233. Dopamine Nation with Anna Lembke

The definition of addiction has been debated extensively over the past several years. However, at least one piece of that definition for both chemical and behavioral addiction has remained constant. The negative consequences that accompany addictive behavior are inescapable and harmful for both those who find themselves addicted to some substance or behavior and their loved ones. Dr. Anna Lembke, author of Dopamine Nation, is an expert on the psychology of addiction. In this episode of POTC, Dr. Lembke and Diana redefine addiction, discuss its consequences, and provide practical advice on addressing it in all its forms. Join us in this informative episode to learn more about the neuroscience behind the process of addiction, risk factors that make you more vulnerable to addiction, and more!

Listen and Learn:

  • Diana and Yael discuss complexities of practicing abstinence from different sources of addiction
  • The neuroscience behind the process of addiction
  • How the definition of “addiction” has changed throughout the years
  • Risk factors that make you more vulnerable to addiction
  • Newer forms of addiction and practical advice for addressing them
  • The science behind why giving abstinence 30-days works wonders
  • Expert-approved, evidence-based tips and tricks for preventing technology addiction in children
  • Anna’s expert definition of self-binding and how it impacts addictive behavior
  • Practical advice for therapists deciding between an exposure or self-binding environment approach
  • Anna’s personal experience with addiction
  • The science of hormesis 


About Anna Lembke:

Dr. Anna Lembke

Anna Lembke, MD, 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), an instant New York Times Bestseller, explores how to moderate compulsive overconsumption in a dopamine-overloaded world.

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Episode 233