What Are Ted Talks?

Ted Talks are conferences organized by a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas.

Typically, Ted Talk videos are short and powerful talks you can listen to for free in 18 minutes or less. The speakers are experts in their fields. 

The topics cover a wide range, from activism to virtual reality.

The tagline for these videos is “ideas worth spreading.” And when we consider how popular they have become, this tagline seems fitting. 

Top Ted Talks on Drug Addiction

Addiction, whether to drugs, alcohol, or something else, is a widespread issue.

This is why we weren’t surprised to find that there are countless inspirational videos and talks relating to addiction and recovery.

But with so many options to sift through, how do we choose? 

We want to make it easy for you to find the information you need, so we sifted through tons of content to find the top Ted Talks on addiction for you. 

A Breakdown of Our Top Three Ted Talks on Addiction

Gabor Mate, in the power of addiction and the addiction of power Ted Talk, uses his background as a physician and specialist to evaluate why we become addicted to anything.

He links addiction to the lack of love, the desire to escape, and susceptibility. 

In Hari’s TED Talk, titled everything you think you know about addiction is wrong, this expert dives into the root causes of addiction.

And not just to drugs and booze. In the video, he asks the question: what really causes addiction – to everything from cocaine to smartphones? 

Dr. Volkow is the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and a world leader in the neurobiology of diseases involving our reward and self-control systems.

Addiction is one example of this type of disease. Obesity is another example. 

She delves into these systems and the ways that addiction affects them in her video, why do our brains get addicted?

These are some of the best addiction recovery videos available today.

Addiction and connection Ted Talks like these can help compassionately and conversationally shed light on this complex and sensitive topic. 

Ted Talks on Mindfulness and Addiction

Another Ted Talk that may be interesting to those in or approaching recovery is how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime.

This one is a meaningful discussion on healing from childhood trauma and why that it is so important. 

While it is not specifically about addiction, pediatrician Nadine Burke takes a deep dive into the ways that we carry our traumas from childhood into adolescence and adulthood.

Individuals with a family history of high stress, abuse, neglect, mental health conditions, or substance abuse problems carry the weight of these events with them. 

In the video, she tells us that those who experience high levels of trauma are three times more likely to develop heart disease or lung cancer later in life.

She stresses the importance of preventing and treating trauma in maintaining our health throughout life’s various stages. 

Since trauma, stress, mental health issues, and feelings of neglect are often linked to drug and alcohol addiction, this video is much more relevant to us than it may look at first glance.

Being mindful of and treating the root cause of an addiction is crucial to recovery. 

Similarly, Judson Brewer’s Ted Talk, “A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit,” explains the motivation behind a whole range of addictive behaviors to make them more understandable.

This acclaimed psychiatrist acknowledges that addiction is not simple, but our approach to overcoming it can be. 

He uses mindfulness exercises and simple techniques to help patients break the habit of addiction.

In his insightful speech, he talks about the profound results you can find simply by paying more attention to something. 

His studies on the link between addiction and mindfulness offer a fascinating glimpse into the ways we make and break habits.   

Key Takeaways from Ted Talks on Addiction

Addiction is not a weakness; it is a disease. It undermines the functions of our systems responsible for reward, self-control, and motivation.

Overcoming addiction requires making meaningful connections and understanding this important distinction. 

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection.

Connection to our true selves, to each other, to nature, and to other things that are important to us.

By building more meaningful connections, we can stop using drugs or alcohol as a crutch. 

For some people, this might mean joining a book club, learning to paint, taking exercise classes, learning a new language, or simply spending some with supportive loved ones.

In the Johann Hari Ted Talk, “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong,” he discusses an interesting study often referred to as Rat Park. 

Rat Park – A Study of How Environment Impacts Addiction

The study we mentioned above was run by a professor of psychology in Vancouver in the 1970s.

In this professor’s experiment, he built a cage called Rat Park for his test subjects.

He loaded the cage up with cheese, colored balls, tunnels, and friends. 

He also provided two separate water bottles – one filled with normal water and another filled with drug water.

In Rat Park, the rats did not enjoy the drug water and almost never used it. None used it compulsively. None ever overdosed. 

But rats in isolation with access to the same drug water overdosed 100% of the time.

This means that his test subjects went from a 100% overdose rate in isolation to a 0% overdose rate when they had happy, connected lives. 

This professor posited that addiction is often about your cage, an adaptation to your environment.

He maintains that when we are happy and healthy, we bond and connect with each other.

But trauma, isolation, and mental health disorders can make this bonding difficult. 

When we lack healthy connections, we often bond with something that will provide relief instead.

Having meaningful people, events, careers, and activities to bond with can help us prevent this.

This might mean choosing a less stressful job, building a sober social network, participating in support groups or other healthy group activities, or improving existing relationships. 

Treatment for Addiction – What Are My Options?

Behavioral therapies, support groups, and stress management training are a few of the pillars of recovery.

In each of our programs, we aim to help our clients understand and overcome the root causes of their addictions. 

By building a foundation of understanding first, many people are better able to maintain their sobriety even as challenges inevitably arise.

We will teach you how to build healthy habits, coping mechanisms, and support systems you can rely on. 

From detox through aftercare, we will work with you to ensure that you get the care you need, when and how you need it.

We offer a convenient and diverse range of inpatient, outpatient, and hybrid programs to meet a wide range of unique addiction needs. 

Choosing Pathfinders Recovery Center

When you choose Pathfinders, you choose dedicated professionals, personalized programs, and proven techniques.

There are no one-size-fits-all solutions here.

Call us today at (866) 263-1820 to see the difference a Pathfinders approach can make.


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