Essential Reads

The Pain Mess

Treatment of chronic pain is a scandal

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

Recent Posts on Addiction

Prom Night and the Kids Are Going to Drink: What Do You Do?

Early exposure to alcohol in the home can be harmful to children if it leads to drunkenness, but coaching kids on how to drink responsibly at the prom may keep them safer than just preaching abstinence.

Who Can Motivate You to Go to the Gym?

If viewing extremely toned bodies slapped with sentences making us feel guilty for stomaching anything other than a steamed vegetable does galvanize us to go for a jog, is that really so bad?

Why's It So Hard to Quit Smoking? Neuroscience Has New Clues

Neuroscientists have pinpointed specific brain regions that explain why smoking is one of the hardest habits to kick.

Wired To Eat For All The Wrong Reasons

If you don’t understand that evolution has wired you to eat sugary carbohydrates in order to self-soothe and calm you, then you will never be able to control your appetite. Find out what role neuroscience plays in our food cravings...

One Billion People Share This Addiction. Are You Among Them?

The global statistics on substance abuse and addiction are surprising. One billion people around the world share a common addiction. Are you one of them?

8 Reasons It's So Hard to Overcome a Tough Childhood

Trauma experienced in childhood has special power to wound and can often lead to alcohol and drug use as a way to numb the pain or, conversely, to feel something, as those of us in the addiction treatment field know too well. But help is available and the recovery process can be helped along with an understanding of the things that so commonly get in the way of healing.

Break the Self-Betrayal Habit

By Kimberly Key on May 12, 2015 in Counseling Keys
People generally fear the disapproval of others—society, family, a first crush, bullies, or fear being different and alone. To compensate, sometimes people will work harder to acquire money and possessions, sex, love, food, alcohol, drugs, constant relocating and starting over, and/or isolating. Here is what you can do to identify and heal the source so many bad habits.

Episodic Memories

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 12, 2015 in In Excess
Over the past year I have been interviewed a couple of times about the seeming increase in ‘binge watching’ of DVD box sets of television series. But what is it that makes us sit down and watch a whole television series on one day back-to-back? What is the psychology behind 'box set bingeing?'

8 Ways to Boost Your Self-Control

By Temma Ehrenfeld on May 11, 2015 in Open Gently
Some research-tested self-discipline strategies--like gargling sugar-water--aren't obvious.

A Woman's Father is Key To Her Power

By Mark Matousek on May 09, 2015 in Ethical Wisdom
The daughter of an alcoholic, Greatest Generation pilot father was shocked when he called her to his deathbed for a series of life-changing exchanges that healed their relationship and freed Pythia Peay as a woman. Deeply moving, universal, and wise.

What if Addiction is the Only Game in Town?

By Marc Lewis Ph.D. on May 09, 2015 in Addicted Brains
Giving up booze or drugs, getting sober, might sound like a good idea. Unless there's nothing else available to provide you with meaning and warmth. Without those alternatives, getting straight is like looking into a dust-storm. There's nothing to see except greyness and formlessness -- and that can be terrifying.

Homosexuality is Not an Addiction

By David J Ley Ph.D. on May 08, 2015 in Women Who Stray
Clinicians and programs who provide conversion or gay reparative therapies are now using a new treatment justification, claiming that homosexuality is an addictive disorder.

Developing Resilience

Why do some people have a similar experience and one develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the other doesn’t?

Brainlock 101—How We Can't Help Becoming Stuck

You are trapped—by your own brain activity and chemistry, by developmental patterns from the past, by the way your patterns and your partner's patterns interlock with one another, and by social forces that are hard to see. Read about how this becomes "Brainlock" and cements you (in a plural sense) into a state of irrelationship.

Many Faces, One Voice: Secrets from the Anonymous People

By The Book Brigade on May 07, 2015 in The Author Speaks
Addiction takes many forms and blights many lives. Writer-producer Bud Mikhitarian traveled the country gaining insight after insight from those still suffering and those who found a path to recovery

What's the Downside of Self-Soothing?

When you’re feeling stressed, out-of-sorts, or on-edge, you should be able to turn to whatever offers you comfort. Still, some forms of self-soothing are much healthier, safer, and adaptive than others. And regrettably, certain ways of comforting yourself can carry a steep price tag—and in the end be seriously detrimental to both you and your relationships. . . .

Substitute to Aid Success

When things don't work, try something else.

Self-Deception Has Many Faces

Procrastination is a stealth form of self-deception

The Neuroscience of Making a Decision

Understanding how your brain makes decisions in the heat-of-the-moment leads to more positive outcomes.

Lessons from Appalachia

How stereotypes and lack of knowledge obscure the true image of one of America’s most distinct cultures.

5 Ways to Stay Sober While Traveling

Whether for pleasure or business, travel presents challenges for those working hard to stay sober. With a little planning and foresight, however, you can minimize the risk and maximize the chances of actually enjoying your outing rather than feeling as though you’re running a gantlet.

Lose the Booze

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on May 05, 2015 in In Excess
There is a general rule of thumb that where the opportunities and access to potentially addictive behaviours are increased, more people engage in that behaviour. One such behaviour is the drinking of alcohol. Given the wide accessibility of alcohol, what are the best ways to minimize alcohol intake? Here are some practical tips.

What Triggers Cravings?

What is the most effective way to eliminate cravings and stop the cycle of addictive behavior? This post offers new advice based on the latest cutting-edge scientific research.

Journaling Clears Out the Bad, Builds Up the Good

By Jason Powers M.D. on May 03, 2015 in Beyond Abstinence
Multiple studies show that disclosing emotions through journaling is therapeutic, which is why I encourage my patients to write for their own benefit and consumption.

Simplifying Heroin

Heroin addition is often described as a disease like any other. It is not.

Posttraumatic Growth

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Tips to Avoid Pain Recovery Relapse

I typically use the famous quote from W.L. Bateman, “if you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got,” when patients come into treatment after having no success with methods of pain relief.

How Bullying Changes Your Life’s Course If You're LGBTQ

This happens across the board in many different socio-economic groups, but it particularly pronounced among those who identify as gay, lesbian, transgendered, queer or bisexual (LGBTQ).

There's a Hidden Dark Side to Being an Entrepreneur

The hidden secret among many entrepreneurs is the psychological price they pay for their choices. The demands of business ownership may place entrepreneurs at a higher risk of specific mental health problems.

Is Surfing the Internet Addictive?

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on April 30, 2015 in Mind Change
New research shows that aimless, excessive Internet use is associated with changes in the brain consistent with addictions. What could be addictive about endlessly surfing the web?