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

The Unexpected Gifts of Desire

What can we learn if we don't automatically act to fulfill an urge or longing?

Jacoby Shaddix Is Marching Right Next to You

"I just feel like I’m drowning in myself."

Treating Opioid Abuse: Focus on the Patient, Not Just Pain

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10 Keys to Recovery

The must-haves for recovery from mental illness or addiction.

Fell on Black Days: Mourning the Suicide of Chris Cornell

By Joe Pierre M.D. on May 18, 2017 in Psych Unseen
Reflections on suicide, celebrity, and selfishness

The Psychology of Hoaxing

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 18, 2017 in In Excess
Hoaxing behaviour is nothing new but there are many types that may or may not have serious consequences for individuals. But what do we know about the psychology of hoaxing?

Teach Your Teen About Alcohol

By Temma Ehrenfeld on May 17, 2017 in Open Gently
Twenty percent of U.S. high school students say they'll get into a car with a driver who has been drinking.
ID 2051978 © Iofoto | Dreamstime.com

How the Republican Healthcare Bill Kills

The only true improvement on the ACA that can be made is to repeal it in favor of a single payer system.

What You Need to Know About Relationships and Recovery

It is helpful to resist the urge to "fix" your relationships, and keep the focus on making progress in your recovery. As you do, over time, your relationships will likely improve.

Think Positive? The Pressure to Be Happy

Happiness isn’t just a feeling; it’s a way of being in the world.

Talking to the Doctor’s Family

Aren't sure if your suicide risk assessment meets the standard of care? Talk to the family.

Walking Through the Emotional Desert With Shaun Morgan

“You get super drunk or super high and you don’t feel anything. And that’s the whole point.”

When You Suspect Your Kid has a Substance Abuse Problem

If you find evidence that your child is using drugs or alcohol, here are some suggestions about how to take the next step and talk to your child.

Sexual Mummification

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 11, 2017 in In Excess
Some claim that mummification as a sexual fetish is on the increase. But what do we know about this sexual behavior from a psychological perspective?
By Quinn Dombrowski from Chicago, USA - Boredom, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11201756

Stress and Addiction

There is solid evidence for the link between chronic stress and the motivation to abuse addictive substances.

3 Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself After His Affair

Learn how to avoid common mistakes after discovering your spouse's sexual betrayal.

Sobering Truth About Addiction Treatment in America

By David Sheff on May 08, 2017 in Overcoming Addiction
People blame politicians, drug dealers, and pharmaceutical companies for the overdose crisis, but blame doesn't doesn't help people get well. The addicted need quality treatment.

Brainwaves Different in People Addicted to Internet Gaming

After sampling only 10 minutes of brainwave patterns while Internet gamers sat doing nothing, researchers can see differences in their functional brain connectivity.

Why Teens Get High

It’s time teens get the real story about what marijuana can do to their bodies, their brains, and their futures.
 ID 31083492 © F11photo | Dreamstime.com

Where Are the Lawmakers?

Our lawmakers, the members we elect to the House and Senate, are charged with writing laws.
NirAndFar

Tech Companies Are Addicting People. Should They Stop?

By Nir Eyal on May 05, 2017 in Automatic You
Do tech companies have a moral responsibility to stop addicting us?

Streamin' Demon: Binge-Watching Isn't Good for Sleep

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on May 05, 2017 in Screen Time
Streaming television has become part of daily life. Watching before bed sounds like a blast, but the technology may affect your sleep.
By Juniorcosta124 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Who Is Actually in Charge When We Make Decisions?

Emotional awareness provides insight into the working of the mind and the nature of decisions.

Religious Self-Harm

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 04, 2017 in In Excess
Some masochistic behaviours including self-flagellation have religious (rather than sexual) motivations. But what are the psychological reasons that motivate such behavior?

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

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on May 03, 2017 in A Family Affair
Is your loved one wearing your out? Some "Dont's" and "Do's" can help you cope.

Your Brain on Drugs - and Your Addiction Treatment Plan

Is the future of addiction treatment here? Recent neuroimaging studies suggest it might be.

Addict Cleans Up, Then Is Shunned by Family

Addiction is in the news again, and everyone wants to believe it's caused mostly by genetics. But a letter to a newspaper advice columnist reveals hidden family dynamics.

4 Questions to Ask Yourself If You Want to Change

Changing isn't easy, but these 4 questions from Motivational Interviewing may make the process a little easier.

Marijuana: The Newest Invasive Species

By Mark Borigini M.D. on April 30, 2017 in Overcoming Pain
As if cell phones and one-more-Corona were not enough to keep those of us who do value our lives off the highways, now we all must contend with a large population driving stoned.

Why Are Senior Citizens Using More Illicit Drugs?

Senior citizens are using and abusing substances at increasing rates.