"Isolation and disconnection, at our primal level, are our greatest fears. That's where the obsession begins. From a behavioral standpoint, we start to attach to this idea of a quick relief, and that's really seductive."

Dr. Blair Steel

We're peeling back the layers of addiction and sobriety's complex landscape with the help of Dr. Blair Steel, guiding us through the science and heartache of substance dependence. Embrace the nuances of "California sober," a term that's as multifaceted as the journeys of those who walk the line between recovery and relapse. Our discussion spans from the shifting tide in marijuana legislation to the perils of fentanyl-laced recreational drugs, stressing the critical need for a strong foundation of sobriety for those grappling with addiction.

Blair also explains the intricate dance of emotions and avoidance behaviors that often lead individuals to substance abuse. Through the lens of generational attitudes and the biochemistry of addiction, we dissect how dopamine's allure and the brain's quest for homeostasis can contribute to dependency on substances and activities alike. From the potency of emotional support to the delicate balance required in holistic healing, our conversation illuminates the importance of facing our feelings head-on for true mental health and personal growth.

Follow Blair @drblairpsyd

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode we discuss...

(05:00) The Differences Between Sobriety, Sober Curious, California Sober and General Addiction

(14:57) Avoidance Behaviors

(28:34) Pre-Lapse Behaviors

(42:12) Understanding PTSD, Genetic Testing, and Relapse

(56:53) Holistic Approaches to Healing From Substance Abuse

(01:02:40) Coffee Addiction and Brain Chemistry

(01:06:58) Generational Risk and Addiction Awareness

(01:15:54) Moving Forward in Recovery


Episode resources:

EFR 783: The Neuropsychology of Substance Abuse, the Role of Resiliency in the Addiction Recovery Process, and Understanding Avoidance Behaviors with Dr. Blair Steel

We're peeling back the layers of addiction and sobriety's complex landscape with the help of Dr. Blair Steel, guiding us through the science and heartache of substance dependence. Embrace the nuances of "California sober," a term that's as multifaceted as the journeys of those who walk the line between recovery and relapse. Our discussion spans from the shifting tide in marijuana legislation to the perils of fentanyl-laced recreational drugs, stressing the critical need for a strong foundation of sobriety for those grappling with addiction.

Blair also explains the intricate dance of emotions and avoidance behaviors that often lead individuals to substance abuse. Through the lens of generational attitudes and the biochemistry of addiction, we dissect how dopamine's allure and the brain's quest for homeostasis can contribute to dependency on substances and activities alike. From the potency of emotional support to the delicate balance required in holistic healing, our conversation illuminates the importance of facing our feelings head-on for true mental health and personal growth.

Follow Blair @drblairpsyd

Follow Chase @chase_chewning


In this episode we discuss...

(05:00) The Differences Between Sobriety, Sober Curious, California Sober and General Addiction

(14:57) Avoidance Behaviors

(28:34) Pre-Lapse Behaviors

(42:12) Understanding PTSD, Genetic Testing, and Relapse

(56:53) Holistic Approaches to Healing From Substance Abuse

(01:02:40) Coffee Addiction and Brain Chemistry

(01:06:58) Generational Risk and Addiction Awareness

(01:15:54) Moving Forward in Recovery


Episode resources:


00:00 - Speaker 1 Is it really too far gone in a biochemical standpoint, meaning the brain is already there.

00:08 - Speaker 2 I think. So the obsession begins. It really does Like the all of it. From a behavioral standpoint, we start to attach to this idea of a quick relief and that's really seductive. Like it doesn't.

00:26 You can't blame someone who feels completely like. Let's say, their whole childhood they were like if they were angry, they were given a timeout. They were like in the room alone, no one to sit with them, just completely overwhelmed in this fear that their big feelings are dangerous, they're unbecoming. Let's say that's like females, get that one. It's like unbecoming Males kind of get the like. It's scary thing.

00:50 But either way, isolated and disconnection is, I think, at our prima level, one of our greatest fears, right? So like. Let's say that's our building blocks, like, and not blaming anyone. But let's just say that's like what a family decided to do with big feelings, right? So then here we are as an adult and those feelings start coming. It's like panic mode. I don't want anyone to see this. What am I capable of? I don't want to bring this around anybody, right? So then that's where the isolation can come, and someone just like they need a freaking break. So if alcohol gives you that like or whatever it might be, I think at that point it's kind of a matter of time. Hey, I'm Dr Blair Steel, licensed clinical psychologist, and this is Ever Forward Radio.

01:39 - Speaker 1 Dr Blair Steel. Welcome to Ever Forward Radio.

01:41 - Speaker 2 Thank you for being here, thank you for having me.

01:43 - Speaker 1 This, I think, is going to be a conversation that is going to help a lot of people listening, watching for themselves.

01:50 But no doubt we all can think of somebody a friend, a family member, a colleague, a coworker, past life, current life that has struggled or is struggling with some kind of substance abuse, addiction, and you're the expert you work with people to help understand where maybe they have these addictions in their life and really help people accept that and put themselves on a path to rehabilitation, to working through that.

02:20 And so I just want to kind of let the listener drop into that for a second and really go okay, I have this person in mind, or maybe you and this is going to be a free session We'll say you can bill me later for the hour afterwards if we get to across the line. But I think what's on a lot of people's minds, especially here in California, where we live, is this evolving concept of sobriety. I think sobriety and even addiction or substance use before we even get into substance abuse has evolved a lot over the years. It has for me, and can you shine a light on this concept of California sober? What is it? What's going on when we talk about this and is this just a scapegoat, maybe for substance use?

03:11 - Speaker 2 Sure, you know it's really important to note there is not a one size fits all model for this. I mean people really have their own individual relationships with the substance, right. But to speak to California sober and think about marijuana, medical, marijuana, medical, okay, so now it's really considered medicinal. There's some information supporting that, a lot of it actually, and for some people it is. It really helps and if it's, let's say, something like sleep or appetite or whatever it might be, perhaps for them that works for them. So to speak more to California sober, you'll hear people in the recovery community who perhaps went down some really dark roads with some really heavy drugs, consider marijuana to not fall in the category of like the dark relationship with substances and for that person, if that works great. Typically when I see people been suffering from addiction, the isolation, the horrible effects on relationships functioning in general, employment, their health, their wealth, identity, typically, once you're there it's not recommended to start to like automatically go to a different substance.

04:38 You really want to have a good baseline of sobriety certainly initially right For some people and if they are very clear that marijuana is not problematic, which is another interesting thing to explore. What is problematic use versus non-problematic use?

04:57 - Speaker 1 True.

04:58 - Speaker 2 And if that's someone's truth, then okay, no judgment. At least that's my personal opinion.

05:06 - Speaker 1 When I think, and I think when a lot of people think of the word sober, we usually only think abstaining from alcohol.

05:15 - Speaker 2 Okay.

05:16 - Speaker 1 Right. Is that a fair assumption or do you think now because of states like California? A lot of other states in the US that at the state level such things like cannabis are legal.

05:28 I can walk down the corner here to a dispensary by marijuana, by cannabis or other states. You know you got to go through the medical card application and process. But other states and cities even are going the decriminalized route and even some are even getting, I think, are legal with other things like psilocybin. We're working towards certain things like MDMA following suit into psilocybin. We're probably a couple of years away from being access to a dispensary kind of like marijuana. But can you kind of help us understand? I guess a renegotiation or a new relationship with the word sober. Does it only apply to alcohol? Do we need to be mindful of sobriety with other substances as well?

06:13 - Speaker 2 It does not only refer to alcohol. I would definitely throw more substances in that, such as opiates, which is a big one, especially now with fentanyl out. Yeah, that's really huge and scary. Even cocaine, which changed now, especially with things like fentanyl being out there and being in a lot of substances that aren't even opioid related, is the stakes are really high. So, even if you're like, let's say, acceptable, but can we, which is just so arbitrary, right?

06:49 - Speaker 1 And so personal.

06:50 - Speaker 2 So personal, absolutely so. Let's say it would be relatively normal for a 20 year old in college to do blow on the weekends. Okay fine. What's scary about it now is that could have fentanyl in it and you might not be able to.

07:08 you know, I mean an extreme and tragic scenario live to talk about that or to just have it be some cheap thrill. So it's scary in that sense. But to go back to your question, things like psilocybin and MDMA, I mean, if we're talking about the underlying reasons for addiction, if we're talking about disconnection, if we're talking about low self-worth, if we're talking about just the real underlying core things, there's a lot of evidence that these substances help people attach to meaning and meaning for life and purpose and some sort of existential underlying, you know, emergency or quest or just you know, some need something to hold on to and give us reason for keeping on trekking. Sometimes those substances actually help with things like that. So there's a lot of you know, talk about this and this is a really good topic and where it's really individualized, some people who have had dark relationships with substances, who have the propensity for it. I wouldn't recommend that for this type of person, right, who just has the history.

08:27 - Speaker 1 Would you not recommend it entirely or maybe divide it into? I wouldn't recommend it for recreational use or even on your own own personal time, not in like a party environment. But what about considering in conjunction with therapy, in conjunction with mental health work or working with a primary care provider of some sort?

08:47 - Speaker 2 There's a lot of places like California and certain cities, yeah, like even Ketamine's big.

08:52 - Speaker 1 Yeah, exactly, and I speak from a lot of experience and my only concern is when we talk a lot about that. I don't need to kind of unpack that right now but you know using Ketamine for Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy has been profound and provided me immense healing and attachment to I should I don't wanna say attachment a better understanding and a deeper connection to meaning and purpose and happiness.

09:14 - Speaker 2 I'm happy to hear that. I'm glad you heard that. Thank you, that's awesome Right. So like when I hear this and how real and raw that is, there is no part of me that could be like no right. But I will say, for someone in early recovery.

09:28 - Speaker 1 Okay, there's the difference.

09:30 - Speaker 2 Okay, who basically is lacking in coping skills and the ability to self-regulate. If you go too quickly towards something like that, the likelihood of transferring the addictive process to that is greater and it's super risky and I feel like it also could rob someone in those in that let's call it a year okay, also arbitrary, but let's just call it that. Let's say you're really trying to build the stamina, the resiliency to say I can do this. I could feel this way, but instead of reaching for something outside of myself, I'm going to jump in the cold plunge. I'm going to meditate or practice mindfulness, I'm going to talk to someone about it, which is like you're already breaking through shame If you can even reach out to anyone a friend, a sponsor, a therapist, whomever it may be. So all of these skills, these life skills that you can own, that are sustainable, strengthening like I got this, I could do this, I could handle life.

10:38 - Speaker 1 Yeah, truly.

10:39 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so we don't want to rob someone of those like building blocks that I think are essential for long-term, not just like recovery, but maintaining it too.

10:50 - Speaker 1 Daily adherence.

10:51 - Speaker 2 Yeah.

10:52 - Speaker 1 Absolutely yeah, and I'll say this. I know I just said I wasn't going to go back down my whole story, but just to kind of I share a lot of my personal struggles and advancements on the show and online.

11:07 - Speaker 2 That's so cool, chase, it really is. Thank you, it is.

11:11 - Speaker 1 It's therapeutic for me. But also that's the whole point of the show is to not just put anybody you me up on a pedestal as hey we've achieved this, we're done, we're pros. It's just this is a constant process. It is. We have wins, we have sustainments and we have kind of some setbacks as well, and that's powerful.

11:28 - Speaker 2 I mean, just think of the permission that you're going to give people, and even men, like we can talk about that. There's all sorts of like gender differences when it comes to feelings and vulnerability and all that, and it's like, and if you can go there, I think it really gives people permission to go there too.

11:43 - Speaker 1 Well, I'll go anywhere and everywhere.

11:44 - Speaker 2 I love it.

11:45 - Speaker 1 So what I was going to say was, I think, what gave me the most potential for success and why I felt so successful with going through these alternative healing modalities, such as psilocybin and ketamine therapies, was because of the years and years of work, like you were just describing, leading up to that of finally opening up to myself of finally letting loved ones in and opening up to friends and family, of going to therapy, of journaling, of personal development, coal plunge, all these things.

12:21 That kind of give you the reps necessary to show that change is possible through unique and oftentimes difficult situations, but all bundled under that safety umbrella of this is my intention going in, this is what I'm working on and kind of reflecting on that as well. I started all that about three years ago and up to that point it was about 15, 16 years of that.

12:48 - Speaker 2 And so it takes time that's what I'm trying to say, and those are some stellar building blocks and it sounds like there's a lot of discipline and awareness woven into that. Yeah, thank you, Uncle.

12:58 - Speaker 1 Sam for all the discipline ingrained there. But if we could just stay on this for just another minute longer. Because I think and I was one of those people before pursuing any substance and I was like a tea totaler, a black and white, like any substance in marijuana, anything is wrong, illegal, you're gonna burn in hell. That's what I thought. Okay, and until I crossed over and my entire paradigm of life changed. I think back now to you, know, you can't rush anything and it all happens for a certain reason. But I think back to myself before and I think a lot of people are there going. I'm in pain, I'm struggling. I've had a significant life event. I've lost a loved one, I'm just lost in life or, and even me, years ago, abusing certain substances I definitely abused alcohol for many many years.

13:55 And I think we might be putting off a lot of potential help, a lot of potential healing, because there's this barrier to oh, it's another substance. Can you walk us through what maybe would be a checklist or a litmus test to go? I am recognizing where I'm at is not where I wanna be.

14:18 And it is most likely linked to, or not made better by, certain substances in my life, but there might be other substances that I've been told or I believe can be a slippery slope or can be abused, but they also here have a lot of potential healing power.

14:37 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so really trying to be clear on the intention and the motivation behind it Like is it to check in or is it to check out Could be a good one.

14:49 - Speaker 1 Please just say that again.

14:51 - Speaker 2 Yeah, are you doing this to check in with yourself or do you wanna check out? Right avoidance is huge and when I hear your story of I was black and white and then I was like like it almost sounds like you started to integrate.

15:07 - Speaker 1 I've been in the gray for like four years now and I love living in the gray.

15:10 - Speaker 2 Amazing, it's murky For me yeah, but it also sounds like it was essential to get you to a place where you can go inward and feel safe, feeling your feelings Right so. Doesn't that sound different than like I'm overwhelmed, I'm depressed, I hate my job, whatever that is, and I wanna numb and.

15:39 I wanna feel nothing which is like understandable, right. We don't wanna feel pain, not to mention and this goes back to like early childhood stuff, you know, with our boomer parents and their parents, they were thought and you know they did the best they could with the tools they had. They thought they were doing us a huge favor. This is a huge generalization, by the way.

16:02 - Speaker 3 So not everyone in that generation thinks this way, but let's just like throw out a stereotype.

16:07 - Speaker 2 So apologies, right for the generalization, but they in a sense were like, felt they were doing us a favor by like giving us to like you're tough, pull up your bootstraps, keep going. You know that thing.

16:19 - Speaker 1 Don't let them see you cry.

16:20 - Speaker 2 Never let them see you cry right, and that doesn't work long term. You know it gives us this message that feelings of being scared or lonely, or vulnerable or whatever are, unacceptable. Yeah, yeah so avoid it all costs and alcohol works great for that. You know Like it's an elixir of avoidance if you think about it.

16:46 - Speaker 1 And ever how long now it's been a legal elixir of avoidance. Whereas everything else has been dubbed illegal. But now look, it still blows my mind when I can walk into a dispensary here.

16:55 - Speaker 2 This is illegal in California.

16:58 - Speaker 1 Talk about a paradigm shift.

16:59 - Speaker 2 See, big time, big time. And alcohol has been woven, I mean since the beginning of time, even like it's in our language like mind your peas and queses, like mind your pints and quarts. Yeah.

17:09 - Speaker 1 You know it's like it's like. No, joe like just have a beer. It's literally saying hold your liquor. That's right Literally.

17:17 - Speaker 2 Yeah, bottle up your emotions, right. I would think that that comes from that as well. It's just like have a drink, honey, like it'll be okay. And again, I think that was even like a generous thing to tell someone like here's your medicine, honey, like you're going to be fine to pat in the back, but like let's not really actually go there.

17:38 - Speaker 1 Can you help us understand a little bit maybe of in the world of addiction biochemically, physiologically, what is happening? I've always found immense value in understanding more and more how the body works, to help me kind of go oh, maybe this is why I do that or this is how and why I feel this way. If I can understand the system, I can understand how to maybe get it to work more in my favor. What?

18:02 - Speaker 2 is going on with the biochemistry of addiction. So we are basically built for addiction. What was it expected that we really are. Our brains are totally built for it. So it's basically, if you think about our behavior and what motivates behavior, we've got dopamine. It's a big one, okay. So substances most of which will give us that quick dose of dopamine and it feels good, it's energizing, it's a positive substance. Now, some substances give you the rush of the dopamine, others can affect the reuptake.

18:37 - Speaker 1 So in other words what would be an example of the difference of those two Per substance.

18:41 - Speaker 2 So let's say, like cocaine for example can give you that rush, but typically the behavior on cocaine is you're really trying to get back to that first rush. So there's, this insatiable thing.

18:54 I mean you could think of the mouse in the cage with the lever, with the drugged water and the regular water, and you just kind of hit it compulsively. So it is this pleasure seeking thing. It's also drugs are so self-reinforcing, so not only does it create the euphoria behind it, but it can also take away the negative experiences that someone might be having, the negative emotions. So now we've got a really complex web of things that is appealing to the human brain.

19:27 - Speaker 1 That's very tricky.

19:28 - Speaker 2 Yeah, it is tricky. So trying to undo a behavior that is getting positively reinforced, seemingly, because we know that there's a whole backend negative consequence happening, but maybe not for a while or maybe not ever, for some people At least, that's really obvious. Trying to undo that is not easy and it really takes the negative consequence the real, if you're looking at it with clear eyes for people to stop and say maybe I should rethink this or scale it back or whatever. So we've got that. So the brain loves it and the brain's also lazy. It's brilliant, but lazy. You do anything for it and it's like, oh cool, I don't have to do that for myself.

20:15 - Speaker 1 Thank God for the autonomic nervous system and the brain. Truly, to highlight your point, it is extremely selfish but extremely lazy. It consumes what like 25, 27-ish percent of our daily caloric expenditure and it doesn't even really do anything. Like other muscles and organs, it's just there, burning, consuming, but will also work to not work as much as possible.

20:41 - Speaker 2 Right, right. And it doesn't take long for that to compensation piece to happen. It only could take, let's say, someone would like to sleep a little better and takes a gummy. Ok, and not too much time. I'm talking like a week. Being able to achieve sleep will be harder than it was before you introduced the gummy.

21:04 - Speaker 1 Really.

21:04 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and people will have report dreams and it doesn't take too long to recalibrate that. But if you think about the brain, it's always fighting for homeostasis. It always wants balance. So let's say you take a substance and it veers it a little this way when you remove the substance it doesn't go back here, it goes whack to the other side it's swinging all the way back.

21:26 - Speaker 1 Yes, beyond our starting point.

21:28 - Speaker 2 Exactly, exactly. So. People who are on stimulants when you see them first come into treatment there's a lot of sleeping, a lot of eating happening. People who are on the sleepier substances, let's say benzos or opiates or just the more mellow substances. They can't sleep, they can't eat. It's just like a total reversal of whatever the substance was doing. So it's like slingshots you back.

21:54 - Speaker 1 Interesting. Is there a way, let's say in others first, can we, let's say, we really know somebody, it's a friend, a close family member, and we have suspicions, or just trying to better understand them looking at their behaviors?

22:10 what they're doing, what they're not doing? Is there a way to the common person to be able to look at somebody we care about, who we might think is abusing a substance, or just going through some kind of addiction, to look at their behaviors, wake time, sleep times, to try to understand their biochemistry, to better get to, hey, maybe this is what they're using or abusing. Or do we just have to really kind of wait until we can flat out ask them is that even possible?

22:39 - Speaker 2 There are a lot of tells that someone's using, whether it's the communication that's falling off. Isolation is across the board a part of it, so typically you'll start seeing people less If you're seeing like 3 AM posts or something like that. That would definitely be a tell, but that's unusual.

23:01 - Speaker 1 At 3 AM on a Tuesday. What's going on here?

23:03 - Speaker 2 So if you're asking how you can gauge if someone is entering the darker territory, there are a lot of tells not showing up for things that they typically would show up for appearance, typically hygiene or whatever. People will seem different. They'll almost seem like there's a vacancy if you're with them. Now, if you're asking how do you approach this with someone, that's a really delicate thing because they're basically loaded with shame typically and also highly defended. It's basically a defense mechanism. It's just a really tangible and messy one.

23:47 We all have our defense mechanisms, and they're usually really brilliant in that they really protect us from seeing things that we might feel is hurtful to us or painful to us, not to mention it's a subconscious process, so just to make it even more murky, right? So not only am I doing this, but I am totally unaware that I'm doing it. Wow. Yeah, ok. So let's say, if it falls into this subconscious category, if someone is not ready to face it, threatening taking away the substances, like threatening their survival.

24:25 - Speaker 1 So they will be. There's that level of dependency.

24:27 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah. They will be highly motivated to either deny, avoid and shut someone out. So that's a really delicate process.

24:39 - Speaker 1 What about kind of on the other side of things I assume here Correct me if I'm wrong, please I have even been in relationships, had relationships with people where it seems like everything's fine, it seems like they're good. Sure, you know, life is hard for everybody. We got our ups and downs, but you never would assume that they are struggling with something to that level that they turn to abusing and even becoming addicted to certain substances alcohol, drugs, things of that nature and then, unfortunately, the worst happens.

25:13 I've had multiple experiences where people take their own life and or people wind up in rehab, or they're in the hospital seemingly out of nowhere, and you go. Why, like you seem so fine, you seem so normal. What's going on?

25:26 I never would have thought that this could be you. What are some of the signs we can be looking for when we think everything is okay, just to kind of have that general barometer on the people that matter most in our life? You know, maybe this is part of our regular awareness practice or kind of just check in, or maybe now it's a good cue for everybody to go all right, I'm looking at this person, looking at that person how they interact with me the rest of their life, so that maybe I don't miss something like this.

25:54 - Speaker 2 Yeah, you know, is that possible? It's. It's such a personal thing, and if people want to hide it, they'll do it, and they'll do it really well, right? So it's like almost the message of how can you check in with yourself that this is problematic is a big one, and I would even like talk about that more so than than our loved ones. Like, let's say how it has nothing to do with us in a way. Right, it really doesn't. So I wouldn't want to like encourage some codependency needs for us to control the outcomes or for us to to even want to control an individual.

26:36 - Speaker 1 Yeah, I guess I'm asking really. You know, I think back to these personal examples myself and I've been through two to my closest military buddies. When they got out took their own lives and thank you, and you know anybody else who's listening, who's been there, especially anybody that does wind up taking their own life. I wound up going what did I miss? What?

26:59 I think back to the past conversations and last things that we talked about and last things that we did, or just I should have reached out more, and I think there is that sense of control. But I would love to now look back to those, those situations, and go not, what did I miss? And not beat myself up about it. But, what can I look at so that I don't miss this again?

27:19 - Speaker 2 Yeah. So if, if someone's really struggling with mental health, PTSD, depression, listening for hopelessness, listening for someone talking about, like they're unable to enjoy the things that they found enjoyable, again the isolation, I can't have that one home enough you know, because there's usually a lot of that and people are really in their dark space If they're heading towards thinking of harming themselves. And if you're really scared, there's a lot of resources out there, even just going and sitting with a person trying to normalize this suffering. Holding a space for someone to not be okay.

28:02 You know, we could be really uncomfortable with people's discomfort. We can be. So sitting with someone in their pain, even just like not trying to, are you okay? We're not trying to even say anything to make them feel better, because that could actually make people feel worse, because they don't want to feel that way, and the thought that they're negativity and I put that in air quotes but could bring you down, can make them go even further into the shell, right?

28:31 - Speaker 1 So Did you by chance see there was a clip? I forget his name, but there's a really popular comedian, Kind of like a wild semi-mullet haircut and he has a really popular podcast.

28:42 - Speaker 2 Yeah.

28:42 - Speaker 1 Yeah, and it was a few weeks ago, as we're recording this, and he had a guest on, I think, an MMA fighter and I did see that and all of a sudden the guest, the fighter, started. Something came up about, I think, his father or some kind of childhood abuse situation and he just broke down and the the comedian. He did exactly what you're talking about. It was so wild and beautiful to watch he was just he kind of sat back.

29:10 It's like whatever you need, like I don't need to say anything, Like it's okay, Like I'm just going to be here with you.

29:16 - Speaker 2 Oh, isn't that beautiful.

29:17 - Speaker 1 Yeah, it was, and I think a lot of people might have thought in that situation I have to say the right thing, or I need to comfort them, or I need to touch them, we need to hug them. But I mean, of course it's going to be case by case dependent, but just hearing, I think, another man go, I'm here for you, we're just going to stay here. That was enough to let it out. And this guy, I think, just had this profound breakthrough.

29:41 - Speaker 2 Yeah, I saw it actually, yeah, my husband showed me that clip. It was so powerful and it took, it was so generous and kind. And again, usually when we're like what do I, what can I say right now to cheer someone up is about our own discomfort with the situation. We get nervous. So the fact that he was able to to just sit with him was profoundly beautiful and, and you know I'll slow clap that- all day, All day, All day.

30:15 - Speaker 1 Do you ever see anybody? Have you ever worked with anyone that is addicted maybe not to substances, or is that just kind of where your specialty lies? Because I feel like now the last few years, well, everybody's blaming social media for everything, and you know of where all of our attention is going, where all of our time is going, and to some degree, I totally agree, and I think it takes a lot more awareness and a lot more intentional practice to to carve out time for that and to not get just stuck. Oh my God, it's been 30 minutes scrolling, wait. Where did the time go? Are we dealing with right now addictions of other sorts that aren't maybe substances? Have you ever seen it? Do you work with people like this?

30:59 - Speaker 2 Totally. Yeah yeah. Porn's a big one, the phone's a big one, gaming is a big one in like that, 18 to 24. Okay.

31:09 - Speaker 1 Like a Twitch live stream video games. That's like that, okay.

31:13 - Speaker 2 Yeah, definitely you see it at, gambling is a big one. Is it all the same thing? Process addictions?

31:19 - Speaker 1 It is just like dopamine hits of different sorts.

31:21 - Speaker 2 It looks in the brain, it looks. It looks very similar.

31:24 - Speaker 1 So someone addicted to gaming, addicted to porn, addicted to cocaine in the brain, all looks the same.

31:30 - Speaker 2 It's very similar Once you throw a substance in it. Now the psychoactive properties of the substance is going to affect the brain a little bit more, but behaviorally so like the pre use is going to look the same.

31:46 - Speaker 1 Meaning what? What is that?

31:47 - Speaker 2 So there's. It's really important. When working in recovery, like when I'm at Crera doing groups, I love talking about pre lapse behavior, so like, let's say, on a scale of one to 10 is like someone's about to use right, so like they're feeling like like at a 10, they're basically at the liquor store or at you know their drug connections house, and at a one they're feeling calm and regulated or whatever. A lot of like relapse prevention We'll talk about like okay, so what do you do when you're at a seven or an eight and I personally think it's way too late, like the ship's already sailing.

32:22 Really, at that point we haven't done the deed, but we're so close to it it's a matter of time at that point, I think, because now the brain's really firing off the dopamine and the things that are highly motivating to get to the substance.

32:37 - Speaker 1 And not to mention.

32:38 - Speaker 2 Sorry to interrupt you.

32:40 Like at that point, like it's addiction lives, like lives in the mid brain. Okay, so, like we're all born with the reptilian and the mammalian brain, it's all of our feelings are amygdala. Is there our fear? We need that for survival out the gate. Okay, addiction is there with that stuff. And it's the prefrontal cortex, which isn't developed until like our early 20s, that has all the tools the ability to play out the tape and the ability to to just like, go through the checklist. Okay, now's a good time to call someone and to employ all of the things, all of the tools that we teach in a treatment center or that we learn over the course of time through experience. Once we get, in my opinion, to a seven or an eight, this goes offline. It's almost like if we're super anxious, that, if you ever experienced this, if you're like, if you're at a really heightened emotional state, it's hard to recall certain things.

33:36 - Speaker 1 So we kind of not quite blacked out but grayed out brown. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Yeah, we get a little like yeah, little little scrambling when it comes to recall.

33:46 - Speaker 2 It's almost like in an event, like saying a wild event that happens like, let's say, some, some like wild. You know everyone's sitting outdoors at a restaurant and a car comes barreling through. You're going to get a lot of different reports as to what happened because once our our anxiety spikes in our emotions and all of our reactivity in the brain is really high, this part of the brain is like it's almost not needed at the point from a survival standpoint.

34:12 - Speaker 1 Right, yeah, so it makes sense of that it goes offline.

34:15 - Speaker 2 It really really does so. To talk about the pre-lapse, like I'm interested in what people feel like when they're at a two or a three. What does that look like? What does that?

34:23 - Speaker 1 look like. What would that feel like?

34:25 - Speaker 2 Again, probably case dependent, but super subtle, right I was doing a group recently and this one guy was like you know, I typically listen to, like this alternative kind of music. But all of a sudden I'm listening to some gangster shit, Like I'm listening to some hardcore, aggressive rap.

34:44 Oh, wow, and he and he said that he noticed that about his last two relapses. But, like way before and at the time he didn't realize that he was getting a little slippery or his anger was getting to a point of dysregulation. But now that he knows that, like at that, at that level, he can call a sponsor or, you know, make the extra therapy appointment and start employing the things. Then, when you're still kind of dancing like you could still toggle between your, your big feelings and your skills and all the things that you've learned to help.

35:18 - Speaker 1 Two things. One, I'm going to go back to when we're at about that seven or eight you're talking about. Is it really too far gone? Me, in a biochemical standpoint, meaning the brain, it's already there.

35:37 - Speaker 2 I think so At the obsession begins. It really does Like the the all of it. From a behavioral standpoint it's we start to attach to this idea of a quick relief and that's really seductive. Like it doesn't. You can't blame someone who feels completely like, let's say, their whole childhood they were like if they were angry, they were given a timeout. They were like in the room alone, no one to sit with them, just completely overwhelmed in this fear that their big feelings are dangerous, they're unbecoming. Let's say that's like females, get that one. It's like unbecoming males kind of get the like. It's scary thing.

36:19 But either way, isolated and disconnection is, I think, at our Prima level, one of our greatest fears, right? So like, let's say that's our building blocks, like, and not blaming anyone but let's just say that's like what a family decided to do with big feelings, right? So then here we are as an adult and those feelings start coming. It's like panic mode. I don't want anyone to see this. What am I capable of? I don't want to bring this around anybody, right? So then that's where the isolation can come and someone just like they need a freaking break. So if alcohol gives you that like or whatever it might be. I think at that point you're, it's kind of a matter of time.

37:00 - Speaker 1 That I think it's just a testament to truly how powerful and how automatic so many bodily functions are that we do not have regular conscious control of. We can drop in and become more aware of them. I mentioned earlier the autonomic nervous system.

37:18 These are things that we can influence through moments of awareness, through meditation, through breath work, things to kind of disrupt that a little bit. I should say kind of help us get back to baseline, our baseline. But it's such a testament to how powerful the body is, and especially the brain is, when battling things as addiction.

37:37 It reminds me of this. My old exercise science day is coming out learning about, you know, in the world of nutrition, how oftentimes people's eating habits, eating choices, are such a struggle because the body is so preconditioned and already kind of, I'll say, working against us Someone who struggles to eat sweets or wants to reduce them, or just, you know, a carb heavy diet. When we think about foods, even when we see them, we are actually already beginning the metabolic process of increasing insulin of producing salivary amylase in the mouth to begin to break down this hyper palatable extra enzyme.

38:15 So we're actually already triggering a metabolic response before the food ever gets put into our mouth.

38:22 - Speaker 2 That's right.

38:22 - Speaker 1 And this is the same thing.

38:24 - Speaker 2 Statistically, overdose is more likely if someone were to use spontaneously than if they were to be planning their use.

38:33 - Speaker 1 Really.

38:34 - Speaker 2 So that speaks exactly to this. So like, let's say, someone like busts something out at a party that because the brain or the body isn't in that preparatory state, like a 12-pack of donuts right, right, yeah, exactly.

38:48 - Speaker 1 With a special blade on top, with a special palatiary.

38:52 - Speaker 2 It's super dangerous and you know what Chase too. I love talking about addiction from this lens because I feel like it's incredibly, first of all, unifying for us as people and shame reducing Right, like if back in the day, this was this, this, like poor judgment, moral compass. How could you like you know, like well, you started. Can't you just stop and like these sorts of things that aren't helpful and also just aren't accurate, like they just that doesn't even fit to what is actually happening here?

39:26 - Speaker 1 Cannot agree more and to go back, kind of. The second point I wanted to highlight was, for me, what I'm hearing in addiction, kind of like the analogy I made with nutrition, is so much of. I think a fair amount of this is wrapped up in behavior assessment, behavior modification and going to before you ever get to the point so that the salivary amylase kicks in and you either have the willpower or don't. You say no or yes to that thing you're trying to reduce or eliminate in the nutrition world. What are you doing before that? Where are you? What are the contributing steps that put you in that position to have less or more choice objectively? Is that the same case here too, with addiction? Can we, by better understanding our habits and understanding the people, places things, choices, small choices or large ones getting us long before we get to that seven or eight? Is there power in that?

40:24 - Speaker 2 Definitely. It's so empowering too, even just to be able to identify it, the self-worth it takes to even say, okay, I'm worth the maintenance of this all. Oh, wow, I love that.

40:37 - Speaker 1 You know, Wow yeah.

40:39 - Speaker 2 Like similar to the gym right. Let's say you're like okay, I have these fitness goals. Once you hit your fitness goals, it's not like, okay, I don't have to go anymore.

40:47 - Speaker 1 Yeah, achieve fitness.

40:48 - Speaker 2 Yeah, right, and the same for mental health, like some people have that and there's a lot of like it could be expensive, it could be your time it's. You know I love the telehealth that that's a thing. Now it's a lot more accessible. But for some people, if they have like a specific thing that they wanna target, like once you get it people might be like, okay, I don't have to go anymore.

41:11 I don't have to do this anymore and that's not recommended, right, because things are constantly happening. So if you continue the mental health, you continue going to the classes or whatever it might be the maintenance. I think that speaks a lot to our value.

41:32 - Speaker 1 Total honesty here. Yeah.

41:34 I wanna say something kind of at the risk of my own mental health. What I shared with you earlier about all the work that I've been going through the last few years in alternative healing modalities was to address the story of the show, the loss of my father and it. About three years of working through that. I've gotten to a place that I never thought possible in terms of my healing and I'm so happy for that. I'm so proud of that. Recently and by recently I mean the last week I have had two of these extreme panic attacks.

42:24 And I've been triggered in ways that I thought I was done with, in ways that I thought to your point. No, I did the hard work. I went and got professional help. I committed to this mental health maintenance day after day, week after week, for years.

42:43 And I don't know. Maybe it's like did I get comfortable? Did I kind of let my guard down? But then to my credit, why I feel like a lot of this is top of mind and kind of why I've kind of been revisiting PTSD and trying to better understand it and going like you might have worked through it but it's not done with you yet, or as long as I'm alive, I run the risk, I run the potential of having things trigger me and I think I was not aware of all of those baby steps leading up to these triggers that I've known, that I've had before. For the last four weeks I've shared with you that I was traveling and I was around a lot of family a lot more often than I'm used to, and it was also timing.

43:28 It was extremely top of mind for me and my family. We went back home for the memorial of my dad's passing and so I was literally with family. That I'm not with all the time talking about things, I'm not talking about all the time at his grave, that I'm not at every couple years.

43:44 And so I'm wondering if this is maybe a moment of awareness for me, a call out for me of going Chase. You kind of let your guard down. Maybe you let your mental health work, that maintenance work down. And in these scenarios the last week they've been terrifying, they've been scary. Thank you, luckily I've had some really strong people around me to help me kind of pull me out of those scenarios. But it's just a testament to, I think, what I'm hearing in our conversation, just how powerful and how one-tracked our minds and our bodies can be if we're not aware of a silvery slope that we might be on.

44:33 - Speaker 2 And Chase. You're human. You're human right. You're not a machine. This is really real and raw, and I would hope you could be gentle with yourself and not judge this as a setback this round.

44:50 - Speaker 1 I am absolutely Good.

44:51 - Speaker 2 Good, good, yeah, and it's like it's humbling, it's grounding in a way, and I'm glad that you're seeing it this way rather than like again judging it as a regression and your personal development. I mean, what you described was like a recipe for emotional rawness, even being around our families. Our families are a system we adapted. We have a role in the system. Some of it we're aware of, some of it we're not. So to even just be around family can get us into a regressed state, just naturally.

45:28 - Speaker 1 How many people are probably nodding their head to that?

45:30 - Speaker 2 Big time.

45:31 - Speaker 1 Yeah, yeah, all right. Enough about me and my feelings, let's move on to, maybe, some treatment modalities.

45:39 - Speaker 2 Yeah, sure.

45:40 - Speaker 1 So we've got a great foundation of what is going on mentally, physiologically, in addiction and substance abuse. We want to get better. I understand that you've got or you've researched or have something really cool to share in the world of genetic testing, that can really maybe help put us on a quicker path.

46:02 - Speaker 2 Definitely yes. So substance abuse and substance use can really be viewed through the lens as a symptom. It's a symptom. So if I'm at groups or whatever I'm doing, even in therapy, just to focus on drugs and alcohol, it feels like low-hanging fruit.

46:19 - Speaker 1 OK.

46:19 - Speaker 2 It really does Like it's a symptom of some other thing. So I did want to share and make everyone aware of the fact that there are amazing genetic tests for antidepressants out there. So if we understand depression to be hopelessness, it's really what it like. That's, at its core, what it is. There's all sorts of neuroanatomy involved in that and there's more to it than that. Ok, but if we were to deduce it to one thing, that's a big part of it. If the process of finding an antidepressant that works for you can be discouraging, there's a huge menu of them out there. Out, them out there.

47:00 - Speaker 5 Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there. Out them out there there. Uh them out there. I'm out there. I'm out there. I'm out there. I'm out there. I'm out there. I'm out there. I'm out there. I'm out there. I'm out there.

47:32 - Speaker 2 I'm out there. It's menu of anti-depressants like cheese. Yeah, you're like oh God right. And then you have to tie it straight up to a clinical dose and then, like it'll be recommended just to see if it works for you.

47:44 Just to see if it works. And then they'll say let's stay on the clinical dose for six to eight weeks or something. And people have side effects weight gain, some sexual dysfunction, sleep all sorts of things can present and for some people it just doesn't work. So then you have to tie it down from that and start another one. So if you can eliminate a lot of that process and just be presented with like three, a genetic test, and you can Google it gene site is a big one, usually covered by insurance, not always, I think, out of pocket it would probably run you like 1200 bucks, which is no small penny, but it's certainly a great investment, but in the grand scheme of things, absolutely Right.

48:24 And drug addictions are pretty expensive.

48:26 - Speaker 1 Drug addiction, drug treatment insurance or without insurance. If you stack up, let's say, a year's cost of what it could cost you on a medication, might be running pretty neck and neck.

48:39 - Speaker 2 For sure, and then it could even test for the gene. I think it's called the mother fucker gene. What Like MFR? I'm pretty sure. And if that was not intended?

48:50 - Speaker 1 for the acronym made that acronym. They weren't thinking that through.

48:55 - Speaker 2 Or I hope they weren't which is brilliant, because that's exactly what it is. And that's what you hear about Right. The treatment-resistant depression, which is where things like TMS and ketamine really come in of people who maybe don't have the underlying substances, but they have this depression which is a bitch right and it could really take you far from who you are and being able to function. I have a lot of compassion for that, and this is where these other modalities that we started talking about. Maybe that's a totally viable option for someone.

49:27 - Speaker 1 Yeah, and as someone who has seen a lot in that space, my wife worked in psychedelic medicine for a couple years and that's exactly what it was. It was treatment-resistant.

49:40 It's a treatment-resistant, and that was definitely me as well. You've gone through years of all of the personal choices and getting traditional mental health help and traditional just help in general, and you either don't move the needle at all or, in my case, 12, 13 years Come on. I want to be through this. I want to be through this and I've done all the things. What else? There has to be something else.

50:04 - Speaker 2 Right, right, and in that case I'm thrilled that there are options like that.

50:11 - Speaker 1 Let me look to my notes here. I feel like this has been an incredible conversation, yeah cool, and by the way.

50:15 - Speaker 2 It was Theo Vaughn who did the podcast.

50:16 - Speaker 1 It was in my head. I'm like what? Yeah, I only think of him as Mollett man. He's got that kind of wild TO. He's awesome.

50:22 - Speaker 2 And that was a beautiful and kind and generous thing he did for that MMA fighter.

50:29 - Speaker 1 So we kind of covered a lot that I came prepared for, but one area that I think is left open is relapse. What does relapse look like? Is it the same slippery slope, the same proceeding steps that get people back, or I should say off the wagon, as they say? What can we be mindful of in the world of relapse to prevent it as much as possible?

50:56 - Speaker 2 Yeah, well, back to that pre-lapse piece, really gaining insight into that, of what that looks like for someone. It can be a checklist, let's say, someone's into AA. I love AA, I think it's awesome. Simply, the numbers speak for itself. It's really a beautiful fellowship.

51:16 That's a whole other topic. But let's say someone says for their plan they've committed to three meetings a week and then that goes down to two and then it's one. There's some hard evidence there that like, okay, I'm not doing the things for my recovery that when I was really committed to it I said I would do.

51:35 - Speaker 1 So the reps of the work truly matter, the consistency, the frequency, it really really does it really really.

51:42 - Speaker 2 It's the maintenance stage. Right, and even like what you were sharing personally, we don't say someone is recovered, people are in recovery, wow, yeah, that's a commitment, that's a lifelong, and I don't wanna sound grim like you've got this for life. But let's just humble ourselves. Our egos wanna be over it. Our egos wanna say been there, done it, I'm good, right and wanna move on, which I totally get that. But truthfully, it's something that we have to work at and that become complacent around and then, like stress, stress sucks. Core does all talk about the brain. It attacks the brain, it attacks the body. So let's say, someone gets sober in their 20s and then does the program and then, once you're in your 30s and 40s and you're talking about family and mortgage and pressures, it looks different. Our brains are different, our bodies are different. Sometimes we have to tweak our plan or whatever it might be.

52:52 - Speaker 1 A lot of times. A lot of times.

52:54 - Speaker 2 It would hope that we're rewriting the story and I would hope that we're always works in progress. That's what I love about this field too. It's like you never know. It's like I don't know shit actually, like there's still so much to learn. I know a little bit Like there's still so much. I mean even just the advances are constant. The articles are being written all the time, there's always research and things to learn in and to reevaluate, so that process has to continue. So what else, you know, having the recovery community is huge.

53:29 - Speaker 1 Support systems.

53:31 - Speaker 2 Yes, exactly this is not something you want to go to alone.

53:35 - Speaker 1 Does that have to be something like AA? Does that have to be a devoted, specific chaperone for lack of a better term group, or can it just be? Having one champion in our corner.

53:49 - Speaker 2 It could be that. It could be that.

53:51 - Speaker 1 Even with addiction.

53:53 - Speaker 2 Yep, yeah, I mean again, I'm a huge proponent of the fellowship. Just for that, it's fellowship. It's like you're getting in a room with someone and it's like, out the gate, permission is granted for everyone to be having a really shitty day, like at the office. You're not going to feel like well, I woke up and I feel like shit and I'm this close to having a liquid lunch sally and she's like OK, should I talk to HR about?

54:21 - Speaker 1 this I gotta go, I gotta go, you know.

54:23 - Speaker 2 So just the fact that you can be really real and raw in the face of other people is tremendously healing. I know when people work with a sponsor it's like you're being reparented, like someone who just hold you accountable. Yeah. And wants to hear from you on your bad day, like they don't want to hear from you, like, oh, everything's great, that's not what they're interested in.

54:46 - Speaker 1 Of course they'll champion. That. I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed. There's the real reparenting.

54:50 - Speaker 2 Right, right, right, but it doesn't have to be. There's also there's like smart recovery, which is a little bit more.

54:57 - Speaker 1 What's that?

54:58 - Speaker 2 A little more cognitive, a little more brainy. You know there's an element of surrender in the community that not everyone's comfortable with. Ok, fine.

55:07 - Speaker 1 You're talking about like the spiritual aspect, kind of the connection to the higher power.

55:11 - Speaker 2 Yes, exactly that makes some people squirm. There's a lot of like great acronyms to work around that you know GOD could be good, orderly direction, because that's really what they're talking about. But whatever, for some people, like even with California sober, if someone sits in front of me like I don't want to lose them, you know, if they say like I like heroin's ruined my life but I'm not giving up weed, I want to reach that person and I'll say OK.

55:38 Meet them where they're at right, fine exactly Rolling with the resistance and I want to connect on that level. So, similarly with aftercare and whatever community people feel like they're a part of. I'm not going to argue that right. So some people are anti-A. Ok, fine, let's find something so smart. Recovery is another one. There's also refuge recovery, which has like a Buddhist undertone.

56:00 - Speaker 1 Oh, interesting.

56:01 - Speaker 2 Yeah, which is like a little more meditation, heavy, awesome. Maybe it is someone in your life, you know, maybe it's your therapist.

56:12 - Speaker 1 In your professional experience, have you ever, can you point a finger to a treatment, recovery, relapse, prevention modality, that is, I'll say, without the spiritual aspect or with a spiritual component? Have you seen one work better than the other?

56:36 - Speaker 2 You know there's a lot of evidence-based modalities out there which are great and insurance companies love it right? It's short term, it's measurable, it's observable.

56:46 - Speaker 1 it has like benchmark kind of things they're healing or they're not. They're getting better or they're not.

56:51 - Speaker 2 Yeah, like it's very, it's like kind of mapped out, there's stages of it. So CBT is a big one and it's effective. That's kind of behavioral yeah exactly so it's basically you know, you have your thinking. It's a challenge within one's thinking. So if we can reframe some of the thoughts, behaviors are usually to follow right. So it's basically gaining control of one's thinking. How can we reframe, rewrite some of the scripts that are in our heads to help support Can we just call that awareness? Sure, yeah, yeah, maybe a little bit more specific Okay.

57:30 - Speaker 1 So it's all awareness? Yeah, true, it really is.

57:33 - Speaker 2 And then like and I'll be honest with you. Some of the like I'll have a group, the one I do at Creerah, right so is neuroanatomy in the brain, and usually the ones that like are like I wanna learn more about this. It's, we'll talk about it, right, we'll map it out.

57:50 I'll draw a really poor illustration of the brain but, like the point will be there right and without fail, it always seems like the ones that really wanna stay above the neck. Really the work is kind of below the neck, meaning in the feelings, and all of that. It happens all the time. It's like, okay, so we'll talk about it, We'll throw all of the neurotransmitters out there, and then it's like I'm feeling in the room, I'm sitting there, I'm like, okay, what are we not talking about?

58:25 - Speaker 1 Okay, well, that makes me think of the question if you know and not to knock anybody's approach to recovery or however you wanna take care of your general wellbeing, whatever works for you is amazing. Just keep in mind, there are other things out there and it would be ignorant to think that the one method that we have attached ourselves to is the only method and we are covering all of our healing bases, all of our wellness bases. That's my general disclaimer. But let's say we are maybe more of that neck up person or the neck down we are diving in. Okay, this is how I'm addicted, this is why I'm addicted from a neurotransmitter, neurochemical, biochemical, physiological aspect, and the more that I understand it, the more I can navigate it and I can thwart it through nutrition or other substances, things like that Meditation. There are a lot of different things you can do to alter your biochemistry without ever putting anything in your mouth.

59:21 Yeah, versus the neck down, versus I'm going the deeply spiritual, only meditation, all the wellness retreats is our both approaches, not giving ourselves the most healing potential.

59:37 - Speaker 2 Well, I would say we are all of these things right Like we are. As a person. We are multifaceted. We really are. So if we're going to be rigid and just go towards the one that we're more comfortable with, there's a chance that there's gonna be other areas that are still not integrated into our whole full self Right. So, like at Carrera, they really are interested in treating the whole self and while we have these amazing therapeutic modalities.

01:00:10 On top of it, there's a lot of self care woven into the treatment plans for these individuals massage and all sorts of almost spa-like services that can help people experience what it's like to get grounded organically. Okay.

01:00:30 Okay, so back to the way that you phrased it, right, like one or another. And when I say below the neck, I wasn't even speaking spiritually per se, I was speaking emotionally Okay, okay, like emotionally? Yeah, it's. There's still a lot of avoidance, right? So like, let's say, we go really cerebral when I have all the things. There is a chance that someone could start exercising addictively, right, like that what the rexia is a thing.

01:00:57 The addiction to healthy eating, healthy living, all the things yes like to a point where it's like you can't even not talk about it, or like you can't go to a normal function because of whatever restrictions you've set out to uphold.

01:01:12 - Speaker 1 You can't go out to eat? Yeah, put the waiter on trial for every ingredient. Anything your food touches, exactly exactly.

01:01:18 - Speaker 2 So it's still kind of extreme in a sense, right? So like I would hope that some sort of balance and a little bit of you know of everything, so we can treat the entire person.

01:01:29 - Speaker 1 Couldn't agree more and I'll even make this statement to wrap up this point. I think I think by if we are more that neck down person of the emotional, spiritual, we're tapping more into natural healing modalities, wellness practices that I think a lot of people think of. That probably I know that is going to influence our biochemistry.

01:01:53 - Speaker 2 That is going to influence the neck up. Facts.

01:01:55 - Speaker 1 Okay, great, yeah, you heard her say it. I got the expert to agree.

01:01:58 - Speaker 2 All right, definitely.

01:02:01 - Speaker 1 So we kind of get best at both worlds.

01:02:04 - Speaker 2 Yeah, yeah, exactly, and we're nurturing all parts of ourselves.

01:02:08 - Speaker 1 I'm gonna pause one second right there until we finish. These guys we got recycling at the beginning. We'll get trash at the end. I have one other question I want to talk about. You kind of sparked an idea about age. You know it said 20s, 30s. I want to kind of talk about. Maybe do we run a higher propensity in 20s versus 30s for addiction and maybe things be more myval of generationally, and then we'll kind of we'll get to the final there. Okay, I'm super happy where this is going, oh cool.

01:02:43 - Speaker 2 Yeah, me too. It feels good. It's a nice flow. Do I have time to pee?

01:02:48 - Speaker 1 Sure, yeah, I'm sorry, you gotta go, gotta go Just while we're Sure.

01:02:52 - Speaker 2 Yeah, absolutely yeah, okay, yeah, you're good, you're still out there. Okay, I'm out as well. I had triple lats in a bit I'm gonna Is this oh, there you go.

01:03:04 - Speaker 1 It's a portal, it's our part of it. Are you coming? Out as well. No, I'm good. I'm good, okay, yeah, it's the love of Narnia Ford.

01:03:14 - Speaker 4 Can you say it reminds me of my textbook book cover.

01:03:17 - Speaker 1 That's exactly, yeah it's like the bookstop thing. Yeah, yeah, it's the same material. Yeah, what's that? Bring it over buddy, yeah. Tomorrow, Thursday. We have two days from now, Thursday. Yeah, I agree. I was like look, if you can get three more guests, we'll round out at 100. So we got Thursday, we got three. We're gonna finish those three, then we'll be 100 episodes. Yeah yeah, we're going on a break. Yeah.

01:03:58 I want to get the generational question and we'll get the other four and maybe another 10 to 15 minutes and not sure if they've mentioned sorry, I know that they're requesting the career that you mentioned in the podcast description also. Oh, yeah, I link all the guests you know credentials website. Any references we talk about will be on there. Absolutely yeah, no problem. No problem, ah, it's okay.

01:04:30 I got blessed coffee man. I love this thing. Celebration, yeah right. Celebrate slow for sure, yeah, I love it. It's probably since you're all in the process of she's so into coffee. She has like three cups a day. Starts off in the morning. They didn't have one in half a minute and then happened right before bed. Right before bed, oh wow. People tell me that all the time. They're like, oh, I can have a coffee or espresso at night and it doesn't bother me, I can go to sleep. That is the biggest red flag that you have a caffeine addiction and you've done significant damage in terms of your antichrist system.

01:05:06 Because if it has, if it's got the point where it's not having the effect it's supposed to on you then yeah, you really been doing some work on caffeine for sure, yeah. I'm talking about something that actually something in your brain is polyphenols or something that's in coffee, but no, just the caffeine in itself. Yeah, it has polyphenols, antioxidants.

01:05:30 Most coffee will have this thing called a. It's naturally occurring in a tropic, basically called BDNF brain derived in a tropic factor. Yeah, it has a lot of things and especially individually within together they all cross the blood brain barrier. So I mean with any coffee, you're affecting brain chemistry for sure yeah.

01:05:47 Yeah, I know, actually I heard this guy, this British guy. Actually I, when I was in Austin last month, I had Adam on again. It's been a few years, but yeah, he actually got this guy. Not only I love his products, this company's strong coffee company, it's like a, it's an instant coffee in lattes but all organic micronized coffee crystals and then packed with like LTE and E and amino acids, mcts, like collagen. This guy not only knows his product, but like he knows, like all the ingredients, coffee world. I mean it was like a Up Up, up, Up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up Up. Up.

01:06:46 Up. How's that? How's that. Hello, hello it was good, check, check, check, maybe a little bit closer yeah. Thank you, that's great, thank you.

01:06:53 All right, we'll clap to come back in. So my last question before my last question is you were mentioning earlier, you know, talking about 20s, 30s, 40s, and it made me think about the typical generalized areas where most people are, I think, in their 20s, 30s, 40s. I think a lot of us run a higher risk probably, and this is where I'm going with you, my question In our 20s, late teens, 20s, we're developing addiction to substances because of where we are in life.

01:07:28 We've left home, we went to college, we got our first job, we're living on our own. It's, we're living and loving life and, unfortunately for many people, you wake up in your 30s and you're like, wow, I can't not have a drink every day. Is there a generational kind of benchmark for when we run a higher risk of addiction and, if so, what are things in those different generations 20s, 30s, 40s that we can just again introduce a sense of awareness for to make sure, hey, I'm going to have fun and do my thing now, live my life, but just be mindful of future self.

01:08:04 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so definitely, the risk is high in your 20s. As I said earlier, we are born without our fully developed prefrontal cortex, which is precisely the area of the brain that's going to say eh, you know, I better take a break because I'm feeling these consequences, or maybe I should moderate all of those executive functioning skills.

01:08:28 - Speaker 1 That's up until age 25, right, it is yeah yeah, roughly, yeah, yeah, I think it's like yeah. Some of us later than others.

01:08:36 - Speaker 2 Right, right. And not to mention if you've started your use in your teens, that's going to impact the development of the brain, I don't necessarily structurally, but I will say emotionally. The development of self-regulation can get stunted at the time that you first introduced substances, especially if it was a regular and consistent thing. Ok, right, so like let's say what we were talking about earlier, that we start to learn the balance and the moderation and the skills and the ability to regulate ourselves through exercise, through talking, all of those things. If we haven't even dipped our toe into that pool yet, there's a chance you get sober at 25. But emotionally you're still kind of like 16, 17.

01:09:25 - Speaker 1 Wow. So it makes me think. Look whenever you choose to get sober is amazing. Whenever you choose to take control of your life is amazing. But if we get sober too young, are we really running the most potential long term for success? Is there an ideal age to get sober?

01:09:50 - Speaker 2 basically, it's never too late, the sooner the better, that's for sure. And again, we're talking about problematic substance use here. We're talking about a process addiction that really takes us away from our goals, from ourselves, from our relationships. So that's what we're talking about. So if this is where someone's at, the sooner the better and also it's never too late, you'll see someone in their 60s and 70s in a treatment center. Wow. And it's like for the first time ever, it's like I really should probably look at this.

01:10:27 - Speaker 1 Good, good for them.

01:10:28 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and it's amazing, it really really is and things that come up at that lifespan. So life is still happening and when we talk about these generations or these decades of our lives, they really are defined a lot by professionally, family planning, what that looks like, financial responsibility Once we get into the later years. We're talking about potential retirement, empty nesting, so other things that really our identity can be wrapped up in something.

01:11:02 - Speaker 1 So true.

01:11:02 - Speaker 2 Yes, and we're actually. That's what life is, and then it changes and adjustments are so hard they really are when you have one foot in here and one foot there. I see it a lot with the young 20s where it's just like last year no one expected anything of me, oh.

01:11:23 - Speaker 1 Wow yeah.

01:11:25 - Speaker 2 And now, this year, I have to figure out what I want to be for the rest of my life. I want to now. I suddenly have to pay for my car insurance, but for some reason last year I did all these things.

01:11:37 - Speaker 1 Dad cut me off.

01:11:38 - Speaker 2 Yeah, and it's really, really hard and I wish, and I love these podcasts and just the way even in social media it's not all that the way that people can communicate with each other during these transitions and these adjustments, to just normalize how freaking hard it is. And I do think it's as we get older, one would assume that we have more immunity towards this, but we really don't, especially as stress or whatever it is, increases or a lot of unprocessed things. What we resist persists. So let's say, we had a nice booze jacket on all for our 20s and 30s.

01:12:17 - Speaker 4 Fö becksド都是 and fáe hi unsiete fidelity fáe hi usos회 money, but trashy if you don't.

01:12:44 - Speaker 1 Oh yeah, you know and like all these things.

01:12:47 - Speaker 2 So there's no socioeconomic, there's no nothing at all that will make you immune to this, sadly.

01:12:56 - Speaker 1 Well as someone who is rounding out dry January oh same. I've been doing. I had dry January all but one one day.

01:13:05 - Speaker 2 Same actually Okay, so we are cool. One nice day.

01:13:09 - Speaker 1 I love how we like confessed mutually yeah, safe space. I've never done it before For no particular reason, but my wife and I decided to commit to it this month. And I also say this the more and more that I have gone through and maintain mental health help and even through other substances, particularly psilocybin, I found emotionally and I dare I say biochemically, I just have less and less and less of an interest in alcohol.

01:13:40 - Speaker 2 Same. I was like is this dry January becoming like just the lifestyle, just like normal?

01:13:47 - Speaker 1 Yeah, we even picked up some non alcoholic beer, shout out athletic brewing company Not sponsored by just. I've recently found them and I love them, and I'm a big IPA beer fan. I genuinely enjoy the taste of alcohol, especially an IPA beer. I love bitter things like coffee and, you know, a great deep dark red wine. I just really enjoy the taste.

01:14:06 I'm really over getting drunk, or having honestly to even that is kind of like yeah, definitely over the hangovers and stuff, and I've just found that you know, now it's just the silvery slope to becoming really California sober. I got a great alternative IPA and non alcoholic. Yep, I've microdosed this month, you know as well, so still using psilocybin, but that one night, one night of having a couple glasses of really good wine, I really enjoyed, it was with loved ones, had a great time, but just the next day I wasn't hungover. But it's just now. I really, really know the toll. Yep, and just I have such clarity of. This is how I feel when I'm just dialing, optimizing, great and completely sober.

01:14:50 Yeah versus even just like a little bit not.

01:14:53 - Speaker 2 I'm with you. I just even sleep a little worse you know, just yeah exactly, and this. What you're talking about and I'm like right there with you is such internal motivation. It's the wanting to, rather than like I should do this or I should do that, because that kind of like sucks right If we should ourselves, or whatever.

01:15:11 - Speaker 1 Stop shooting all over yourself. Yeah, exactly, we gave ourselves the chance, we gave ourselves the choice and the space to just commit to trying something different. Yeah which is really all that it takes to get a fair assessment of. Is this for me? Do I like the way that I feel with or without these things, these substances, or even just these daily practices?

01:15:31 - Speaker 2 Yeah.

01:15:32 - Speaker 1 Yeah it's very cool, but I do think in, in I know myself, I do believe in true Chase form. Come February 1st I'm probably gonna have a glass of wine. Cheers to that, that's just you know, I like to set goals, I like to adhere to them, I'm disciplined, but also I know what I like. Yeah, I have self controls. I love that for me. But I want to ask my final question.

01:15:55 Yeah and bring it back to the theme of the show and you know. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and your insight and your personal experience to help us move forward in such a unique and necessary way. When it comes to thank you. When it comes to addiction and you know our life and the lives of those that we care about. So to ask you directly ever forward, what are those two words mean to you?

01:16:26 - Speaker 2 You know, I really feel like it is working through is to me like to to really to move forward is not to get over right, but to lean into it, to lean into the things that we're feeling, the experiences that we're having, and I think with that we can, we can really integrate ourselves and and continue living a life that's thirsty for knowledge and not complacent, right and an exciting life there's never a right or wrong.

01:17:00 - Speaker 1 Answer is always my follow up. Every interpretation is your own and personal and I appreciate my audience appreciates. Yeah, we're gonna have all of your information and everything that we talked about, link down the video notes, show notes for everybody. But where can they go to learn more about you and maybe some of the things that we worked about for for them or a loved one?

01:17:18 - Speaker 2 Yeah, so when it comes to the treatment setting, so career treatment, wellness and spa and that's here in LA right. Yeah, yeah, so you can Google that for their website. You can find me at at Dr Blair SID on Instagram. Same for my website is Dr Blair SIDcom. And and that's, that's that's that I'm around.

01:17:44 - Speaker 1 Thank you so much Thank you Chase.