Addiction Neurobiology & Personal Destiny – By William L White

    In 2005, Nature Neurosciencepublished a special issue on the neuroscience of addiction that summarized the advancements in unraveling the biological mechanisms that contribute to the etiology and progression of addiction to a wide spectrum of psychoactive drugs.  The technical papers included in the 2005 special issue stood as a progress report on the biological model of addiction that has been aggressively promulgated by National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, MD, and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Director George Koob, PhD.   The state of addiction science was updated in 2011 in Nature, and Nature has just published a special supplement of articles on addiction that provides a further update. In reviewing this series of collected papers, it is difficult not to be swept up in the advancements in our understanding of the neurobiology of addiction.  These papers mark an evolution from a deeper understanding of the underlying mechanisms of addiction, to new… Continue reading

    Fat Is Not a Feeling By Andrea Wachter, LMFT

    My earliest memory of “feeling fat” was when I was about 12 years old. Up until that time, I was not all that aware of having a body; I was pretty much just in my body, doing the things that kids do. I had not yet learned that I was supposed to look differently than I did. I had not yet downloaded the program that some foods were “good” and others were “bad.” I did not yet have exercise and movement linked up with calorie burning or self-worth. Then I got teased about my size. I started to compare myself to my skinnier friends and I began what was to become a full-time job of feeling fat. I had no clue at the time that fat was not a feeling. I didn’t know that body obsession was a cover up for low self-worth, and neither did I know, at the… Continue reading

    Does Sex Addiction Get Worse Over Time? (Yes, It Does!) -Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

      Addicts of all types almost universally experience an increasing tolerance to the mood-altering effects of their substance/behavior of choice. As a result, they must, over time, use more of that addictive substance/behavior or a more intense substance/behavior to achieve and maintain the escapist high they seek. If you’re struggling to understand this, consider drug addiction. Almost nobody shoots heroin right out of the gate. Instead, drug addicts ease into things by smoking marijuana or abusing a prescription medication. As time passes, their tolerance increases, and in response their habits escalate. Maybe they start smoking pot around the clock, or maybe they start popping pills by the handful, or whatever. Eventually, as their brain continues to adapt, even that level of usage doesn’t get or keep them high the way they’d like. At some point, they “discover” drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin, and they use these stronger substances in… Continue reading

    Why do we keep on doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result? By Jackie Stein

    There is a slogan in every 12 step recovery program (although it originated elsewhere) that says “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.” Since most slogans have at least a morsel of truth in them, I thought it might be a good idea to look at this one. This slogan seems to speak to complacency and vigilance. Most of us can agree that addiction is either a disease or an affectation of the psyche. Substance addictions can be physical as well as psychological and process addictions are clearly psychological.  Research shows that any habit can be broken. The keys are to give ourselves time to break the habit and work to keep from relapsing into the addictive behavior. We all know that it takes work to break a habit. The psychological aspect of the addiction is effectively a habit. Whether the habit is drugs,… Continue reading

    Recovery, Relapse, Triggers and Yoga: A Journey Into Healing Part Three, Recovery & Yoga

    What do I mean by Recovery? Recovery is the process of being able to consistently abstain from a problematic substance or behavior, to correct control over behaviors that damage personal relationships, and to repair dysfunctional emotional responses. (Adapted from the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s definition of addiction.) In finding control over behaviors we also refer to realigning damaging thought patterns to be more sattvic, or harmonious and kind. Negative thoughts negatively impact our ability to grow and thrive. These negative samskara, habits of the mind, may result from being in a relationship with an addict as well as being in active addiction oneself. Recovery is a life-long journey as a person continually adapts to life’s challenges without resorting to the comfort of the addition or addictive process. Recovery is not a situational response to consequences from the addiction; it is a decision to abstain and refrain along with a… Continue reading