Flourishing After Addiction with Carl Erik Fisher

Flourishing After Addiction with Carl Erik Fisher

Addiction psychiatrist and bioethicist Carl Erik Fisher explores addiction and recovery from the widest possible diversity of perspectives: from science to spirituality, from philosophy to politics, and everything in between. He interviews leading experts in areas such as psychology, neurobiology, history, sociology, and more--as well as policy makers, advocates, and people with lived experience. A core commitment of the show is we need more than medicine to truly understand addiction and recovery. The challenges and mysteries of this field run up against some of the central challenges of human life, like: what makes a life worth living, what are the limits of self control, and how can people and societies change for the better? These are enormous questions, and they need to be approached with humility, but there are also promising ways forward offered by refreshingly unexpected sources. There are many paths to recovery, and there is tremendous hope for changing the narrative, injecting more nuance into these discussions, and making flourishing in recovery possible for all. Please check out https://www.carlerikfisher.com to join the newsletter and stay in touch.

Episodes

May 5, 2022 58 min

Taking care of our relationships is a crucial way we take care of ourselves and the wider world. Some of the most common questions I get in my clinical practice and from listeners are questions about how to navigate relationships in addiction and recovery: couples, parents and kids, or otherwise. So I wanted to have a clinically focused episode about this important issue, and it was my great pleasure to talk with my good friend and...

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Dr. Mark Epstein is a hero of mine. He is a Buddhist psychiatrist and author who has been a voice of kindness and wisdom in our field for decades, and I’ve long looked to his work for inspiration and guidance. So it was an honor to speak with him for this episode of the Flourishing After Addiction podcast!

Mark does not have a personal history of a “classic” addiction like a substance problem, but as he articulates so nicely in our ...

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February 18, 2022 61 min

With so much suffering today, and in the midst of a historic overdose crisis, you might wonder: why bother looking to the distant past of addiction? How can the history of addiction actually help us?

For me, I found that I needed history to make sense of what happened to me and my family. After studying addiction for a little while, I saw that ideas dating from the origin of the global drug trade, hundreds of years ago, exert a pow...

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How do we best tap into the positive side of recovery, beyond abstinence, sobriety, and remission? What does the science actually show about growing and changing in life after addiction?

There is perhaps no one better equipped to answer those questions than my guest on today’s episode of the Flourishing After Addiction podcast: Dr. John Kelly, Harvard Medical School’s Elizabeth R. Spallin Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicin...

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A lot of us folks in recovery have big collections of self-help and memoir books, and with good reason. Books give us solace, they help us see how other people deal with similar challenges, they are a source of community through contact with other minds, and, as articulated by Eva Hagberg, this week’s guest on the Flourishing After Addiction podcast, books, and particularly memoirs, are a way of trying on different “moral selves.”

...

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As Ram Dass once said, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.” I’m thinking about this quote as many of us are grappling with the Omicron variant and trying to make the most of this winter break. This time of year can be hard for everyone, and I’m also thinking about all of us in recovery who have difficult family histories, for whom the holiday season might bring up difficult or outright traumatic memo...

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What happens when we define ourselves in terms of group memberships? How does culture and society affect our capacity for self-control and self-regulation? Why does the toxic binary of “us” versus “them” seem to be so powerful these days? How can we instead use our shared identities to improve our wellbeing and work toward harmony and flourishing?
 
 My guest for this episode of Flourishing After Addiction is Dr. Jay Van Bavel, a soc...

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Owen Flanagan is a philosopher who has long studied topics like consciousness, neuroscience, morality, and responsibility. But early in his career, even while racking up accolades for his pathbreaking work, drinking was already taking hold of his life. Things took a dramatic turn in the 1990s when a brain tumor and a medication reaction sent him over the edge.

Today, Owen is a distinguished philosopher at Duke who is also in recove...

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Ryan Hampton, an alumnus of the Clinton White House, had an up-and-coming career in politics until the early 2000s, when he became addicted to OxyContin, then heroin. After he entered recovery in 2015, he became a prominent advocate on addiction issues, from community-based organizing to national activities, such as helping to release the first-ever U.S. Surgeon General’s report on addiction.

More recently, Ryan came face-to-face ag...

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In mental health treatment today, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is nothing less than a sensation, and some of the most promising results are in addiction treatment. Droves of people—from researchers and clinicians to underground shamans and private funders—are hailing the re-emergence of psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA,  ayahuasca, and ketamine as a “renaissance.” But despite the hype and money being funneled in this direct...

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Flourishing after addiction requires flourishing for all. The public health of addiction and recovery has several important lessons, not just how to respond to the overdose crisis, but also, and more concretely, how to think holistically about addiction and all the factors that support someone’s recovery. How to protect the mental health of ourselves, our families, and our broader communities, now and for generations to come.

Dr. Wi...

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For decades, clinicians have used mindfulness-based interventions to treat stress, physical pain, and mental disorders. But there’s more to meditation than “mindfulness” alone, and the next wave of researchers in this field is still working out how to incorporate other practices from the wisdom traditions that gave rise to mindfulness-based treatment in the first place.

Dr. Eric Garland is a clinical researcher who has devoted his l...

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Roughly 35 years ago, harm reduction saved Maia Szalavitz’s life. It was 1986 in the East Village, and though Maia was an Ivy League kid who read two newspapers a day, she had no idea that her regular intravenous heroin use put her at risk for HIV. Thanks to a chance encounter, though, Maia learned about some simple harm reduction practices that helped her stay alive through that deadly epidemic.

In the years since, Maia has become ...

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 Six percent of American adults say they are “in recovery” from a problem with alcohol or other drugs, but it’s not always clear exactly what that means. Even among researchers who study the concept, the definition of “recovery” is far from settled: does it require abstinence? does it necessarily involve lofty concepts like spirituality and citizenship? is the main point the absence of problems, or is there more to it than that?

Dr....

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This episode’s interview is with Kevin Griffin, a Buddhist teacher who has trained with some of the leading Western Vipassana teachers—including Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, and Ajahn Amaro—and who himself is a leader in the mindful recovery movement. 

Kevin is one of the founders of the Buddhist Recovery Network, an organization that promotes the use of Buddhist teachings and practices for recovery and is respectful of all rec...

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I'm Carl Erik Fisher, and this is Flourishing After Addiction, a new podcast exploring addiction and recovery from the widest possible diversity of perspectives.

I'd love to hear from you. Please head over to http://www.carlerikfisher.com to connect.

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