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

Why We Use Drugs: The Power of Addictive Tendencies

Addictions are a hotel; they are not home but can remind people of home so powerfully that they won’t easily abandon them without knowing where their real home is and how to get there.

Harnessing the Freedom to Choose Success

Arms folded in front of her, Jana tried to remain calm in the face of a challenge from her parents and me. Joan and Ron, successful professionals who had grown up in the drug scene of the 1970s, were stuck. They agreed that her diagnosis of abuse of alcohol ought not to be ignored, but did not want to “crimp her style” or lead her into a rebellion which might lead her to

Treatment in the Balance

The Resilience Regiment speaks with Ronald D. Sager, M.D., of Balance Treatment Center

On the Horizon

The Resilience Regiment speaks with Burr Cook of Balboa Horizons

It's His House

Glenn and Carol Swanson shares the in and outs of the His House treatment center.

The Deep Dark Hole of Depression

Depression is scary to some and familiar to others. But everyone knows how easy it can be to fall into the depression hole. What we all need to realize though is that regardless of whether we fall in the trap or not, we don't have to live there. We don't have to make a home there. This article distinguishes between living in depression and acknowledging that it's there.

The Fat Fetish, Explained

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in In Excess
One sexual behaviour that appears to be very popular among a minority of men is ‘BBW squashing’ (i.e., men being squashed by one or more ‘big beautiful women’ for sexual pleasure) and also known as ‘crushing’ or ‘smashing’ by squashing enthusiasts. But what do we know psychologically about this strange sexual behaviour?

Ending the Torment

The Resilience Regiment speaks with Ken Chance, founder of the Arrowhead Lodge.

Digging Deeper Into Recovery

The Resilience Regiment speaks with Kevin Granich at Morningside Recovery.

Sober Summer!

For those trying to cut back on their drinking or for sober alcoholics, the summertime and the many celebrations that accompany it can be temptations.Many will report that the warm weather, the outdoor bars, family gatherings, vacations, the beach, sporting events, etc. can bring back memories of “the good ole’ days”. Here are some tips for sober summertime fun!

How Being Knocked Out Of Our Comfort Zones Can Be Beneficial

By Gregg McBride on June 27, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
We often want the answers to life's biggest dilemmas to be complicated, enabling or even pricey. But sometimes the best advice we can receive comes without any fancy packaging, outrageous promises or gratuitous politeness.

Did Paleo Man have Drug or Drinking Problems?

By Donna Barstow on June 26, 2015 in Ink Blots Cartoons
Mental illness and mental health are not modern. What did cavemen (sorry, Paleo man) do about it?

Child Abuse Prepares for a Lifetime of Mental Health Issues

Children who are abused, physically, emotionally, sexually or neglected, have different adult brains than their counterparts who were not abused.

How Much Exercise Reduces Your Risk of Premature Death?

Exercise is an important part of addiction recovery, because it sets individuals up for healthy lifestyles. Exercise releases important chemicals in our brains that help us to feel better about ourselves.

Are You Numb to Pleasure? How to See Life with New Eyes

We can have the most amazing life, if we live in the present moment without being attached or focused on the future; not being stuck in the past, just living in the now and seeing everything with those beginner eyes.

Pushing Through Trauma

The Resilience Regiment speaks with Sean Walsh, of The Meadows.

4 Reasons We Should All Give Up Cynicism

Cynicism feels protective. A little cynicism, however, goes a long way. Too much mistrust and cynics find themselves losing more than they gain. If you default to cynicism in your thinking and interactions, make an effort to tap into your more optimistic side.

Medical Marijuana Laws Haven't Endangered Teens, Study Finds

By Guest Blogger on June 25, 2015 in Brainstorm
Research suggests that cannabis may help treat pain, inflammation, nausea, epileptic seizures, and other conditions. Despite these potential benefits, many people express concern that legalizing pot for some adults will lead to a spike in recreational use by adolescents.

Cross Addiction and What It Means

One of the problems that I see frequently is patients with cross addiction, specifically those who are also being given “legitimate” prescription medications such as stimulants, benzodiazepines, opiates for bona fide symptoms.

The Painful Truth About Heroin

What is the connection between chronic pain and the heroin epidemic?

Why Do Teens Assume Vaping or Smoking Marijuana Is Harmless?

A new study from Stanford University Medical Center reports that adolescents commonly assume that "vaping" e-cigarettes or smoking marijuana is harmless. Why do so many teenagers underestimate the risks of e-cigarettes and smoking cannabis?

23 Mental Health Professionals Interviewed About Their Jobs

By Brad Waters on June 24, 2015 in Design Your Path
Going behind the scenes with 23 mental health professionals to gain insight into the pros and cons of the industry.

Do Parts of How You Are Bother You or Others?

By Dan Mager MSW on June 24, 2015 in Some Assembly Required
Reactions driven by personality challenges are unconscious and automatic, like a reflex. You don’t think about it, it just happens... However, we can learn and develop the skills to respond to other people and situations intentionally with conscious awareness, rather than react on impulse.

Releasing Constipated Grief

By Kimberly Key on June 23, 2015 in Counseling Keys
Chronic complaining is one of the many side effects of constipated grief. Sometimes people have cumulative grief from traumas and losses that have piled up. They are deep storehouses of pain that the person hasn’t been able to fully process or release, so they get clogged up.

The Diseased States of America

By Stanton Peele on June 23, 2015 in Addiction in Society
If addictions are life-long diseases, we're all doomed.

Marketing Forces

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in In Excess
It doesn’t take a psychologist to tell you that the psychology behind ‘comping’ is to get the gambler to spend more money. Comping is a legitimate psychological marketing strategy used as an incentive to either get individuals to gamble in the first place, or an incentive used to prolong gambling. This blog looks a little deeper into the psychology of comping in casinos.

Love Avoidance: Dance Partner to Love Addiction

The love avoidant is terrified of intimacy and cannot tolerate it. He or she may crave love, but when it comes knocking, the love avoidant runs like hell.

The Need for Service and Volunteerism

What is it that will get you out of your chair and helping others? If you have an answer to that question, start working on that issue today. If you don’t have an answer, try out various service opportunities until you know what motivates you.

You’re More Creative When You Walk

For addicts in early recovery, this research can help build new feelings of self-esteem as the addict reintegrates into society and family post-treatment and is able to generate new ideas that promote his/her work as well as a healthier lifestyle.

Infinitely Polar Bear: Rare Portrayal of Bipolar Disorder

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on June 19, 2015 in Me Before We
Infinitely Polar Bear is the story of how love can provide the incentive to get better. Mark Ruffalo’s performance is gritty, believable and most certainly Oscar-Worthy.