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The Addiction Psychologist Podcast

Dr. Noah Emery and Samuel Acuff interview researchers, clinicians, and policymakers in the field of addiction psychology with the hopes of enhancing recovery. New episodes the second Monday of every month, with some added content in between. The podcast can also be accessed through Apple podcasts and Spotify. Official podcast of the Society for Addiction Psychology. Transcripts of each episode can be found by clicking here


Dezarie Moskal - Pain and Substance Use

posted: Monday, February 22, 2021 - 08:22

Alleviation of pain, whether emotional or physical, is among the most common reasons for substance use. Despite this, very little experimental work has been done to delineate a causal effect of pain. Dezarie Moskal talks about her experimental work on the effect of pain on substance use and a recent meta-analysis on the effect of endocannabinoids on the alleviation of pain. Finally, she discusses the role of psychotherapy in alleviating pain. Dez is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Syracuse University and a predoctoral internship at the VA Maryland Health Care System/University of Maryland School of Medicine Psychology Internship Consortium. Dez is also a proud Division 50 student member. 

Dr. Alan Budney - Cannabis Legalization

posted: Monday, February 8, 2021 - 09:19

In December of 2020, the US House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunities Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) act, which removes marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana. Although the bill is unlikely to survive the Senate, it seems to be a matter of time before some version of this bill does pass. There has been growing interest in decriminalizing and legalizing cannabis in on the state level in the United States and in many countries around the world, and many around the country support the action. It is increasingly important to understand the impact of cannabis legalization. How will the impact of federal legislation be different from that of state legislation? How will cannabis legislation impact the epidemiological harm of cannabis use? How can psychologists contribute to this legislation to minimize costs and maximize benefits oft he legislation? Dr. Alan Budney discusses the likely effects of cannabis legislation and outlines what we still do not know about cannabis. Dr. Alan Budney is a Professor of Psychiatry in the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.

Kyle Walters - Self-regulation and Substance Use

posted: Monday, January 25, 2021 - 08:21

Self control is thought to be closely associated with the ability to abstain or regulate substance use and is just one aspect of self-regulation, or the ability to organize behavior toward a goal. Many have suggested that self-regulation is damaged in those with chronic patterns of harmful substance use. However, it has also been noted that substance use itself is a highly goal directed behavior and requires self-regulation. Kyle Walters discusses his work on the interaction between self-regulation and the environment and suggests that this relationship may not be as simple as we once thought. Kyle also briefly discusses his forays into Network Analysis as an alternative approach to traditional conceptualizations of psychopathology.  Kyle Walters is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Dakota.

Dr. Matt Field - Compulsive and Choice Models of Addiction

posted: Monday, January 11, 2021 - 07:08

There are two competing paradigms attempting to explain the phenomena of addiction: Addiction as compulsion and addiction as choice.  The compulsion model describes addiction as a brain disease in which alcohol and drug use cause neuroadaptations, resulting in uncontrolled drug seeking behavior. The choice model describes addiction as pathology of reinforcement that is contextually dependent upon the availability of meaningful and rewarding alternatives in the choice environment. Dr. Matt Field describes each model and their respective bodies of research.  Dr. Matt Field is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Sheffield.

Tori Votaw - Identifying Addiction Phenotypes to Inform Precision Medicine

posted: Monday, December 28, 2020 - 08:22

Research and theory have led to the development of empirically-supported options for SUD treatment, both psychosocial and pharmacological. However, these treatments only have moderate efficacy/effectiveness, and some aspects of treatments may be more implicated for some than others. Tori Votaw talks about precision medicine, which is determining which treatments work best for subgroups of individuals. Specifically, Tori discusses her work in understanding phenotypes of addiction such as negative emotionality and executive functioning that may help classify individuals into different specific treatment approaches.  Tori Votaw is a graduate student and T32 predoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico.

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