Essential Reads

American Masculinity and Drugs

Changing relationship between men and their transitional object

Emotion Regulation

Conditioned Emotional Responses Become Habits

Why Are the Candy Crushes of the World Dominating Our Lives?

Darwin goes searching for the gas pedal in this evolutionary phenomenon of his.

The Pain Mess

Treatment of chronic pain is a scandal

Recent Posts on Addiction

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?

Learning to Decline the Call to Sugar

If stress relief is a reason you are craving sugar, look for alternative means of stress relief such as exercise, meditation, yoga, and even venting to friends.

The Psychological Damage of Alcohol Abuse Can Be Lethal

The social and psychological consequences of alcohol abuse can be deadly.

When Is a Doormat Not a Doormat?

Irrelationships may cross the line into frank abuse. However, the abused partner's seeming acquiescence may not be simple acceptance of the unacceptable. Despite his abusiveness, she may believe her partner needs what she has to offer. And her abuser may be equally committed to demanding it even while refusing to validate it.

Is It Time to Ban Food Ads?

We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic that is linked to 18 percent of all deaths for those ages 40-85. It has boosted medical costs by an estimated $150 billion annually and has sent the incidents of related illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease soaring. Obesity is also related to depression and diminished quality of life. It’s never been more apparent

All The Rage

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on April 28, 2015 in In Excess
Beserkers is a culture-bound condition historically affecting Norsemen. The condition manifested itself among males only as an intense fury and rage (berserkergang, i.e., “going beserk”) and mostly occurred in battle situations. But what more do we know about it from a psychological perspective?

7 Signs You May Be A Workaholic

Could you be addicted to your work? Researchers have identified seven warning signs that could indicate you have a problem.

The Mindful Geek

The last 50 years have seen an explosion of anti-smoking campaigns as public health officials realize that smoking is a chief cause of cancer, cardiovascular illness and a host of other diseases. To some extent these campaigns have worked: We are seeing a dramatic reduction in smoking among younger generations. Good progress, but frankly it isn’t enough.

My Sunday Morning With Mental Health Advocates

I wanted to spend our time hearing the thoughts of those who attended, families and patients, about they believed stood in the way of improving mental health services and what we could do about it

Peanut Butter is My Gateway Drug

By Gregg McBride on April 25, 2015 in The Weight-ing Game
Taking the taboo and shame out of a binge can help shed light—and perhaps even some laughter—onto the addictive habits that might be holding us back from finding forgiveness, compassion and (ultimately) success.

Meditation Improves Brain Function

There is a great deal of evidence that meditation, in particular mindfulness meditation, improves the brain, and the research is teaching us a lot about how and why that happens.

Pain in the Family

There are approximately 116 million people currently suffering from chronic pain. And if you’ve read the headlines recently, you know that many people with chronic pain are also struggling with opiate dependence. When we think of treatment and intervention, many of us only consider the person in pain. However, family and friends are impacted as well.

Addiction: A Systems Perspective

By Dan Mager MSW on April 21, 2015 in Some Assembly Required
The dynamics of systems theory and neuroplasticity can provide valuable windows through which we can better understand the respective processes that contribute to addiction and recovery.

Are You Made Of The Write Stuff?

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on April 21, 2015 in In Excess
Many people that know me would probably describe me as a ‘write-aholic’ based on the number of articles and papers that I have had published. When it comes to addictions in academia, ‘writing addiction’ is just about the best one you can have. Here are my tips to turn you into a productive (and excessive) writer