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Are We All Addicts? Anna Lembke, MD On Our Dopamine Nation

By August 23, 2021January 23rd, 2024No Comments
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Episode #623



The relentless pursuit of pleasure always leads to pain.

As the world evolves from one of scarcity to overabundance, we increasingly orient our lives around the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain—an instinct that has produced a myriad of unprecedented types of addiction, and consequently, the pain we so desperately seek to avoid.

To better understand this conundrum, I’m joined today by one of the world’s leading authorities on the neuroscience of addiction, Anna Lembke, MD.

If that name sounds familiar, it’s likely due to her on screen presence in the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma—a must-watch for anyone with a smartphone.

Anna is a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University School of Medicine and chief of the Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic. She is widely published, has testified before Congress, and has authored two important books, Drug Dealer MD and her newest work, Dopamine Nation—a powerful primer on compulsive overconsumption in a world where feeling good has become confused with the highest good.

“We live in a world where we are saturated in dopamine and we live in a culture that encourages us to pursue it.”


This is an important and impactful conversation that explores:

  • The nature, psychology, and neuroscience of addiction;
  • the explosion in addiction in lockstep with technological advances;
  • the opioid crisis & the fascinating history behind how we think about and treat pain;
  • recovery protocols from 12-step & the latest science on psychedelic treatments; and
  • how to manage & avoid addiction.

The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. And as always, the podcast streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Whip-smart and radically empathetic. I can’t underestimate the importance of Dr. Lembke’s work, and this conversation is a must listen for any and all who suffer from some form of addictive compulsivity, or know someone who does (which is pretty much everyone).


Peace + Plants,

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