Addiction Recovery and Dopamine

The role dopamine plays in addiction and recovery.

Don't get me started on my latest dopamine rush…

Addiction Recovery and Dopamine

Hello Radiant Friend, 💫

Today, I'm delving into a topic that's both fascinating and crucial for anyone on a recovery journey: Addiction Recovery and Dopamine, highlighting the role dopamine plays in addiction and recovery.

You know this already, but I'm sharing again: dopamine is your brain's pleasure chemical—your "reward messenger" that encourages you to engage in life-enhancing activities like eating and socializing. But for those who have trouble with addiction, like me and perhaps you, the dopamine pathway gets hijacked, leading us down roads we'd rather not travel or sometimes even talk about! Don't get me started on my latest dopamine rush… I just can't.

Dopamine's Dilemma in Addiction and Recovery

During addiction, substances or behaviors artificially spike dopamine levels, creating an unsustainable high. Think about how you feel when you can't stop spending, eating, gaming, or smoking… you have an insatiable hunger for more! This is what I call the dopamine rush!

In recovery, regaining your balance is essential—restoring dopamine's natural rhythm supports both physical and mental well-being. As you continue to embrace long-term recovery, it's the small steps that matter, rewiring that dopamine pathway.

Will you help us grow? Share us with ten friends, and we will send you our new book! 👇🏼

Dopamine: The Neurochemical Paradox - Help

This neurotransmitter is a master of duality—its propensity for evoking sheer happiness is mirrored by its capacity to drive compulsive behaviors. Intriguingly, the nucleus accumbens, a core station within the brain's reward circuitry, experiences a pronounced spike in dopamine release in response to certain stimuli, which can reinforce substance-seeking actions. (Your smoking, eating, gaming, yelling, drinking too much caffeine…)

A profound exploration into dopaminergic mechanisms reveals that addictive substances can hyperstimulate the nucleus accumbens, catapulting activity levels to extremes far surpassing those elicited by everyday rewards. This relentless overstimulation may eventually blunt the pleasure response, an adaptation of the nucleus accumbens as it attempts to regulate the excessive neural input it receives.

Moreover, the body's quest for homeostasis—a state of internal equilibrium—becomes disrupted under the siege of addiction. Chronic exposure to drugs of abuse amplifies the dopaminergic signal from the ventral tegmental area (VTA), further intensifying the addictive cycle and potentially leading to a desensitized state where the natural rewards of life no longer suffice.

Compelling research underscores that dopamine not only underscores pleasure but also craving and the learning of drug-related cues—transforming environments and objects associated with substance use into triggers for release and craving. Addiction encompasses a reconfiguration of neural pathways, where dopamine's role transcends mere pleasure, implicating it as a central player in the reinforcement and perpetuation of addictive behaviors.

This intricate dance of dopamine within our neural pathways, as documented in seminal studies such as those published in Psychopharmacology (Berl) and other notable research, offers a window into understanding the tenacious grip of addiction. It is a testament to the delicate balance our brains strive to maintain in the face of external influences and the consequential power held by this neurochemical paradox. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1991.

Books on Dopamine & Recovery 📚

📘 "The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease" by Marc Lewis - Buy on Amazon

📗 "Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence" by Anna Lembke - Buy on Amazon

📙 "Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction" by Judith Grisel - Buy on Amazon.

Optimizing Dopamine 💪💭

  • Magnesium Plus: A supplement that may help balance dopamine levels while supporting overall brain health. Purchase here.

  • SAMe: A compound that has been linked to improving mood and cognitive function. Purchase here.

  • Lithium Orotate: This may aid in mood stabilization, an essential aspect of recovery. Purchase here.

Boosting Dopamine with Breakfast 🍳

Starting the day with a breakfast that boosts your dopamine can set a positive tone for the entire day. Here are three dopamine-friendly recipes:

  1. Spinach and Mushroom Omelet: Spinach is high in folate, which is important for dopamine production. Get the recipe.

  2. Banana Almond Flax Smoothie: Bananas are a natural source of tyrosine, a building block for dopamine. Blend it up.

  3. Avocado Toast with Cottage Cheese & Tomatoes: Avocados contain tyrosine, and the protein in cottage cheese can help regulate dopamine levels. Create your toast.

Joke of the Week 😄

A pickle walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender says, "Sorry, we don't serve food here." 🥒😂

Did You Know? 🧐

Did you know that smiling can increase your dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins? It's nature's free mood enhancer!

Stay fabulous, and keep shining your light on the path of recovery. Until next week, keep your dopamine balanced and your spirits high! 🌟

With warmth and wellness,


P.S. As always, consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

🎧 Listen to the SHOW 🎙️

My Continued Love of DNA: The DNA of Nutrition

Genetics offer clues to personalized, evidence-based nutrition. By understanding your DNA, you can tailor your diet to anticipate your body's needs better, optimizing recovery and overall health. Want to dive deeper into your unique nutritional blueprint? Explore a blueprint with me to gain strategic dietary choices that could aid in managing cravings (the dopamine rush I just described above) and other influences. 🍽️🧬 Find time on my calendar and let's talk DNA and Dopamine!

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None of this is medical advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not medical advice or a solicitation to buy any supplements or medications or to make any medical decisions. Always be careful. Always consult a professional. Please don't sue us. 😇

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