Essential Reads

Understanding Addiction With Electronic Registries

Disruptive technology with a $40 per patient clinical trial price tag.

What's Wrong with Treating the "Disease" of Addiction?

Although still prevalent, the disease model has outlived its usefulness.

Family-based Programs for Substance Abusing Teen Girls

How can we stem the growing trend of substance abuse in girls?

The Mysteries of Habit

Neuroscience studies reveal why some behaviors are so difficult to change

Recent Posts on Addiction

Decoding Pedro Hernandez: Suspected Killer of Etan Patz

Pedro Hernandez is now at the forefront of one of the most notorious missing child cases, and we look to see what may have triggered this unfortunate tragedy.

When "Rehab" and Alcoholics Anonymous Is Not Enough

Over many years, I have had men and women consult me who battled alcoholism but not successfully. They have participated in outpatient substance abuse programs, residential programs, A.A. and, in some instances, a combination of all three.

Bariatric Surgery: A Realistic Look at the Risks and Rewards

Weight loss surgery is overused and its benefits overblown. We need to emphasize eating healthy and getting more active in order to improve overall health and metabolic fitness.

A Visitor From Another Planet Walks Into a NA Meeting

Like it or not, recreational substance use has been with us throughout human history and is here to stay, so why not put science to work in developing better and safer recreational drugs.

When Friends Get Rich or Famous (or Both)

By Mark Matousek on May 29, 2012 Ethical Wisdom
We always want the best for our friends. Don't we?

Don't Blame Yourself (or Others)

By John A. Johnson Ph.D. on May 28, 2012 Cui Bono
Getting blamed does not feel good, whether you deserve it or not. I share some thoughts on how to avoid self-blame, how to not let blame from others get to you, and why you might want to give up blaming others—for anything.

Endorphment: Why Some Breakups Are Much Harder Than Others

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on May 26, 2012 Ambigamy
Endorphment, the endorphin rush of being endorsed--We don't fall in love, we climb in it, feeling endorsed by someone who affirms and elevates our status. We fall when love ends and we're dis-endorsed, or just when we feel dis-endorsed by the better circumstances our ex enters on exiting us.

Who Can Eat Just One?

Now that science finds similar pathways lighting the brain whether it’s on sugar or cocaine, many overeaters feel validated. They’ve known this “hijacking” for years. Others, puzzled by all the fuss, wonder “Why not just have one?

Parenting Teen Girls

It’s not easy being a teen girl and not easy parenting one. More than previous generations, today’s teen girls face a daunting range of stressors that put them at risk for serious issues including self-harming behaviors, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety and depression.

A Calorie Is a Calorie, Or Is It?

Is fructose responsible for the obesity epidemic?

Toxic Relationships in Eating Disorder Recovery

In the vulnerable early stages of recovery from an eating disorder, there is an increased risk of cross-addictions, one of which may be the “high” of romance, sex, and relationships

Mindfulness for a Mindless Age

By Faith Brynie Ph.D. on May 22, 2012 Brain Sense
A new book on mindfulness says experiencing life as it comes can go a long way toward relieving pain, stress, and anxiety. I once wrote a science fiction story that illustrates the point.

How to Tap into Your Self-Healing Superpowers

By Lissa Rankin M.D. on May 22, 2012 Owning Pink
As I described in my personal health journey, I was once a doctor suffering from a wide array of health conditions before I finally woke up to the fact that the root causes of my illnesses were more emotional than biochemical.

Disease, Disorder, or Neurodiversity: The Case of ADHD

The migration route of a wonky gene reveals something surprising about the libelous label "psychological disorder." Context makes all the difference.

Influence Yourself With a "Why-Do" List

The To-Do list has in many instances turned out to be a highly effective way of getting things done. However, we all have some to-do list items that we chronically fail to get around to despite all of the best intentions.

Falling in Love With Morally Ambiguous Television Characters

As a child, I gravitated towards stories featuring relatable characters. My favorite authors wrote about curious children, whimsical adventures, and animals, all things I knew or fantasized about.

Don't be Passive When Divorcing High Conflict Partners

Like monkeys, people have little insight into themselves and the "bananas" they're holding onto. This can get them into big trouble. Especially when they're in a high conflict relationship.

The Psychology of Regret

Edith Piaf, the famous French singer sang "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien." (I Have No Regrets). Should we follow her advice and try to live in the moment, without looking back and without any self-judgment? Or, can we sometimes learn valuable lessons by analyzing our behavior and its consequences.

The Best Addiction Treatment Option

Which addiction treatment option is best? To me that's a bit like asking whether the sky is better than the ocean or the mountains.

Addiction and the Environment

By Sandy Olliges M.A. on May 15, 2012 EcoMind
Recently, James Hansen, noted scientist with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times that development of tar sands as proposed in Canada would propel us onto an inexorable course of global warming that would be disastrous both ecologically and financially.

Addiction’s Blind Spot

When talking about systems of addiction or compulsive dependence, one of the greatest obstacles to recovery is overconfidence.

7 Tips for Giving Gold Stars (From a Gold Star Junkie)

Oh, I’m a gold star junkie. I always want to see those gold stars stuck to the top of my homework. I crave praise, appreciation, recognition.

Psychotherapy With a Budding Serial Killer

Is it possible to treat a budding serial killer before s/he acts?

Creatures of Story

Humans are storytelling animals. We are, as a species, addicted to story. But the addiction runs deeper than we think.

Maurice Sendak and the Human Condition

Maurice Sendak had a solution for life which he shared with the rest of us, and especially children.

What's Behind Emotional Overeating?

To have a healthy body, it is necessary for us to take action of a physical level with diet and exercise, but to have a healthy relationship with food, it is necessary for us to understand ourselves on a deeper emotional level or to uncover why we eat the way we eat.

Does Gender Matter in the Addicted Brain’s Response to Stress?

Current research indicates that a person goes through three phases when developing a drug addiction and that particular brain regions are associated with each phase.

Science, Schmience—This Means YOU, PT Reader

America prides itself on its commitment to scientifically based thinking. But we really cloak in science our actually increasing tendency to see the world in mythical terms.

Addiction: Disease or Not?

I've been pretty convinced that the disease metaphor does nothing for our understanding of addiction. But now I'm not so sure.