88 episodes

The Addicted Mind Podcast is about understanding addiction from a research and treatment perspective. We will dive into what drives the addictive process, explore the latest research on addiction, and talk about the latest addiction treatment options. We will also explore what recovery from addiction looks like from a variety of different people. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction then The Addicted Mind Podcast can help.

The Addicted Mind Podcast Duane Osterlind, LMFT

    • Mental Health

The Addicted Mind Podcast is about understanding addiction from a research and treatment perspective. We will dive into what drives the addictive process, explore the latest research on addiction, and talk about the latest addiction treatment options. We will also explore what recovery from addiction looks like from a variety of different people. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction then The Addicted Mind Podcast can help.

    88: Recovery Dharma with Josh Rychert

    88: Recovery Dharma with Josh Rychert

    Josh Rychert joins us today. He will be talking about the recovery community called Recovery Dharma, in Boise, Idaho. Josh shares his personal story and explains how mindfulness, Buddhism, and learning to understand his dharma assisted him and can assist others too, by bringing the elements of peace and calmness into their lives and their recovery process. 
    Episode Link>>>>>www.theaddictedmind.com/88
    Josh is in Boise, Idaho, where he has been involved in the recovery community since 2014. Recovery Dharma, under that name, only came into being last year. Recovery Dharma in Boise started as Refuge Recovery, with small groups and alliances with other similar groups through an online presence. 
     
    Recovery Dharma is an addiction recovery peer support group, with meetings all over the nation. It uses Buddhism, with the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, as a way to structure recovery for individuals.
     
    Josh's recovery began in 1995. After having had issues with an alcohol use disorder, he became involved with Twelve Step groups. And after many years of recovery, Josh eventually found himself moving away from the Twelve Steps and developing an interest in meditation, to help his depression. Eventually, he rediscovered his need for a recovery community, and he fell into the Buddhist addiction recovery path, under the name of Refuge Recovery.
     
    Buddhism was something that recognized Josh's capacity to have a life where compulsions and addictions were not the primary focus. It offered him an opportunity to identify with a recovery path that didn't identify with his addiction. He could, however, still recognize the risk of compulsions and addictions in his life. 
    The kind of present moment experience that Josh wanted from Buddhism was the experience of seeing the world clearly, being able to participate in life, and simply being alive and happy. While recognizing, at the same time, that he had certain risks to his wellness.
     
    Buddhism offers a spiritual path, it uses mindfulness and meditation, and it recognizes addiction as a risk. It addresses the recovery from addiction as what is happening in one's life in the present moment, as it is being lived, rather than having a focus on the past, and an identification with a set of behaviors to retain recovery. After the initial concerns with a compulsive or addictive behavior have been addressed, it's about living life and knowing that there is a tendency for that kind of behavior. Present moment awareness is where the ability to stay in recovery is exercised.
    For most people in recovery, options are not offered to them in the beginning. People with addictions are usually referred directly to Twelve-Step-based recovery programs, although many people don't resonate with that.  
     
    Having Buddhism as an option is valuable because it recognizes a modern incarnation of our knowledge of recovery and it does not require reliance on a Higher Power.
     
    Mindfulness has been scientifically validated. With cravings, mindfulness helps people to be with the discomfort, and sit through it. Also, when the cravings have lessened, mindfulness helps people to thrive, in the moment.
     
    Recovery Dharma offers a way to learn about, and practice meditation, as a supplement to the Eleventh Step in the Twelve-Step Program.
     
    Recovery Dharma is broken down into some general categories. There is the practice of meditation, there are recovery meetings, and there is the study of Buddhism.
     
    Dharma is often the word used to describe the teachings of Buddhism. More broadly, it describes a sense of truth, or a clear understanding of reality, or the wise teachings that bring about in people a sense of well-being and an ability to connect with the world. It allows people to share their wisdom and it offers them a sense of togetherness.
     
    The Recovery Dharma meetings facilitate a sha

    • 35 min
    87: The Root of the Addictive Process with Alex Katehakis

    87: The Root of the Addictive Process with Alex Katehakis

    Today's guest is Alex Katehakis. Alex is a Clinical Sexologist with a doctorate in human sexuality. She's also the Clinical Director of the Center For Healthy Sex in Los Angeles, California.
     
    Alex has written several books - Sex Addiction As Affect Dysregulation, Erotic Intelligence, and Mirror Of Intimacy. 
    Episode link>>>>www.theaddictedmind.com/87
     
    In today's episode, she shares her wisdom and insight about recovery and we have a great conversation about the root causes of the addictive process. We focus on the early developmental trauma and the way that it affects the ability to regulate our affect, and how addictive substances or processes are used to escape from those feelings. 
     
    Alex has always been fascinated by human sexuality. After practicing as a licensed marriage/family therapist for twenty-five years, she decided to dive deeper into human sexuality, rather than psychology.
     
    In addition to human sexuality, Alex has also been studying with Dr. Alan Shaw for the past twelve years, looking specifically at developmental neuroscience and how the early formation of the infant impacts on the developing brain, nervous system, and mind.
     
    Talking about affect is referring to emotions. These emotions live deep within the body, and they only come forward when they are registered by the brain as feelings. 
     
    When a person is dysregulated and stressed out, their affect becomes dysregulated. When a child feels threatened, perhaps from an alcoholic, raging, shut down, or mean parent, their affect becomes dysregulated and they will always find themselves looking for something to make them feel better. In their waking life, a dysregulated person will feel anxious, depressed, dead internally, or dull. There's a general lack of feeling vitality in the body.
     
    Dysregulated people say they don't feel joy states, or they are super anxious, so they have to drink to make the anxiety go away. They may use sex to make themselves feel powerful or good about themselves.
     
    Anything that we're doing outside of ourselves to make ourselves feel 'right internally' speaks to affect dysregulation. Someone who is securely attached, and has a good heart-rate variability in general, doesn't have to reach for anything to change their internal state or mood. 
     
    Love addicts, and some sex addicts, learned very early on that they had to get their needs met by themselves, so they used fantasy, which is a form of mild to moderate dissociation. This makes it difficult for them to connect to another person, as an adult, and to have intimacy or closeness. People often don't know this about themselves until their lives become unmanageable. 
     
    As humans, we are highly adaptable creatures, so we can adapt to just about anything, even something dysfunctional that feels better than the problem we're living in. This can create patterns that are difficult to change. 
    Change is possible, however, it takes time. 
     
    Willpower is difficult for people experiencing a lot of stress. It's not the best way to change long-standing patterns that people have developed over time.
    Long-term psychotherapy can help people feel into their bodies, and it allows them to feel the things they could not feel, as a child. 
     
    The therapist's nervous system can soothe and regulate the nervous system of the patient in the same way as it would with a healthy mother and a child. This is known as a co-regulatory process.
     
    With a healthy person, their brain circuits are all online and firing. With someone who has been abused, however, their circuits are not coupled. They are down. This creates a deadness at their core. It requires the care of other people to get their circuits to come back up.
     
    Twelve-step programs help people change because they are inclusive and non-judgmental. As humans, we all need other people to survive. 
     
    In

    • 33 min
    86: Treatment and Recovery from Chemsex Addiction

    86: Treatment and Recovery from Chemsex Addiction

    David Fawcett is our guest for today and he will be talking about chemsex addiction. He will explain what it is and how people recover when they fuse a drug addiction and a sex addiction. 
    Episode Link>>>>>www.theaddictedmind.com/86
    David is a licensed clinical social worker and a sexologist (sex therapist). For the last twenty years, he has been working with men who have sex with men who use methamphetamine, other drugs, and high-risk sex. He has now developed an interest in what has become known as chemsex.  
     
    For years, people were coming to David, as a sexologist, with their sexual problems. By looking at their history, he noticed that the sexual problems were being caused by methamphetamine. And he realized that people were often seeking help for their sex problems rather than for their drug problems. This led to David's discovery of the fusion between sexual behavior and drug use. And the devastation that it caused for the affected individuals.
     
    People simultaneously using drugs and sex causes a fusion, or bonding, of neuropathways in the brain. This brings about a specific set of behaviors, making it necessary for them to deal simultaneously with both their sex and their substance addictions.
     
    People's sex lives become so set by the super-stimulation of sex and drugs that nothing normal is appealing anymore. Sex and porn addiction play out similarly and the brain has to reboot in recovery.
     
    There is even a state, called anhedonia, where people are no longer able to experience any pleasure and life feels grey and depressing. This is often due to the brain shedding its receptors.
     
    People who were a year or eighteen months clean were coming to see David. They had virtually no sexual desire because sex been so fused with their drug use that when they gave up the drugs, the sex went with it. This happens because of Dopamine, one of the neurotransmitters in the brain, that bonds actions and rewards together. 
     
    With chemsex, there is a high-level volume of stimulation coming into the brain. So the brain sheds its Dopamine receptors to control the level of stimulation that it is receiving. This can lead to depression.
     
    Methamphetamine is neurotoxic. This means that it consumes and destroys the receptors in the brain. It can take several years in recovery for the neuropathways to recover.
     
    Recovery from chemsex involves working with both the chemical and the sex sides of the addiction. David uses an abstinence-across-the-board model, combined with recovery plans for sex and substance addictions.
     
    One of David's goals is to re-integrate healthy sexuality back into people's lives. Anything that gets people into their bodies and out of their heads speeds up the process. 
     
    Peer support is really valuable for recovery from chemsex addiction. Recovery is possible!
     
    Links and resources:
    David's email - david@seekingintegrity.com
    David's websites - www.seekingintegrity.com
                                www.sexandrelationshipshealing.com

    • 22 min
    85: Using Breathwork to Cope with a Food Addiction with Kathleen Oh

    85: Using Breathwork to Cope with a Food Addiction with Kathleen Oh

    Kathleen Oh is our guest for today. We have a great conversation with her about breathwork, facilitating change, and non-ordinary experiences. 
    Episode Link>>>>www.theaddictedmind.com/85
    Kathleen is an Integration Coach, and her work started three years ago, in the foundation of her addiction, and her recovery. She had plenty of help from some great mentors and teachers along the way, however, it was ultimately the tools that she acquired for herself, in her journey out of her addiction, that got her to where she is today.
     
    Kathleen has a food addiction. This was very hard for her, and although her addiction wasn't obvious to others, it was clear to her that there was something profoundly wrong with her brain because she saw how she was continuously cycling through addictions with cigarettes, alcohol, and food. She was a binge-eater who used to eat secretly. She was obese, and her appetite for refined foods was insatiable, so she knew she had an issue with food but she did not realize at the time that it was an addiction. She thought it was an emotional need that she was trying to fulfill.
     
    The specific foods that Kathleen cannot tolerate are refined. Due to their molecular structure, her brain takes in refined foods as if they are drugs like heroin or cocaine. It was a huge eye-opener for her when she discovered that by removing refined foods from her diet, she was able to access the non-ordinary experiences of a spiritual awakening.
     
    Breathwork has resulted in some of the most profound experiences that Kathleen has ever had. She started her relationship with breathwork about twenty years ago, when she encountered Breath Therapy for the first time, and her facilitator became her mentor. 
     
    Kathleen's addiction revealed itself to her three years ago, and she has been in recovery ever since. She now realizes that when she was overeating and drinking alcohol, she was trying to escape from her body.
     
    Breathwork has allowed Kathleen to feel safe to be in her body. This connection to herself has given her something wonderful that she has never experienced before. Breathwork supported Kathleen in a way that she could accept the difficult moments in her life and power through them. Breathwork became a place of surrender for her, and this became the foundation for her recovery.
     
    Although the method that Kathleen's breathwork facilitator used was initially very challenging for her, it became the primary breath that Kathleen used at the time. It involves a sharp intake of breath, into the top third of the lungs, and the sound it makes can create a shocking feeling and cause one to re-experience past traumas that have been stored in the body. 
     
    Since then, Kathleen has learned and practiced many other breaths, many of which are gentler and just as effective as the initial breath that she learned. 
     
    Holotropic Breathwork is probably the most effective and best-researched breathing technique. It was developed in the 1960s by a psychiatrist called Stanislav Grof, who came to the US to do LSD research. When his research into LSD was terminated in the late 1960s, he continued looking for ways to bring about the non-ordinary state. He found that breathwork was as effective as LSD, and using yogic breath practices, shamanic journeys, and loud cultural music and drumming, he developed the Holotropic Breathwork system.
     
    A non-ordinary experience can also be defined as an altered, or subconscious state. This state is outside of what we would normally experience in the container of our regular thoughts, feelings, and ideas. And pushing your mind beyond the normal experience gives you access to more information and allows you to be more creative in your thinking, feeling, and being. This state can be attained through meditation, yoga, certain prayer practices, and breathwork.
     
    Kathleen would like to enco

    • 26 min
    84: The Rising Cost of Rehab with German Lopez

    84: The Rising Cost of Rehab with German Lopez

    Today, our guest is German Lopez. German a writer and he is currently doing a project called The Rehab Racket, which involves looking into addiction treatment, exploring some of the issues associated with it, and bringing them to light. This challenges the addiction treatment community to provide the very best care for people who are suffering from addictions.
     
    German is a senior correspondent at Vox.com. Before, he was writing mostly about drug policy and criminal justice issues, but for the past few months, his focus has been on The Rehab Racket project, which was created to investigate the cost and quality of the treatment that is available for addictions in the United States. At this point, German has received more than 1100 submissions from patients and their families.
    Episode Link>>>>www.theaddictedmind.com/84
    For the last few years, German has been researching and writing about the opioid epidemic. He saw that policy-makers had been making an effort to put more money into addiction treatment, which is something that activists had been calling for, for quite some time. This information initially seemed contradictory to him because addiction is hard to treat, and there was a general understanding out there that much of the available treatment was inadequate, not evidence-based, and not really helping a lot of people. 
     
    German wanted to make sure that the money being poured into addiction treatment was indeed going towards something worthwhile and effective. So he started talking to families, to ascertain whether or not he was onto something. This is how The Rehab Racket project came about.
     
    German believes that more money should be poured into addiction treatment but, at the same time, more should be done to ensure that the treatment is good. His hope is that The Rehab Racket project will serve to ensure that addiction treatment is motivated to be good by someone holding it accountable.
     
    It seems that the idea that people who use drugs and go through addiction treatment are under-represented overall in the conversation, has changed in recent years, particularly with the opioid epidemic. This is what motivated German to want to hear directly from the affected people. Also, to truly reflect how well addiction treatment is working, he needed to reach out to as many people as possible. This is why there is a survey form on German's website for people who have gone through the system to fill out, talk about their addiction treatment, and help shed a light on this part of the health-care system.
     
    Hearing from people who found a treatment that worked for their addiction, and got them into recovery, who had spent thousands, and sometimes even tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on that treatment was alarming for German. The American health insurance system is supposed to protect people from these catastrophic costs, and in a lot of cases, the insurance is not doing that due to the many barriers that are involved.
     
    Mostly, the cost for the treatment of addiction is very high and there are no guarantees that it will be successful, because the treatment, and the various medications for addiction, do not work the same for everyone. Also, the medications that have worked successfully for addictions are not offered at all treatment centers.
     
    For a long time, society neglected this particular area of health care. There were initially no places that provided treatment for addictions, so that forced all the assistance to come from community groups, like AA and other twelve-step groups.
    Treatment for addiction is still a relatively young field, it takes good research to make a good change, and we are still learning about the most effective ways to help people who are struggling with addictions. However, many treatment facilities don't track their outcomes and many of the surveys that are done around ad

    • 35 min
    83: Changing the Relationship with You Through Recovery

    83: Changing the Relationship with You Through Recovery

    Today, we have a great conversation with Jen Sugermeyer. She shares her story of addiction and recovery, and she talks to us about overcoming her shame and her fear of reaching out, and how she managed to change her relationship with herself. 
    Jen grew up on the East Coast and she currently lives in Dallas, Texas. 
    Jen's addiction started at the age of twelve, with an eating disorder. At the time, she did not realize that she was paving the way for her brain to become accustomed to satisfying her reward system. 
    Episode Link>>>>www.theaddictedmind.com/83
    When she reached her mid-thirties, she was an alcoholic and she had been trying to get sober for more than a decade. Looking back, Jen could see her pattern of gaining control of one addiction, and then that leading to another one. 
    Jen also saw that she was accustomed to living two distinctly different lives. She was working in Corporate America at the time, and she did not talk openly about her eating disorder with anyone. She seemed to be a happy-go-lucky person, and she always came across as loving and caring, but she had a very dark side that she kept hidden. And as much as she didn't want to acknowledge her dark side, that part of her was slowly winning the battle and taking over.
    Jen was living an extremely chaotic life, running in and out of jails and hospitals, and then straight into work. She was trying to keep the two parts of herself separate and it was eating her up inside. She even became suicidal towards the end, from living such an unmanageable lifestyle. She kept trying to fix her symptoms when she was the problem. She couldn't get a hold on her addictions, and she knew that at some point, she would have to come to terms with the fact that she needed to work on herself. 
    Although Jen really wanted people close to her, she could never get too close to anyone because she only wanted people to see one part of who she was. And she was working in Corporate America, where there was a stigma around having any kind of mental health issue. So there was a constant battle raging within her between the two aspects of herself, and she felt very alone because there was nobody that she felt she could talk to. It was around this time that she became suicidal because it seemed the easiest way out. 
    It was only when she was about twenty-five that Jen admitted that she had an addiction problem. And it took at least another five years before she could admit to being an alcoholic, even though she had to acknowledge before that, that there were things about her behavior that didn't line up. From the age of twenty-five, she was in and out of AA for about ten years.
    Jen had to learn to love herself. This became abundantly clear to her when the man she was dating told her so and it was his words that finally launched her into sobriety. This was the first time that she understood what she needed to do. 
    Coming out and talking about everything has been an interesting road for Jen. She has been well-received and she's found the experience more liberating than she imagined. However, she realizes that there's still a lot of work to be done. Although Jen gave herself an entire year to work on her recovery, she knows that will have to continue working on herself every day, after that. Because, since she was twelve, she has never really felt her emotions and she has always been suppressing her feelings.
    About five years ago, Jen finally started admitting to her alcoholism. She got sober and began wrapping her head around the recovery process. Although it took a long time for her to find her sobriety, she's okay with it because she doesn't think that she would be the person she is today if she had found her sobriety at the age of eighteen.
    There is a whole lot of forgiving that goes with recovery. Not just for others, but yourself as well. Jen knows that she would not have

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

Coofoo5 ,

Great therapeutic podcast

I have been listening to this podcast for the past 8 months or so and I have found it to be one of the best tools for me in my own recovery. I love how each episode touches on a different aspect of recovery and the many different addictions and their forms of treatment. Thanks Duane!

Bang biscuit ,

As helped me stay sober

Really good podcast. Duane is a good interviewer and brings in helpful guests!

_msyoung_10 ,

Great Topics & Guests

New to the podcast and became an instant fan! Enjoy hearing the various approaches to recovery and knowledgeable guests. Also appreciate the absence of unnecessary chatter and that each episode dives straight into the subject matter. Thank you for your service!

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