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  • Ending Drug Prohibition Could Unite Left & Right

    Posted on July 31, 2020
    By Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD We know prohibition doesn’t stop drug use, actually makes the use of drugs more dangerous, and helps increase profit margins for those who control the black market.  We know that humans locked in cages for possessing psychoactive compounds deemed dangerous by the government are disproportionately people of color.  We know the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated the retail value of the illegal drug trade in 2005 alone to be $321 billion, nearly 1% of total global trade.  We know that people are hurting right now, that calls for social change are strong, that the economy is hurting, and that an efficiently functioning government helps in times of societal distress.  Ending drug prohibition is a concrete, achievable action step that would advance ...
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  • Disputing Irrational Beliefs & The Power of the Question

    Posted on July 24, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Humans are renowned for our cranial horsepower.  To maximize efficiency, our brains developed a number of shortcuts to thinking that are rarely questioned.  The discovery of the brain’s cognitive shortcuts made researcher Daniel Kahneman one of only two psychologists ever to with both the Nobel and Grawemeyer prizes, and for those interested the book Thinking Fast & Slow gives a detailed account of the cognitive cheats than can wreak havoc when they go unquestioned.  In the world of addiction, the company line continues to be notoriously under-questioned and groupthink abounds.  People who question the status quo in addiction treatment are greeted with about as much enthusiasm as a free thinker in boot camp.  But for any provider or person seeking treatme...
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  • Drug Overdoses on the Rise Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

    Posted on July 10, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD We know that close connections and a breadth of quality relationships are often at the heart of overcoming addictive problems.  The coronavirus and subsequent safety measures mandating isolation make close connections with others more challenging than ever.  It is no surprise then, amidst a pandemic forcing social isolation, that people are turning to substances to cope with disconnection from others.  Sadly, recent data from first responders and hospitals suggests that during social isolation restrictions overdoses increased 18% in March, 29% in April, and 42% in May.  The harrowing overdose statistics further evidence the notion that, to a large extent, the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection. Spiking alcohol sales during coronavir...
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  • We Can’t Feel Safe All The Time

    Posted on June 5, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D.   Feeling safe is a monumental component of mental health and well-being.  However, a focus on feeling safe all the time is a setup for failure because it is impossible to feel safe all the time.  Furthermore, feeling safe all the time would be detrimental in some ways.  Feeling safe is closely related to feeling comfortable, and there are clearly established health benefits that come from pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone.  Not to mention, there’s that pesky little truth buried in almost all absolute thinking - most absolutes contain fatal fissures at their core.  Efforts to ensure that people feel safe to be themselves, and safe to simply exist, is inarguably an important aspect of a healthy society that encourages individual differences ...
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  • The Beauty of Basic

    Posted on May 1, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D.   Lifestyle impositions stifle our sense of freedom and challenge us to get back to the basics in order to maintain psychological and emotional wellbeing.  Restriction conjures rebellion.  Rarely is the spirit more determined than when caged.  The essence of finding the feeling of freedom amidst extreme limitation lies in reconnecting with the senses.  The modern human has been conditioned to life with a plethora of sophisticated distractions at our beck and call.  With the world and everything we want in it just a one click, buy-it-now, 2-day shipping, instant transfer of ones and zeros is a database away, the beauty of the basics are rendered, well, in millennial vernacular, ‘basic.’  To cultivate the feeling of freedom we need not look beyond the...
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  • COVID Crisis Highlights Value of Long-Term Rewards

    Posted on April 17, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Some experts argue that it takes about 10,000 hours to build mastery, others disagree.  Few would disagree that building mastery requires discipline and a significant sacrifice of immediate pleasures over time (aka work).  Sacrificing right now for later is not something humans are particularly well equipped to do.  Sheltering-in-place during the COVID crisis is itself a pay-now, buy-later deal, the exact opposite of addictive behaviors who sell us on our predilection towards buy-now, pay-later deals.  Send me the bill, put it on my tab, charge it to my room, run it on my card, just give me what I want now and I’ll deal with the rest later. Hard-wired human preferences for now over later make sense, given that right now is our only guarantee, tomorrow… who kn...
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  • Harm Reduction Tips from the Experts

    Posted on April 10, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, PsyD Leading harm-reduction experts, April Smith and Kenneth Anderson, recently released an article outlining harm-reduction tips for safer drinking amidst shelter-in-place restrictions.  Many are choosing to abstain entirely, others, not so much.  Many, many industries are hit hard by the societal shutdowns, however, the adult beverage industry is not one of them.  Alcohol sales are up, way up, during the COVID-19 crisis.  Nothing like heroic doses of uncertainty and boredom to drive one to drink!  For those who may be struggling to adhere to their drinking goals, Smith & Anderson offer tips to help maximize drinking safety. Lack of structure is one of the biggest challenges many people face in the era of shelter-in-place.  With external structure no longe...
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  • 5 Ways of Coping with Isolation

    Posted on March 27, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. As the late, great Jim Morrison crooned, strange days have found us.  As millions adjust to social life filtered almost exclusively through the cold, unforgiving pixilation of digital screens, the need for genuine connection is more intense than ever.  Below are five ways of coping with isolation that do not involve more screens and may be helpful amidst these strange days that have tracked us down. 1. Phone Calls Phone calls rather than facetime, skype, zoom, whatever, eliminate the visual element.  There’s nothing like real-time visual feedback of ourselves to distract us and heighten our insecurities.  Pacing around a living room while talking on the phone can help free the mind.  Feeling more unencumbered when talking with a friend or loved one might ...
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  • The Benefits of Novel Experience

    Posted on March 6, 2020
    It Can Be Good to Get Out of Your Head by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Our website content is no stranger to controversy.  A few months back a blog on the benefits of drugs may have been our single best pot-stirrer to-date based on the number of fervent responses of discontent.  Never mind that we live in a society that uses more drugs than any other.  Never mind that our culture often espouses the credo ‘better living through chemistry.’  Never mind that research shows that non-ordinary states of consciousness often have lasting positive impact on overall functioning and wellbeing.  Never mind that the idea of a drug free society is delusional.  Never mind that our controversy-laden blog entitled 'Drugs are Good?' would have likely generated absolutely no outrage had it used the euphemi...
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  • How to Forgive

    Posted on February 21, 2020
    by Thaddeus Camlin, Psy.D. Forgiveness is often discussed in addiction treatment, and in general has been shown to bolster mental health, hope, and self-esteem.  People are frequently told that they ‘should’ forgive a loved one, or that they ‘need to’ forgive themselves.  Tangible tactics on how to forgive are oft-omitted.  This article neglects philosophical pontifications as to what forgiveness is and instead focuses on specific techniques, based on the Enright model of forgiveness, that actually result in the experience of forgiveness. According to researchers, forgiveness starts with an unflinching look directly into the nature of the offense and the objective and subjective effects caused by it.  To forgive, one must identify and work through the layers of pain, shame, guilt,...
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