How to Know You're in a Good Therapy for Addiction

Finding the right therapy for addiction is critical. Here are some things to watch out for.

Are You an Unhappy Achiever?

Who could possibly be unhappy about achieving? The problem is that, for some people, achievement leaves them feeling empty to the core.

Promising to Stop Addictive Behavior Is a Very Bad Idea

It's common for people suffering with an addiction to tell others, or even themselves, "I promise I'll stop (my addictive behavior)." But it's a disaster waiting to happen.

Learning About Addiction

A huge problem in our country is that most of the people who we trust to provide addiction treatment are poorly qualified or unqualified.

How Self-Inhibition Leads to Addiction

Addictive actions are never random. Get to know how you can predict and control them.

Is Addiction About Pleasure?

Pleasure has been confused with addiction for the last 5000 years. The reason for this is that common forms of addiction, like drinking alcohol, taking other drugs, gambling, and seeking sex, are often pleasurable. But the notion that addiction is about pleasure is completely wrong.

Is Evidence-Based Treatment All It's Cracked Up To Be?

Evidence-based treatment sounds great. There's just one problem: if the evidence is faulty or irrelevant, so is the claim based on it.

Spirituality and Addiction

For years, people have accepted the notion that addiction is a spiritual disorder. Let's take a look at that idea.

Answers to Addiction Questions

You spoke up and here are the answers you deserve to have.

Is Addiction a "Biopsychosocial" Phenomenon?

Nobody likes people who say "I'm right and you're not." We've all learned to be diplomatic, so nobody's feelings get hurt. But science is different. It's about getting to the truth, not trying to find a way to include everybody's views.

How to Avoid Bad Rehab Treatment

The rehabilitation industry in our country is, unfortunately, filled with false claims and bogus treatments. Virtually none of the major rehab centers even study their patients' outcomes, despite claiming fabulous results. And, sadly, rehab treatment usually fails.

What Does It Mean to Be "In Recovery"?

Many words in the addiction field have been tossed around for years without being clearly defined or even being meaningful. "Recovered," "recovery" and "being in recovery" are examples.

Hidden Moralizing About Addiction

People moralize about addiction all the time in obvious ways. But some forms of moralizing are more subtle, and just as harmful.

A Poor Critique

Our scientific examination of AA has led to heated, poorly thought-out responses from both some AA members and a few academics whose careers have involved supporting AA. Challenges to accepted wisdom are always met with resistance, but it would be better to have a less personal, more reasoned discussion.

The Sober Truth About AA and the Rehab Industry

The science behind 12-step programs and rehabs is severely flawed.

When Mice Are Men and When They're Just Mice

Sometimes rats make useful models for humans, but not for addiction. We're very different from rats.

Don't Focus on the Consequences of Addiction

Looking at the results, rather than the causes, of addiction is a mistake.

What Does Dropsy Have to Do With Substance Abuse?

When doctors don’t know the cause of an illness, they're stuck having to “diagnose” only its symptoms, not the source of the problem. That is just where we stand today with substance abuse, and it’s ruining our chance to treat it effectively.

Don't Stay Sober "One Day at a Time"

We have all heard the “One day at a time” AA slogan. Its purpose is to keep people from feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of never drinking again. It may be useful when folks are teetering on the brink of having a drink: “Tough it out, you just have to get through today.” But aside from those moments, it is terrible advice.

The Politics of Addiction

People in positions of authority and power suppress new ideas that would advance the field.

Have AA and rehab been good or bad for you?

A chance to tell your story for publication.

"Stuck" Treatment in Addiction

Old and ineffective treatments for addiction are still around, at great cost to people suffering with the problem. Holding on to old ideas is common in human history, but it is especially wrong when taking care of others.

Legalization of Marijuana Is Okay

Readers of this blog know that addiction is a psychological symptom, a compulsive behavior driven exactly like other compulsions, and readily understandable and treatable. This perspective can be helpful in thinking about the recent election, in which two states legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

I Used To Be Addicted and Then I Quit—Am I Still an Addict?

This question comes up fairly often. It is the kind of question that cannot be answered if you look only at the surface of addiction: at the behavior itself. But if you peek beneath the surface, the question and its answer becomes obvious.

Alcoholics Are Not Powerless Over Alcohol

The myth that people with alcoholism are powerless over alcohol is deeply misinformed, and just as dangerous.

Why There Is Lunacy, Literally, In 28-day Rehabs

A recent television show, “Nurse Jackie," portrayed the main character as foolish for leaving an addiction rehabilitation program before the 28 days were up. That idea is lunacy – literally.

The Worst Addiction Advice You Can Get

"Go away and stop drinking, then I'll treat you." Incredibly enough, there are therapists who say just that.