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

Setting Boundaries for Loved Ones

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on July 28, 2016 in A Family Affair
Setting and sticking to boundaries is easier said than done.

A New Payoff to Risky Decisions

By Hara Estroff Marano on July 27, 2016 in Brainstorm
Scientists discover how facing risky decisions makes us smarter. Guest post by Shira Polan.

Internet Gaming Disorder vs. Internet Addiction Disorder

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on July 27, 2016 in In Excess
In the DSM-5, Internet Gaming Disorder is seen as synonymous with internet use disorder (IUD) and internet addiction (IA). Empirical evidence clearly shows this is not the case.

Feathering the Empty Nest

By Ann Smith on July 25, 2016 in Healthy Connections
Couples who were able to maintain their connection through the child rearing years will have a smoother transition into empty nest years.

Substance Abuse Counseling and an Arm Implant: A Good Match?

Is an arm implant for substance abuse really a good shot in the arm for substance abuse counseling? What counselors should know.

Ridding Happiness Contaminants 9: Addictions and Compulsions

In this second installment of Ridding Addictions and Compulsions, learn the powerful three strategies to getting started getting stopped. They can put you on the road to recovery.

How Common Are Sex-Related Injuries?

By David J Ley Ph.D. on July 24, 2016 in Women Who Stray
People often report sex-related injuries, from masturbation or vigorous passion. How common are these experiences, and are they evidence of people being "out of control"?
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Reasons to Reconsider Using Opioid Prescription Medications

Your healing process will have its own ups and downs that only you will know how to handle, and deciding on a treatment plan that will get you up and running again.
PaulAloe/Flickr/Labelled for Reuse

Behaving Badly for Good Reasons

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on July 20, 2016 in In Control
The key to changing unwanted behavior is to find and get to know that place in your mind where the behavior is not unwanted.
William Perry | Dreamstime.com

Three Things You Should Know About Congress’ Opioid Bill

Congress may be ready for a vacation over their upcoming seven-week recess, but their work is far from done.

The Search For Happiness

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on July 20, 2016 in In Excess
"Beware of Destination Addiction - a preoccupation with the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job and with the next partner" (Robert Holden)

The Logic of How to Quit Smoking

Having trouble quitting smoking or sticking to a healthy diet? I explain why common strategies so often fail, and offer practical, effective tips for living a healthy life.

Renewed Faith in Insurance Coverage for Addiction Treatment

I have witnessed staff conduct insurance utilization reviews advocating for additional days of treatment for clients desperately in need—sometimes successfully and sometimes not.

Pokémon Go—Addiction to Mobile Tech No Laughing Matter

By Jon E. Grant, JD, MD, MPH, Brian L. Odlaug, PhD, MPH, and Samuel R. Chamberlain, MD, PhD on July 19, 2016 in Why Can't I Stop?
Research shows that those with a behavioral addiction—including gaming addiction—have similar brain dysfunction to those with cocaine or gambling addiction.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: The Poké-Demic of 2016

By Ryan Anderson on July 18, 2016 in The Mating Game
In 2016, the mobile gaming world has thus far been defined by one thing above all others: Pokemon Go. This article looks at some of the ingenious psychology behind the app

Risk of Relapse to Alcohol Drops After 5 Years of Sobriety

By Matthew MacKinnon MD on July 18, 2016 in Neuraptitude
New research reveals that a former alcoholic's risk of relapse after 5 years of sobriety is about the same as the risk of developing alcoholism in the general US population.

Secret Stash: Ten Most Common Places Teens Hide Drugs

Teens are notorious for being innovative, and hiding their drugs is no exception.

New Research Asks, “Does Why You Look at Porn Matter?”

A new study links “escapist porn use” to negative life consequences.

Harvard Study Pegs How Parental Substance Abuse Impacts Kids

A new Harvard study, published today, reports that 1 in 5 children grows up in a home with parental substance abuse. The study offers advice on how to break the cycle of addiction.

Are Antidepressant Medications the Next Drug Abuse Epidemic?

Congress passed legislation this week to slow the epidemic of pain-killer addiction. What could also slow the epidemic of drug use for treating the emotional pain of depression?

The Opioid Epidemic and Our Children

The opioid addiction crisis is laying waste to families and communities. Children inevitably become victims. Research on treatment and child protection is just catching up.
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5 Signs of Abuse in Relationships That Aren’t Physical

Domestic violence is often thought of in its physical forms, but emotional and psychological abuse are just as devastating.
Four Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe From Drugs

Four Ways to Keep Your Pets Safe From Drugs

You’ve probably thought about how drug use impacts your own health or that of family members, but have you considered how it affects your pets?

The Toughest Part of Pokémon Go: Stopping

The wildly popular game is prompting exercise and sociability. But there might be another effect: addiction.

Why Jared Watson Is a ‘Feel Good’ Addict

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on July 14, 2016 in Brick by Brick
Jared Watson, lead vocalist for the band Dirty Heads, told me, “I was the guy. If you wanted to party, it wasn’t just going to be one night..."

There's No One Addictive Personality

By Temma Ehrenfeld on July 14, 2016 in Open Gently
People with addictions aren't especially neurotic, dishonest or selfish.

Is Pokémon GO a Virtual Drug?

Is Pokémon GO a revolution or passing fad? Does its form of augmented reality offer new opportunity for therapeutic benefits or are risks like addiction and recklessness too great?

Clear Thinking About Decluttering: 8 Insights

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Creating in Flow
Like diet books, books about how to clean out our clutter are always popular. What's the fascination, and why can't we "just do it" once and for all?

The Anti-Psychologists

By Stanton Peele on July 13, 2016 in Addiction in Society
Psychology has been engaged in a decades-long battle for its soul—is it really a field independent of brain psychology? I sometimes view myself one of psychology's last advocates.

Sexual Trophies, Murder, And Addiction

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in In Excess
When it comes to the collecting of ‘sexual trophies’, most research relates to more criminal sexual deviance. But what does the literature say and can it be addictive?