The Abstinence Myth in Treatment

In many ways, substance use itself is a symptom of a whole host of issues that go much deeper into the psychology of individuals than mere consumption.

NatCon17 Is Coming and I’m Going on an Airplane!

It's hard to stay inspired in the field of behavioral health without exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking. National conferences like NatCon17 help remedy that.

Have a Child with ADHD? Neurofeedback Is a Great Alternative

We've all been hearing about medications for ADHD for years - the pros, cons and in-betweens. But no-one is talking about a non-medication treatment that works wonders.

Behind the Mask: Drunk on Halloween

e all know that Halloween can be a lot of fun, but how do we get to enjoy it without being part of the alcohol, drug and violence problems that seem to go with this holiday?

How Parents (and Governments) Can Fix the Addiction Problem

Many parents want to help solve their children's substance use problems. Approaching it from the "drug war" angle didn't prove useful for the U.S. and it won't work at home.

Addiction Treatment Loses When Insurance Companies Get Cheap

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.

Most Problem Drinkers Learn to Change Their Drinking

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.

The "Rock Bottom" Myth and the Shame It Brings On

Mental health labels can help us understand our clients, but they can also make us completely miss who they are. Here is a cautionary tale of one girl's difficult road back.

Top 5 Ways Biofeedback Can Change Your Life

Are you turning to pills to make your life better? Biofeedback and neurofeedback could be the answer you're looking for.

Alcohol Moderation Treatment Works!

From individual examples to data from dozens of patients, research is showing that moderate drinking can be a successful alternatives to alcohol abstinence. So where is the field?

There’s No Such Thing as (Real) Self-Sabotage

When we talk about self-sabotage, we fool ourselves into thinking that some people purposefully disrupt their success in life. But that's just not true.

The Failures of "Failure To Launch" Syndrome

When we tell kids they're struggling with "failure to launch" syndrome, we hurt them while saying quite a bit about ourselves.

Which Is More Dangerous: Alcohol or Drugs?

Even though alcohol is a major addictive drug and a primary reason for nearly 100,000 annual deaths in the U.S., we see it as vastly different than other drugs. That's silly.

Is Addiction a Habit or a Choice?

It's an age-old debate: Are addicts failing to exercise control or have they fallen victim to a disease that has taken over their brain and rendered them powerless? The answer is neither and both, so pay close attention...

Addiction, connection and the Rat Park study

Some recent chatter about addiction's causes has moved the pendulum back to social and environmental dysfunction. We might want to be careful swinging too hard.

F%$& Shame, TEDx and Mental Health

Many of us don't give the proper weight to the use of mental health labels. As this talk shows, diagnostic labels can actually impact the way in which labeled individuals perform. If nothing else, this fact should make us more wary of using these labels as everyday placeholders to describe those around us. We may just be sentencing them to meeting our low expectations.

Breaking Good - When meth addiction resolves

Coming face to face with your own shame and emotion about the past can be hard. This is me trying to do it in public.

Do Moderation Programs Encourage Alcoholic Drinking?

The fear that abstinent people in recovery will begin drinking if moderation programs are offered is simply absurd. For the one percent of substance users who both seek treatment and are successful, recovery is usually a pretty happy place. Let's let them keep their victories while offering the other 99 percent solutions they will embrace.

A New Sobriety

Drinking can contribute to improved health but overdoing it is dangerous. What does that mean and what can we do about it? A hint - the answer is not abstinence.

Finally, the Addiction Cure Is Here, Right?

The promise of an addiction cure is alluring, but the evidence keep suggesting that for those who meet chronic addiction criteria, the cure is going to be a combination of approaches.

Is Leaving Residential Treatment the Most Effective Part?

Residential treatment for substance use has been suffering with low success rates. We've been blaming the clients, but what if the treatment itself is more jail than therapy? Depression and failure could be the outcome.

Shame on Us for Shaming Hoffman

The shame addicts experience when they relapse is a sad reminder that we haven't quite figured out how to help those suffering with substance use issues.

The Promise of Help... Again

Obamacare promises changes in the accessibility of addiction treatment. I'm pretty sure massage and wolf-therapy won't be covered but I'm not holding my breath for much...

Doctor, Doctor!

I worked my butt off for the title "Doctor" and somehow it doesn't seem to measure up. I guess I can either get over it or go back to school (right!) but what does this say about the way we provide treatment?

Moderation in Addiction Treatment, A Change Is Gonna Come

"Denial" in the context of addiction treatment might mean that those who want help are simply not willing to except the only option offered to them. Maybe it's time that we listened instead of blaming them for our failures. Our many failures.

Opiate Addiction in the Limelight: Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne was hospitalized last week and rumors are it has to do with his drug use. Well, we know hip-hop and drugs mix well, but what the heck is Syzzurp?! Your answer coming up once you press the button... Look left and cough!

Alternatives: Moderate Drinking Treatment Hits Los Angeles

Nearly all addiction treatment in the U.S. is abstinence-based but abstinence is the least likely outcome for those with substance-related problems. Moderation treatment is better.

Quitting Is Not Really About Quitting

Addiction treatment often focuses much of its attention on quitting the specific problem behavior. Unfortunately, health intervention research has shown us that getting someone to stop doing anything is damn near impossible. But there is a better way.

Stigmatized to Stop Drinking...Again

Psychologists are supposed to help others who are stigmatized feel better about themselves and function more effectively. Oddly, they might be doing a pretty bad job when it comes to their own ranks, especially when there have been past indiscretions.

Personalized medicine requires more than genes

Personalized medicine (pharmacogenomics) is likely the future of all medication prescription and it is going to make a big difference in addiction treatment as well. But when the argument of nature versus nurture comes up, it's important to keep in mind just how complex the interaction between the two really is.