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Addiction psychiatrist and bioethicist Carl Erik Fisher explores addiction and recovery from the widest possible diversity of perspectives: from science to spirituality, from philosophy to politics, and everything in between. He interviews leading experts in areas such as psychology, neurobiology, history, sociology, and more--as well as policy makers, advocates, and people with lived experience. A core commitment of the show is we need more than medicine to truly understand addiction and re ...
 
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From quite early in her life, Peg O’Connor felt a “double dose of shame” - from her lesbian identity on one hand, and her struggles with alcohol on the other. Her drinking problems almost got her expelled from high school, but instead she was able to stop. In her view, philosophy helped her immensely to get and stay sober, especially considering ho…
 
One important vision I have for this podcast is to share diverse experiences of addiction and recovery. How people write about it, yes, but even more importantly, the nitty gritty of how they made sense of their own addiction and found their way to recovery. Today’s guest, Holly Whitaker, is a fierce, passionate, and incisive writer who has charted…
 
Taking care of our relationships is a crucial way we take care of ourselves and the wider world. Some of the most common questions I get in my clinical practice and from listeners are questions about how to navigate relationships in addiction and recovery: couples, parents and kids, or otherwise. So I wanted to have a clinically focused episode abo…
 
Dr. Mark Epstein is a hero of mine. He is a Buddhist psychiatrist and author who has been a voice of kindness and wisdom in our field for decades, and I’ve long looked to his work for inspiration and guidance. So it was an honor to speak with him for this episode of the Flourishing After Addiction podcast! Mark does not have a personal history of a…
 
With so much suffering today, and in the midst of a historic overdose crisis, you might wonder: why bother looking to the distant past of addiction? How can the history of addiction actually help us? For me, I found that I needed history to make sense of what happened to me and my family. After studying addiction for a little while, I saw that idea…
 
How do we best tap into the positive side of recovery, beyond abstinence, sobriety, and remission? What does the science actually show about growing and changing in life after addiction? There is perhaps no one better equipped to answer those questions than my guest on today’s episode of the Flourishing After Addiction podcast: Dr. John Kelly, Harv…
 
A lot of us folks in recovery have big collections of self-help and memoir books, and with good reason. Books give us solace, they help us see how other people deal with similar challenges, they are a source of community through contact with other minds, and, as articulated by Eva Hagberg, this week’s guest on the Flourishing After Addiction podcas…
 
As Ram Dass once said, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” I’m thinking about this quote as many of us are grappling with the Omicron variant and trying to make the most of this winter break. This time of year can be hard for everyone, and I’m also thinking about all of us in recovery who have difficult family histo…
 
What happens when we define ourselves in terms of group memberships? How does culture and society affect our capacity for self-control and self-regulation? Why does the toxic binary of “us” versus “them” seem to be so powerful these days? How can we instead use our shared identities to improve our wellbeing and work toward harmony and flourishing? …
 
Owen Flanagan is a philosopher who has long studied topics like consciousness, neuroscience, morality, and responsibility. But early in his career, even while racking up accolades for his pathbreaking work, drinking was already taking hold of his life. Things took a dramatic turn in the 1990s when a brain tumor and a medication reaction sent him ov…
 
Ryan Hampton, an alumnus of the Clinton White House, had an up-and-coming career in politics until the early 2000s, when he became addicted to OxyContin, then heroin. After he entered recovery in 2015, he became a prominent advocate on addiction issues, from community-based organizing to national activities, such as helping to release the first-eve…
 
In mental health treatment today, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is nothing less than a sensation, and some of the most promising results are in addiction treatment. Droves of people—from researchers and clinicians to underground shamans and private funders—are hailing the re-emergence of psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, and ketam…
 
Flourishing after addiction requires flourishing for all. The public health of addiction and recovery has several important lessons, not just how to respond to the overdose crisis, but also, and more concretely, how to think holistically about addiction and all the factors that support someone’s recovery. How to protect the mental health of ourselv…
 
For decades, clinicians have used mindfulness-based interventions to treat stress, physical pain, and mental disorders. But there’s more to meditation than “mindfulness” alone, and the next wave of researchers in this field is still working out how to incorporate other practices from the wisdom traditions that gave rise to mindfulness-based treatme…
 
Six percent of American adults say they are “in recovery” from a problem with alcohol or other drugs, but it’s not always clear exactly what that means. Even among researchers who study the concept, the definition of “recovery” is far from settled: does it require abstinence? does it necessarily involve lofty concepts like spirituality and citizens…
 
Roughly 35 years ago, harm reduction saved Maia Szalavitz’s life. It was 1986 in the East Village, and though Maia was an Ivy League kid who read two newspapers a day, she had no idea that her regular intravenous heroin use put her at risk for HIV. Thanks to a chance encounter, though, Maia learned about some simple harm reduction practices that he…
 
This episode’s interview is with Kevin Griffin, a Buddhist teacher who has trained with some of the leading Western Vipassana teachers—including Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Ajahn Amaro—and who himself is a leader in the mindful recovery movement. Kevin is one of the founders of the Buddhist Recovery Network, an organization that promotes …
 
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