Non-medication treatment for opioid addiction

The Opioid Crisis in America
July – November, 2021

Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD

effective non-medication treatments for Opioid Use Disorder:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Mutual help organizations, such as Narcotics Anonymous or Women for Sobriety
  • Sober living environments
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Mindfulness
  • Contingency Management Behavioral Interventions


Dr. J. Doty: Hacking your brain for happiness

Hacking your brain for happiness
Dr. James Doty

Apr 5, 2016

Dr. James Doty explains the neurological benefits of Compassion. “Project Compassion” has now turned into a leading research and educational institution and the only institution solely focused on the study of Compassion, Altruism and Empathy.

James Robert Doty, M.D., examines the neural, mental, and social bases of compassion. He serves as Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and Founder and Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) – of which the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor. He serves as Chairman of the Dalai Lama Foundation and as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religion.

He has just release his first book, Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.

The MindUp Program

The Hawn Foundation – The MindUp Program
May 18, 2011

Neuroscience + Mindful Awareness Training = Thriving Children with Goldie Hawn
The Aspen Institute
Dec 18, 2014
brain breaks


Teaching the ABCs of Attention, Balance and Compassion: Susan Kaiser Greenland at TEDxStudioCityED

Bite-sized Mindfulness

Deconstructing Mindfulness (Davos 2015)

Davos 2015 – The Human Brain > Deconstructing Mindfulness
Feb 2, 2015
World Economic Forum

How can a better understanding of the neural basis of mindfulness meditation lead to improved clinical applications?

Richard J. Davidson, William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry, Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA; Global Agenda Council on Mental Health.
Thomas R. Insel, Director, National Institute of Mental Health, USA; Global Agenda Council on Mental Health.

metacognitive learning

cognitive control

not instead of medication, but in addition to

The Hawn Foundation

Gates Foundation: develop a game to teach middle-schoolers the skills of mindfulness in a game-like format

Is there too much mindfulness? (can you overdo it?)

People would rather be electrically shocked …

Twelve of 18 men in the study gave themselves at least one electric shock during the study’s 15-minute “thinking” period.
By comparison, six of 24 females shocked themselves.
All of these participants had received a sample of the shock and reported that they would pay to avoid being shocked again.

“What is striking,” the investigators write, “is that simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid.”

original article:
Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind
Science 4 July 2014: 345 (6192):75-77
Timothy D. Wilson, et al.

In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative.

Rick Hanson: Hardwiring Happiness

IdeaSphere: 131216
‎‎December ‎20, ‎2013

Hardwiring Happiness: Neuropsychologist Dr. Rick Hanson has a different way of looking at the functions of the brain and our inherent tendency to focus on the negative.
What he’s realized is that simply using positive thinking isn’t the answer. Neither is the practice of mindfulness.
He says you have to rewire your brain.

Kurzweil > Books

Enhance Your Resilience

Enhance Your Resilience
Scientific American Mind. July 1, 2013

Resilience is the ability to modulate and constructively harness the stress response—a capacity essential to both physical and mental health.
Success can hinge on resilience. Setbacks are part of any endeavor, and those who react to them productively will make the most progress.
A person can boost his or her resilience. Strategies include reinterpreting negative events, enhancing positive emotions, becoming physically fit, accepting challenges, maintaining a close social network and imitating resilient role models.

There are numerous strategies for regulating emotions and enhancing resilience. Two approaches that have received increasing scientific support in recent years are:

… teach children the skills needed to become socially competent, such as:

The Neuroscience of Emotions

The Neuroscience of Emotions
Dr. Philippe Goldin
September 16, 2008

Search Inside Yourself program, Google

Classes of Emotion
6 Primary:

Background; mood
– wellbeing/malaise, calm/tense, pain/pleasure

Secondary (social)
– embarrassment, jealousy, guilt, shame, pride

over 600 words in English to describe different emotions

Facial Action Coding System (Paul Ekman, PhD)

power_to_revokeMarcus Aurelius (Meditations) 167 A.C.E.
If you are distressed by anything external [or internal], the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it;
and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.

StagesOfEmotionRegulationStages of Emotion Regulation
Immediate attention shifts
Emotion appraisal
Cognitive reappraisal
Meta-Cognitive processing
[Adapted from Gross, J Pers Soc Psychol, 1998]


39:18 Learned Control Over Neural Activity in Dorsal Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Pain
deCharms, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2005, 102(51):18626-18631

39:28 Navigation-related Structural Change in the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers
Maguire et al, 2000 PNAS, 97, 4398-4403

46:20 re-interpretation strategies (cognitive re-appraisal, cognitive re-structuring) to an emotional probe was actually predicted by cognitive development
The older you are, the more cognitive developed
The more cognitive developed, the more you are able to use cognitive re-appraisal strategies to down-regulate emotional reactivity
This is age-dependent, at least from 8 to 22

cognitive behavioral therapy is change-oriented: identify mistakes in thinking
… find evidence that those thoughts are either not accurate or not beneficial. A heady, logical, linguistical, language approach.

49:26 Meditation is not good for everybody. We know that as a fact.

50:05 Exercise is a powerful mood regulatior.

50:30 Not studied: As we are so embedded in logos, language: Communication skills
How we actually process language?
Can we be trained to use language and linguistic processing in a way that is less harmful, to self and others?

Mindfulness meditation is ONE type of meditation. There are many kinds of meditation.

53 emotion labeling
emotion expression

59:25 emotional contagion

relationship with psychoanalysis

We are all humans. We can use different vocabulary but it’s the same suffering with slightly different flavors

restore psychological flexibility

Believing that I actually can do something.
… I can expand. I can be more than this.
hopefulness and hopelessness