. Legendary author Stephen King descirbed the book as, “An honest and important book . . . Vivid writing and required reading.”

5) Recover to Live: Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction: Your Self-Treatment Guide to Alcohol, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Gambling, Hoarding, Smoking, Sex and Porn, Christopher Kennedy Lawford

If you’re looking for a book with a ton of professional advice from credible sources, look no farther than this book. Lawford brings in over 100 addiction experts who specialize in everything from alcohol and drugs to gambling and sex. He’s spent over 25 years in the recovery field and has a strong desire to help anyone looking to recover from addiction. It is known for being one of the most comprehensive books on recovery and addiction to date.

Whether it’s your own life or a loved ones, learning about addiction and recovery can help speed up and/or maintain the process. The first hand stories above by recovering addicts and scientists passionate about the subject can hopefully inspire and educate for generations to come.

Ready to start your recovery?

These recommended books on addiction and recovery are only the beginning of your journey to a healthier, happier you. Schedule a consultation and tour of Stairway to Freedom Sober Living in Chicago now.

Top Sober Living Resources (2019)

The first step on the path to recovering from addiction is becoming self-aware. Whether it’s for your family or yourself, it is critical to know there are issues that need to be resolved.

It’s important to have that moment where a person shifts their mentality from being in denial of the problem at hand to being open to making a full-hearted effort in making a change and get back on the right track.

Sometimes, people don’t have access to certain resources or don’t know where to turn to when they begin the road to recovery. Below, you’ll find a nice introduction to a few blogs and living resources that can help provide words of encouragement, a vocal outlet, sober living tips and/or other things that can help someone recover from an addiction.

Resources for Sober Living (2019 Edition)

Sober Living Resources


1) Getting sober and sober living Reddit page

This reddit page has almost 5,000 subscribers and provides a safe, ego-free way to have an open discussion on just about anything that deals with sobriety, from the beginning stage of realizing you need help, to relapse, to full-blown recovery and significant sobriety milestones. The page is extremely positive and negative comments or posts get taken down by moderators. People who post positive things about where they are at with their sobriety will be championed by the reddit community and gives you that emotional support beyond friends and family. If you ever need inspiration or talk about something that’s been on your chest for a while, this page is the one for you.

2) Tempest Sobriety School

A former addict herself, Holly Glen Whitaker founded Tempest Sobriety School, formally known as Hip Sobriety, in 2012 to help provide help seekers with, “resources, tools, education, roadmaps, and inspiration that helped me navigate my own recovery.” Content includes every type of 21st century medium such as blogs, newsletters, podcasts and even digital courses that help with addiction.

3) The Fix

With over 16,000 followers on Twitter and 127,000 like on Facebook, the Los Angeles-based The Fix is one of the most popular sober living resources on social media. This outlet covers an array of sober living and lifestyle resources using traditional journalism such as breaking news, investigative reporting and exclusive interviews. The outlet also has an open forum that allows free discussion on just about any form of addiction. The Fix reviews rehab centers in case you were wondering what the best facility might be for you and your addiction.

4) Memoirs of an Addicted Brain

If you’re looking for a blog or resource that dives into psychological and physical nuances, this blog is for you. Marc Lewis, the founder of Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, is a neuroscientist, author and retired professor of developmental psychology. His 2011 book, “Memoirs of an Addicted Brain,” is a story about his personal addiction to alcohol and drugs ranging from amphetamines to psychedelics, and offers professional analysis and advice through a study of his own self. The site also offers his printed articles as well as psychotherapy for people looking to kick their habit, which includes a free consultation.

The internet can be full of dark places and host a web of misinformation that can spread like wildfire. Knowing what to information to absorb and what to ignore is an underrated skill one must have when surfing the internet. You don’t have to go through the recovery process alone, there’s plenty of people just like you, on the road to recovery, looking for resources to help them live a better life. Finding the right resources is a good start.

Start on your personal road to recovery – request a consultation at one of our Chicago sober living facilities today.

Opioid Abuse: Deadly Statistics To Know

Statistics on Opioid Abuse

While some research reports indicate that the opioid crisis is beginning to level off, for millions the opiod problem is only getting wrose and the impact will undoubtedly be felt for generations.

Now is the time, however, to turn around and ascend the stairway to freedom, unshackling yourself or your loved ones from the chains of this devastating epidemic.

The more that everyone knows about opioid abuse and opioid addiction (and the steps to opioid recovery) the easier it will be to change course. Consider the following statistics on opioid abuse and the devastating impact it has already had on our communities.

  • The probability of dying from opioids has surpassed the likelihood of being killed in a car crash (National Safety Council).
  • Opioids contributed to the overwhelming majority – 69 percent – of fatal drug overdoses in 2016, totalling 37,814 deaths, according to the NSC.
  • In 2017, the number of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioids and illegal opioids like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl) was 6 times higher than in 1999. (Annual Review of Public Health)
  • On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose (National Center of Health Statistics)
  • In 2016, health care providers across the US wrote more than 214 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication—a rate of 66.5 prescriptions per 100 people.
  • The CDC estimates the total economic burden of prescription opioid misuse in the US is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of health care, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.
  • The U.S. could have 81,700 opioid overdose deaths per year by 2025

These are scary numbers but there are steps that we can all take to minimize and prevent these problems from getting worse. Improving access to prevention, treatment, and recovery support services is the best way prevent the many health, social, and economic ills that are caused by opioid addiction and enable individuals to start out on the road to long-term recovery.

Advancing the practice of pain management to enable access to high-quality, evidence-based pain care that reduces the burden of pain for individuals, families, and society while also reducing the inappropriate use of opioids and opioid-related harms.

For those struggling now with opioid addiction, the best course of action is to review the steps to recovery and join a sober living community in Chicago that is committed to your success. Learn more about sober living at Stairway to Freedom and get started today on the road to recovery.


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