Relapse of Addiction

Relapse is now seen as the rule rather than the exception in addiction recovery. And it is no longer viewed as a catastrophe but as an opportunity for learning more and better strategies for overcoming urges and for identifying the moods and situations that are likely to be difficult.

What is inappropriate is black-and-white thinking about success that turns a slip-up into a disaster and sees it as a sure sign of defeat. The fact is that it takes time to change all the mental apparatus that supports any particular habit-the memories, the situations that trigger craving, and more. Addiction changes brains, and it takes time to change brains back.

Recent posts on Addiction

Commandeering Cuteness for Commercialism

By Douglas Van Praet on August 27, 2016 in Unconscious Branding
There is a good reason why cute and cuddly baby animals are tugging at your heart and pulling on your purse strings.

Neuroscience Suggests That We're All "Wired" for Addiction

By Christopher Bergland on August 26, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
New research suggests that everybody has the neurobiological potential to become an addict.

The Sexual Lie Detector

By David J Ley Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in Women Who Stray
The polygraph is widely discredited as a valid tool for detecting deception. So why are therapists and clinicians calling it a way to "keep sex addicts honest"?

The Therapeutic Value of Nature

By Dan Mager MSW on August 26, 2016 in Some Assembly Required
Research suggests that spending time in nature can be extremely beneficial, leading to improvements in mood, cognition, and health.
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Here’s How Marijuana Use Is Changing

By Richard Taite on August 26, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
It’s not hard to see how some parts of American culture are light years ahead of where they were just a few decades ago.
ID 65746543 © Leck | Dreamstime.com

How the Government Is Fighting Against the Opioid Epidemic

One of the federal government’s important roles is to take on our county’s most pressing issues and respond with solutions on a national scale.
Microsoft clip art/onlinecollege.org

The Perils of Multitasking

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on August 26, 2016 in Memory Medic
Multitasking not only becomes a habit, it is addictive. I see many youngsters who seem to have withdrawal symptoms if they can't check their phone messages every few minutes.

DSM-5 Made a Mistake Eliminating Substance Abuse

By Allen J Frances M.D. on August 24, 2016 in Saving Normal
By eliminating "Substance Abuse," DSM-5 confounds the very different treatment, course, and prognosis of the typical college binge-drinker and a down-and-out end-stage addict.

Beyond Sobriety: Reclaiming Your Potential

By Mel Schwartz L.C.S.W. on August 24, 2016 in A Shift of Mind
Can people move past the imprint of having been an addict? Does having to continue to see yourself through the snapshot of old behavior impede your personal growth?

Screenagers and Technology Use

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on August 24, 2016 in In Excess
There has been a lot of debate about how much time children should spend in front of screens. I argue content and context of screen time is more import than the amount of time.

Video Games Stronger Than Morphine: U.S. Military

The Military has discovered that playing video games can be more effective than morphine in treating combat burn veterans—but what is this digital morphine doing to kids' brains?

International Overdose Awareness Day

By Indra Cidambi, M.D. on August 23, 2016 in Sure Recovery
Knowing the importance of International Overdose Awareness Day.

Deconstructing Ryan Lochte's Shame and Fear of Vulnerability

By Christopher Bergland on August 19, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Ryan Lochte is in the hot seat for his shameful after-hours behavior in Rio last weekend. Is his apology for "not being more candid and careful" enough to appease his shame?

Addiction Treatment Loses When Insurance Companies Get Cheap

By Adi Jaffe Ph.D. on August 19, 2016 in All About Addiction
Insurance payments are a major source of the problems with addiction treatment—from low reimbursement rates leading to terrible treatment practices to abuse by greedy providers.
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Here’s How Creative Arts Can Diminish Stress

While there’s no way for you to avoid stress entirely, you can use it to your advantage and harness its energy to create meaningful artistic expressions.
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As Research Advances, Treatment for Depression Gets Better

By Richard Taite on August 19, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
If an individual is open to trying a wide variety of treatments, a new life is more than possible for those held down by depression. There is something that can be done.

Are Olympians Addicted to Exercise, Work or Neither?

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on August 16, 2016 in In Excess
Olympic athletes are dedicated to their profession and spend hours every day training and exercising. But are Olympic athletes addicted to exercise, their work, or neither?

Michael Phelps’ Heroic Journey Goes Far Beyond Gold Medals

By Christopher Bergland on August 15, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
Michael Phelps is the most-decorated Olympian of all time. He's also a role model for sharing intimate details of how he completed the hero's journey after hitting rock bottom.

Can Disappointment Become an Addiction?

When disappointment and hurt have been deep and consistent, it can, paradoxically, become pleasurable.

ADHD and Michael Phelps: Medication Is Not a Crutch

Not taking stimulant medication for your diagnosed ADHD? You still have ADHD.
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Texas Just Made Naloxone Available Over the Counter

If you don’t live in the Lone Star state, you may have missed some big news about opioid overdose prevention happening now.

How Medication Can Help Prevent Opioid Relapse

One lapse can be deadly when trying to overcome an addiction to drugs like heroin or prescription painkillers, but medication-assisted treatment can help counter that risk.
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3 Ways to Get Yourself Out of a Rut

By Richard Taite on August 12, 2016 in Ending Addiction for Good
It’s easy to wake up one day to find yourself in a rut, when your life’s momentum has stalled and you’re not sure what will come next.

The Psychological Roots of Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go scratches some basic psychological itches

Consequences of Compulsive Sexual Behavior

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on August 12, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Individuals with CSB (compulsive sexual behavior) may face a variety of medical complications, including unwanted pregnancies; sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS

How Social Constructionism Created the Sex Addiction Model

By Michael Aaron, Ph.D. on August 11, 2016 in Standard Deviations
An ideological belief in the malleability of sexuality has given rise to the sex addiction movement.

No Shame: Why Michael Phelps Deserved to Carry the U.S. Flag

By Jason Powers M.D. on August 10, 2016 in Beyond Abstinence
Two years ago, the most decorated Olympian of all time was so mired in depression that he thought about killing himself. His comeback on dry land inspires me the most.

The Truman Show Delusion

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on August 10, 2016 in In Excess
Watching reality television shows do not cause psychotic or delusional episodes. However, those with underlying illnesses (e.g., schizophrenia) may develop a Truman Show Delusion.

Most Problem Drinkers Learn to Change Their Drinking

By Adi Jaffe Ph.D. on August 09, 2016 in All About Addiction
You've heard it before: "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic." The idea that "addiction" is an inescapable condition is pervasive and wrong. And there's data proving it.
By Vouliagmeni (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

How to Prevent Cravings?

By Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. on August 08, 2016 in Science of Choice
A key lesson of behavioral economics is the power of the context that shapes behavior and overrides individuals’ intentions.