How to Get Through Your Darkest Days: Lessons from Addiction and Loss

How to Get Through Your Darkest Days: Lessons from Addiction and Loss

“You are never stronger…than when you land on the other side of despair.” ~Zadie Smith In the last years of my twenties, my life completely fell apart. I’d moved to Hollywood to become an actor, but after a few years in Tinsel Town things weren’t panning out the way I hoped. My crippling anxiety kept […]

He Broke My Heart But Taught Me These 5 Things About Love

He Broke My Heart But Taught Me These 5 Things About Love

“Sometimes the only closure you need is the understanding that you deserve better.” ~Trent Shelton  I’ll never forget the day we met. It was a classic San Francisco day. The sky was a perfect cerulean blue. The sun sparkled brightly. I ventured from my apartment in the Haight to Duboce Park to enjoy the Saturday. […]

Alcohol harms the brain in teen years –– before and after that, too

If we only paid attention to ads, it might seem as though alcohol — a beer or glass of wine, a shot of fiery liquor or sophisticated cocktail — merely served as a way to bring people together and make them happy. Drink responsibly, the ads wink, without ever explaining the toll that frequent or […]

What Happened When I Stopped Drinking Alcohol Every Night

What Happened When I Stopped Drinking Alcohol Every Night

“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald I love Sophia Loren. There’s a picture of her in my home looking eternally youthful and refreshed. From what I’ve been told it’s due to her nine to ten hours of sleep each night. When I […]

The health effects of too much gaming

It is estimated that 164 million Americans — half of our population — play video games, also known as gaming. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just teens who play games. According to a recent survey, only 21% of gamers were under 18 years old. While gaming can be a fun distraction or hobby (and […]

Tips from a Former Addict: How to Make a Change for Good

Tips from a Former Addict: How to Make a Change for Good

I was a drug addict. Yes, I did it all. No, my childhood was not full of abuse, I was actually a pretty lucky kid, and I had it no worse and no better than anyone else, except for maybe some “daddy issues.” I am not much for blame. I know who was smoking, sniffing, […]

How to avoid a relapse when things seem out of control

There is no one who would deny that this has been a stressful year. As the Grateful Dead said, “If the thunder don’t get you, the lightning will.” If you manage to avoid catching COVID, then you are probably at least contending with some mixture of financial and childcare stress, the nail-biting political divisions we […]

Mind-body medicine in addiction recovery

As someone who struggled with a miserable opiate addiction for 10 years, and who has treated hundreds of people for various addictions, I am increasingly impressed with the ways in which mind-body medicine can be a critical component of recovery from addiction. Mind-body medicine is the use of behavioral and lifestyle interventions, such as meditation, […]

Blown up in smoke: Young adults who vape at greater risk of COVID symptoms

COVID-19 has swept across the globe, infecting millions and resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths. Substantial resources have been invested into understanding individual vulnerability in order to protect those at greatest risk. Age is the most often cited risk factor; 75% of US deaths have been in people over the age of 65, while […]

Brain plasticity in drug addiction: Burden and benefit

The human brain is the most complex organ in our body, and is characterized by a unique ability called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to our brain’s ability to change and adapt in its structural and functional levels in response to experience. Neuroplasticity makes it possible for us to learn new languages, solve complex mathematical problems, acquire […]