The Rich Roll Podcast

Anna Lembke, MD on The Neuroscience of Addiction, Dopamine Fasting & The Opioid Crisis

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.

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.

To read more click here. You can also watch listen to our exchange 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,

Listen, Watch & Subscribe

Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Thanks to this week’s sponsors:

Incase: Sleek, functional, and durable laptop cases & sleeves, backpacks, tech bags, travel accessories & more, Incase has a whole ecosystem of products designed to support creative lifestyles that deliver organization, mobility, and protection. My U.S. listeners can get US customers can get 20% off with the code Richroll at incase.com

Outerknown: Founded by pro-surfer Kelly Slater, Outerknown creates high quality, sustainably produced, and great looking men’s and women’s clothes, ethically manufactured in the world’s cleanest solar-powered factory. When you’re ready to amp up your wardrobe with awesome sustainable duds, go to outerknown.comand enter my code ROLL at checkout to get 25% off your full-price order.

Squarespace: The easiest way to create a beautiful website, blog, or online store for you and your ideas. Save 10% on your first purchase when you visit Squarespace.com/RICHROLL and use the discount code RICHROLL at checkout.

Daily Harvest: Daily Harvest makes it easy to eat more fruits and vegetables with thoughtfully sourced, chef-crafted foods that are ready in five minutes or less. Go to dailyharvest.com/RICHROLLto get up to $40 off your first box.

For a complete list of all RRP sponsors, vanity URLs & discount codes, visit Our Sponsors.

Show Notes:


Tell Your Friends & Share Online!

Subscribe & Review:  iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Soundcloud | Google Podcasts

Donate: Check out our Patreon account

Support The Sponsors: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support our sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url's and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click "Sponsors".

Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, & editing; graphics by Jessica Miranda & Daniel Solis; portraits by Ali Rogers, Davy Greenberg & Grayson Wilder; copywriting by Georgia Whaley; and theme music by Tyler Piatt, Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Episode source