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

When Does Shopping Turn Fun into a Problem?

By Donna Barstow on October 01, 2016 in Ink Blots Cartoons
It's so much fun to shop online and get things in the mail! Isn't it?

What leads us to see our addictions for what they are?

What experiences shape the moment of recognition that addiction is bondage and that freedom is worth clawing towards with every molecule of strength and courage that we possess?

Are Subscription Boxes Bad for Your Health? Maybe!

By Donna Barstow on September 30, 2016 in Ink Blots Cartoons
The hidden mysteries of shopping online: Subscription boxes!
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The Case for Including Mental Health Care in the Workplace

You shouldn’t take for granted that your workplace positively contributes to your employees’ mental health.
ID 8430461 © Adina Nani | Dreamstime.com

How Will You Handle Loss?

By Richard Taite on September 30, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
Your best defense against grief will never be your ability to plan around and corral it.

Some "Do's" and "Don'ts" for Loved Ones

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on September 30, 2016 in A Family Affair
Are you trying to figure out how best to handle a loved one's addiction? Consider some do's and don'ts.

Does Gender Matter When It Comes to Addiction Recovery?

By Indra Cidambi, M.D. on September 29, 2016 in Sure Recovery
Does gender matter when it comes to addiction treatment? Focusing on women's treatment needs help speed up recovery.
Wavebreak Media Ltd/BigStock

What Is DBT?

By Greta Gleissner LCSW on September 28, 2016 in Bottom's Up
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is an effective combination of cognitive and behavioral therapies. The goal of DBT is to transform destructive behaviors into positive outcomes.

No, You Cannot Get Attached to Porn

By David J Ley Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Women Who Stray
Blaming porn-related personal and relationship problems on addiction disturbance is the worst form of pseudoscience - it's also potentially iatrogenic.

New Love Euphoria Mimics Effects of Crack Cocaine

There are at least 10 compelling reasons to use a model of addiction to crack cocaine to describe the new love's euphoria.

10 Reasons New Love Is Like Crack Cocaine

Off-putting though it may be to some, here are ten reasons why I am sticking with “cocaine rush phase” as the best way to capture the first phase of new relationships.

Recovery Is Not Immune From the Effects of Trauma

My work as a clinical psychologist has led me to understand that trauma may account for the lions’ share of recoverable substance abuse and behavioral health disorders.

Will Your Gamer Survive College?

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on September 26, 2016 in Mental Wealth
If you're concerned about your son's video game habits spinning out of control when he goes to college, you're right to be worried—but here's what parents can do.
K. Ramsland

The Murder Market

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 25, 2016 in Shadow Boxing
Novelist takes readers on a very dark journey into the addictive world of the murder market.

This is Your Child's Brain on Video Games

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on September 24, 2016 in Mental Wealth
Playing video games presents an "evolutionary mismatch": A fight-or-flight response unaccompanied by a physical discharge of energy. So guess where all the energy goes?
ID 1563078 © Rayna Canedy | Dreamstime.com

How the Words You Use Can Decrease Anxiety

By Richard Taite on September 23, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
A healthy concern for your well-being can make you more likely to anticipate and effectively head-off possible threats.

Poetry as an Addiction

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on September 22, 2016 in In Excess
It was recently argued that the act of writing poetry can potentially meet some of the criteria for addiction and has been termed 'poesegraphilia.' This post takes a closer look.

Biased Publication Standards Hinder Schizophrenia Research

By Robert T Muller Ph.D. on September 21, 2016 in Talking About Trauma
Since most research that exists on treatment of schizophrenia is directly funded by pharmaceutical companies, a bias exists towards silencing unfavourable research.

A Simple Way to Keep Your Kids Off Drugs

By Temma Ehrenfeld on September 21, 2016 in Open Gently
Better sleep for pre-teens is tied to less drinking and pot smoking through their 20s.

Study Pinpoints Brain Circuitry of Emotional Decision-Making

By Christopher Bergland on September 20, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
We all know the gut-wrenching feeling of making a tough emotional decision. Recently, MIT neuroscientists pinpointed the brain mechanics behind emotional decision-making.

Recovery Is a Process of Learning, Growth, and Healing

By Dan Mager MSW on September 19, 2016 in Some Assembly Required
Recovery from addiction is the process of sustaining abstinence, and learning and practicing the awareness and skills necessary to live a whole, healthy, and healed life.

The Problem With "Sex Positive"

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on September 19, 2016 in Minority Report
"Sex positive" is a popular term among certain therapists who believe there's nothing wrong with pornography. Yet if you listen to young people today, they'll tell you otherwise

Cornerstone of Eating Disorder Recovery

Emotions are inescapable. Negative emotions are powerful. Attempts to rid them are what eating disorders thrive on. It is often easier to have an eating disorder than to feel bad

Why You Can’t Walk Away From Him

By Linda Esposito LCSW on September 19, 2016 in From Anxiety to Zen
Do you control, nurture, and protect your partner? Maybe it's time to let go.
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Understanding and Choosing Better Coping Skills

When it comes to better understanding and treating addiction, we can learn a lot by looking at a person’s coping mechanisms.
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Here’s Why Your Brain Makes Quitting Drugs/Alcohol So Hard

By Richard Taite on September 16, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
There’s little more tempting than a quick and easy solution to our problems.

Are You an Enabling Parent?

By Ann Smith on September 16, 2016 in Healthy Connections
Parents are hardwired to love and protect their child from birth to death no matter what. What happens when parents begin to unintentionally enable their child?

Can Thumb Sucking Be Addictive?

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on September 15, 2016 in In Excess
Thumb sucking is a common behavior in young children but a small minority carry on the behavior into their adulthood. Is this problematic and could it be described as addictive?
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Why the Sex Addiction Model Is Not a Humanistic Approach

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on September 14, 2016 in Standard Deviations
Plenty of evidence suggests that harm reduction psychotherapy provides a more humanistic alternative to sex addiction treatment.

The Lobby Against Medical Marijuana

By Allen J Frances M.D. on September 13, 2016 in Saving Normal
Protecting profit against patient welfare