Causes of Addiction

There are no specific causes of any addiction aside from use of a substance or activity, and there is no way to predict who will become dependent on use.

Any substance or activity that has the capacity to be pleasurable can provide the conditions for addiction.

All addictions impact various neural circuits of the brain, including those related to reward, motivation, and memory.

Recent posts on Addiction

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Here’s How Stress Recalibrates Your Brain

Stress creates feelings that we sometimes deal with in maladaptive ways.
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How Can You Know if You’re Depressed?

By Richard Taite on December 09, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
Though we’ve come a long way in the treatment of mental illness, there still is not consensus on the diagnosis and treatment of even the most common metal illnesses.

Compulsive Spending: What You Need to Know

At this time of year when shopping has essentially become a national tradition, it's important to understand when shopping and spending reach compulsive levels.

From Client to Counselor

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on December 09, 2016 in Minority Report
I grew up in a traditional Chinese immigrant household which stressed the virtues of collectivism, harmony, and honor. In a way, my upbringing shaped my sex addiction.

Stop Obsessing or Fixating With a Fast Cognitive Technique

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on December 08, 2016 in Insight Is 20/20
One cognitive technique takes only a minute or two to do, and it can reroute your mood and thinking instantly. Why stay stuck in a bad mood or fixated on something negative?

Why Drinking When You're Stressed Is Risky Business

By David DiSalvo on December 08, 2016 in Neuronarrative
Here’s something to keep in mind as the holidays unfold: If you drink alcohol when you’re stressed, you may be flipping a switch that makes heavier drinking all the more likely.

Family and Depression During the Holiday

Preparing for holiday stress can make it less so

The Psychology of Financial Dominatrixes

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on December 08, 2016 in In Excess
There have been an increasing number of media reports about women who demand money from men who in turn get sexual pleasure from the activity. But why?

Does Free Will Exist?

Reasonable people can disagree on whether neuroscience casts doubt on free will.
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When Heroin Comes Home

By Lybi Ma on December 05, 2016 in Brainstorm
Being addicted to pain meds is like having an invader with OCD inside your brain. Guest post by Jacqueline Sheehan.

Coming Home From War and Metallica’s “Confusion”

By William Irwin Ph.D. on December 04, 2016 in Plato on Pop
Though mercifully few of us have PTSD or have done a tour of duty in a combat zone, we have all been scarred. Life is a return from battle.

Embracing the Cs and More

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on December 03, 2016 in A Family Affair
Is your loved one breaking your heart? Courage, compassion, and community can help you cope.
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What You Should Know Before Filling Your Prescription

By Richard Taite on December 02, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
If you are thinking of getting a prescription to help control your anxiety, consider other tools or skills you could develop to help alleviate your suffering.
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Medical Treatment Shouldn’t Limit Second Amendment Rights

There is a complication to marijuana legalization: Handgun ownership privileges are denied to those who use marijuana.

Workaholism and Psychiatric Disorders

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on December 01, 2016 in In Excess
There has been an increasing amount of research into workaholism but was is the relationship between work addiction, ADHD, OCD and depressions?

Like Kryptonite for Kratom

By Mark Borigini M.D. on November 30, 2016 in Overcoming Pain
The American Kratom Association (aka, AKA) raised $400,000 from its newly motivated membership—its usual intake being $80,000 a year—to fund an army of lobbyists and keep kratom.

All I Want for Christmas Is a Pony

By Tracy P Alloway Ph.D. on November 30, 2016 in Keep It in Mind
Is impulsive buying and shopping stressing you out this holiday season?
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Analysis: How the AASECT Sex Addiction Statement Was Created

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on November 30, 2016 in Standard Deviations
An Insider's Perspective Behind the Scenes of AASECT's Historic Sex Addiction Statement.

Failure to Launch Syndrome

By Jeffery S. Smith M.D. on November 30, 2016 in Healing and Growing
There are many "causes," but one real reason stands out to explain today's epidemic of young adults who remain stuck in life.
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AASECT Releases Historic Position Statement on Sex Addiction

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on November 29, 2016 in Standard Deviations
AASECT, the national sex therapy certifying organization releases a groundbreaking position statement about the sex addiction model.

The Craving Mind

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on November 28, 2016 in Science of Choice
A key aspect of relapse is the way cravings can distort practical reasoning, typically in ways that make it difficult to plan in advance.

A Hopeful Right Turn in Treating Addictions

By Sam Osherson Ph.D. on November 26, 2016 in Listen Up!
Tired of the unhelpful stigma and shaming surrounding addiction treatment? Here's a different approach.

Addiction, Recovery, and Loss

By Dan Mager MSW on November 23, 2016 in Some Assembly Required
Loss is a natural part of the process of recovery that is generally under recognized and inadequately addressed by addiction treatment programs and professionals.

The Psychology of Animal Torture

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on November 23, 2016 in In Excess
Why would anyone want to deliberately inflict pain on a defenseless animal?

Co-Parenting as Addiction Prevention

Too many parents have lost and need help to retrieve their primary connection with their children.

How to Scare Your Kids Off Taking Painkillers

By Temma Ehrenfeld on November 22, 2016 in Open Gently
Painkillers weaken bones, interfere with sex hormones, and can make pain worse.

Seven Things Your Teens Need to Know About Pot

By Temma Ehrenfeld on November 22, 2016 in Open Gently
Vapes are bad for your lungs. You'll want to smoke more if you're losing sleep. Don't just pretend your kids aren't smoking pot or that it's okay. Give them information.
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Obstacles & Opportunities for Trump’s Fight Against Opioids

By Richard Taite on November 22, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
Here’s what President Trump’s strategy to end opioid addiction could look like and the obstacles he’ll face along the way.

Getting Over an Abusive Ex

Are you completely hooked on someone who no longer wants you and who was abusive to you? You are not alone.
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Trump Is Backpedalling on Obamacare

One thing Trump voters say they love about him is his propensity to “tell it like it is.”