What the overdose epidemic teaches us about our deepest needs…

…and how modern society fails to meet them. Hi everyone. I hope your summer is going smoothly, safe from insects, droughts, forest fires, and other human-assisted calamities. I’m on vacation in France now, after a harrowing trip giving talks, first in Victoria, Canada, and then in Melbourne and Brisbane. Harrowing because I flew across 16 […] (Read the rest.)

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“Recovery”: Mark of shame or triumph?

…by April Wilson Smith… I used to hate the word “recovery.” To me, it was a mark of shame, stating that I was permanently damaged and different from “normies,” as they call people without substance use problems in AA. Recovery signified a lifetime of isolation, avoiding social events and going to dull nightly meetings where […] (Read the rest.)

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Sober or not: Defining substance use for yourself

…by Jenny Valentish… Not everyone enjoys the label ‘sober’. I personally don’t call myself an ‘alcoholic’ or ‘identify as an addict’. I’m also far too English to use a dramatic phrase such as ‘in recovery’. In my book, Woman of Substances: A Journey Into Addiction and Treatment, I don’t call myself ‘sober’ either, partly because […] (Read the rest.)

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Evolution, suffering, and addiction — nobody said it was easy

The relationship between addiction and emotional anguish — primarily anxiety and depression — is well known. When we look for root causes of addiction, we inevitably ask why so many people are suffering. Here I reflect a bit, and link to a mind-blowing video, on suffering and evolution. Why is it so hard? Why is […] (Read the rest.)

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Addiction as choice — responsibility without blame

…by Hanna Pickard… Hanna is one of several addiction researchers who wrote commentaries about my book and my theory of addiction. Here she explains how we can view addiction as guided by choice without the extra baggage of blame, shame, and stigma. Following are segments of her revised commentary, which can be seen in full […] (Read the rest.)

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