“We are living in a world that primes us all for the problem of addiction. So even though some people come into this world more vulnerable than others, simply being alive in the world today has made us all vulnerable to the problem of addiction,” so says our guest today, Dr. Anna Lembke. Dr. Lembke is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. An expert in all things addiction, Dr. Lembke has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and commentaries; she sits on the board of several state and national addiction-focused organizations, has testified before various Congressional Committees, and does so all while maintaining a thriving clinical practice.
On today’s episode, we discuss her instant New York Times Bestseller, Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence, which explores the many faces of addiction. Dr. Lembke notes that addiction is a spectrum disorder, and though we often attempt to otherize “addicts”, the exact same mental machinery engaged in so-called severe addiction is engaged in the compulsive over-consumption that afflicts many of us. We discuss the way in which our brain is wired to balance pleasure and pain and how to know when our consumption has crossed from healthy, recreational use to addictive, maladaptive use. Finally, Dr. Lembke leaves us with some strategies for recalibrating our neural-balance, including the perhaps counterintuitive remedy of exposing ourselves to pain in order to treat our pain.
Identifying the risk factors for addiction…(5:53)
The balance between pleasure and pain…(11:45)
The Dopamine Guideposts…(18:49)
Finding healing stories and re-calibrating the neuro-plasticity of the brain…(28:21)
MORE FROM ANNA LEMBKE:
Anna Lembke's Website
Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence
Drug Dealer, MD – How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop
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