Essential Reads

Are We Finally Ready to Invest in People, Not Prisons?

For the addict - and for all of us - prison reform can’t come soon enough.

3 Kinds of Motivation for Addiction Recovery

How to know you have done all you can

Living in the Candy Store

How to Detox a Motivationally Toxic World

Should Amy Winehouse Have Been Taught Controlled Drinking?

Reviewing the myths of Winehouse's substance use and death

Recent Posts on Addiction

The Thirteenth Step

By The Book Brigade on June 18, 2015 in The Author Speaks
Addiction taps into who we are as humans, why and how we feel what we feel and do what we do. Many ways of understanding and treating addiction are outdated. And it doesn’t take piles of money for those struggling with addiction to recover.

To View or Not to View? That is the Question

75% of men and 41% of women have viewed and/or downloaded pornography in their lifetime. In the United States more than 60 million people are dealing with issues involving excessive porn use. But is all porn bad for you? Is there also a case for porn improving your psychological well being?

Dressed to Thrill

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 17, 2015 in In Excess
Clothing fetishes are sexual fetishes where individuals derive sexual arousal and pleasure from either (i) viewing or imagining very specific items of clothing, (ii) viewing or imagining a set of clothes (e.g., a particular uniform or fashion look), and/or (iii) individuals (themselves or others) wearing the clothing item or uniform. But what is known about such behavior?

Anathema Art: Using Inmates' Art to Help Them Transcend

This post emerged from a conversation and interview with Angela Luttrell, founder of Anathema Art, an amazing program that uses art to help prison inmates transcend their limitations and circumstances.

Taking the Right Sort of Interest in Yourself

Self-interest aimed at moral improvement is vital

Stories of Seclusion: A Pot-Abusing Dealer Becomes Paranoid

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on June 16, 2015 in How To Do Life
Heavily using and dealing weed turns a 18-year-old into a recluse.

Addicted to Our Screens, or Merely Obsessed?

Digital Distractions and addiction to mediated images are imbecilizing America’s youth. The energy cost to our still Stone–Age brains explains how and why. Scientists debate whether we are addicted to our devices. What no one disputes is that our attention spans have gone to hell.

Fathers and Sons

Ciao! Phil Zimbardo here. I’d like to share some alarming new information we’ve gathered about men and boys, fathers and sons...

Does the Doctor Always Know Best?

In today’s information age, patients have a wealth of resources to turn to for guidance on a variety of medical treatments. An informed patient working with a trusted physician who has experience treating chronic pain syndrome can be a winning formula.

Does Addiction Recovery Require a Change in Consciousness?

Perhaps this all seems very complicated, but it is not. The more we act in healthy ways, the more our brain creates those pathways as a habit. Soon, habit becomes rote, not something we have to think about, but a literal neural connection in the brain.

Dr. Jones Tapia Takes On Mental Health in Prisons

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on June 11, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Dr. Nneka Jones Tapia is a psychologist and the newly appointed executive director of the Cook County Jail in Chicago, one of the biggest prisons in the country. She shares how her plans to address the mental health needs of prisoners in order to reduce recidivism and promote healthy re-entry into society.

Female Veterans Killing Themselves in Unprecedented Numbers

It is a blemish on this nation to do so little to help our military veterans. They volunteered to be placed in harm’s way for our safety and welfare. It’s our turn to ensure that they receive the benefits which they earned through their service.

All Pain Is Real

Finding creative and innovative ways to approach the problem of chronic pain.

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.

General 'Killection'

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 09, 2015 in In Excess
Although the word ‘murderabilia’ is fairly new (an amalgam of ‘murder memorabilia’), the act itself has a long history and basically refers to collectibles that relate to murder, murderers and/or violent crimes (including such items as artwork produced by incarcerated serial killers). But what is the psychological motivation behind such collecting?

Parental Complicity in Adolescent "Problems"

Parental perception and parental enabling can contribute to what constitute adolescent "problems" in their eyes.

Meditation Improves Brain Function

We found differences in brain volume after eight weeks [of meditation] in five different regions in the brains of the two groups. In the group that learned meditation, we found thickening in four regions:

Detaching with Love

By Fran Simone Ph.D. on June 05, 2015 in A Family Affair
Family and friends often feel trapped in their loved one’s addiction. Their challenge is to let go with love.

Enough About “Inner Demons” Already!

Maybe it was the 1000th time I heard that familiar, but fictitious, explanation: “It must have been his [her/their] inner demons that made them do it!” that I felt the strongest urge to scream. Why? Simply because the errant thoughts and behaviors we’re all prone to can almost always be understood without alluding to satanic forces insidiously goading us from within.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) for Addiction

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) posits addictions are caused by the interplay of cognition, behavior, and images.

The Many Faces of Chronic Pain

I’m often asked, “What does a typical patient in the Pain Recovery Program look like?” There is no simple answer to that complex question. Chronic pain syndrome, classified as pain that persists more than 12 weeks, impacts hundreds of thousands of people and each case is complex and unique.

The Anti-Relaxation Movement

Who is telling me to relax?

What Are the Eleven Symptoms of "Alcohol Use Disorder"?

New research has found that alcohol use disorder (AUD) is an often untreated epidemic in the United States. Do you have an alcohol use disorder? This blog post highlights the 11 symptoms of AUD currently being used to assess both alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence.

Peek into the Lives of the Worried Rich

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on June 03, 2015 in Creating in Flow
A good writer, who is also a mom with young kids, goes native in the weird tribe of primates who make their home in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She comes out alive, with a new book—and a fancy handbag.

3 Facts All Parents Should Know About ADHD Stimulant Drugs

If there was a drug being manufactured for kids to take daily for several years or more, that research documents comes with endless serious and life threatening side effects (e.g., dependency, depression, death), how long would you want the FDA to track kids taking the drug to make sure it was safe and effective for extended periods of use? The answer might surprise you...

BDSM, Tummy-Tucks, and Sex Toys

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on June 03, 2015 in Minority Report
How can plastic surgery, sex toys, or new sexual positions be a part of sexual trauma? While spouses of sex addicts will acknowledge the common trauma related to feelings of betrayal, loss of trust, and hyper-sensitivity to their husbands/boyfriends possibly "acting out" again, there are those who can't acknowledge how this trauma can impact decision-making in other areas

Fantasize about Commercializing Precision Medicine

Some rough criteria for success in developing Precision Medicine products, as applied to mental health and substance abuse treatment, that can improve treatment outcome and be commercially viable.

Form a Line in the Barbie Queue

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 02, 2015 in In Excess
Doll fetishism is a type of sexual fetishism where individuals are sexually aroused and attracted to dolls and/or doll-like objects (e.g., figurines). There is also a virtual form of doll fetishism where such fantasies can be acted out online and in virtual worlds via self-created doll avatars. But what else do we know psychologically about the behaviour?

Why We Hallucinate

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on June 02, 2015 in A Sideways View
How are hallucinations different from illusions or delusions? What causes them? How do we explain them?

Tranquility Gone Missing From Your Tranquilizer?

By Hal Mathew on June 01, 2015 in Unagoraphobic
Ah the irony... you're taking a tranquilizer to relieve anxiety that eventually creates anxiety.