Season 2, episode 23 of the Discover U Podcast with JD Kalmenson: Is Addiction a Brain Disease? With Dr. Mark Gold, MD
Is Addiction a Brain Disease? With Dr. Mark Gold, MD JD Kalmenson interviews Dr. Mark Gold, MD to understand the history of chemical dependency, and process addictions, seen through the lens of a prominent researcher and medical doctor. Dr. Gold gives the audience an idea of how difficult it was to get proper treatment for any kind of addiction within the hospital system as far back as the 1970s, and how his work transformed our understanding of addiction from a lack of willpower to a brain disease. A discussion of various effective treatments follows. Over his 25-year career at the University of Florida, Dr. Mark Gold has been a Professor of Neuroscience, a physician-scientist at UF McKnight Brain Institute, and a university bench-to-bedside leader. He became UF Distinguished Professor, Eminent Scholar & Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry. He was the Founder of the Division of Addiction Medicine & Florida's Recovery Center, UF Psychiatric Hospital, and outpatient centers from Gainesville to Vero Beach. His theories have changed the field, stimulated research, and led to new treatments. With his mentor Herb Kleber, Gold helped change addiction psychiatry to disease management, including evidence-based care that evaluates & treats co-occurring disorders. Gold's work proved that cocaine caused a relative dopamine deficiency along with anhedonia, and pioneered the study of second-hand tobacco, cannabis, and opium smoke. Gold and Kelly Brownell co-chaired the historic Yale Conference on Food and hedonic overeating. This work has led to collaborative research on the drug-like effects of some food and the use of anti-addiction medications in obesity. Since his retirement, Gold has continued his work as a researcher, mentor, and inventor. He is on the Board of Directors of various education, intervention, and prevention organizations, including CADCA and DEAEF. And he has received numerous Lifetime Achievement awards for his pioneering work. Host Kalmenson is the CEO/Founder of Renewal Health Group, a family of addiction treatment centers, and Montare Behavioral Health, a comprehensive brand of mental health treatment facilities in Southern California. Kalmenson is a Yale Chabad Scholar, a skilled facilitator, teacher, counselor, and speaker, who has provided chaplain services to prisons, local groups and remote villages throughout the world. His diverse experience as a rabbi, chaplain, and CEO has inspired his passion and deep understanding of the necessity for effective mental health treatment and long-term sobriety.