From your nervous system’s view, our culture is swimming in dopamine. Porn, binging junk food, video games, “retail therapy”—things from the innocent to the insidious light our brains up with dopamine, and we often wind up more than one addiction. But how?
Addiction to anything is never easy to unpack, so I sat down with the amazing Dr. Anna Lembke for a deep dive into dopakine; how our brain balances pleasure and pain, how it relates to trauma, and how we need to acknowledge the fact that we living in a “drugified” world.
Anna Lembke is professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. A clinician scholar, she 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 committees in the United States House of Representatives and Senate, keeps an active speaking calendar, and maintains a thriving clinical practice.
In 2016, she published Drug Dealer, MD – How Doctors Were Duped, Patients Got Hooked, and Why It’s So Hard to Stop (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), which was highlighted in the New York Times as one of the top five books to read to understand the opioid epidemic (Zuger, 2018). Dr. Lembke recently appeared on the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma, an unvarnished look at the impact of social media on our lives.
Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence (Dutton/Penguin Random House, August 2021) explores how to moderate compulsive overconsumption in a world where feeling good is the highest good.
Connect with Dr. Lembke
-Book: Dopamine Nation: https://www.annalembke.com/dopamine-nation
-Book: Drug Dealer, MD: https://www.annalembke.com/drug-dealer-md
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