Dr. Ishan Sharma

MD, CCFP, Spec. Hons. BSc

Dr. Sharma is a family physician with a special interest in mental health and psychotherapy. Prior to pursuing medicine he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in kinesiology; immersing himself in exercise and nutritional science. While completing medical school and residency at the University of Calgary, Dr. Sharma focused his elective rotations in areas including solution-focused therapy, trauma therapy, addiction medicine, sleep medicine, inner city medicine, and obesity medicine.

In his spare time, he enjoys weightlifting, hiking, learning new languages, and hosts his own mental health podcast, The Recovery Refresh. Feel free to listen along on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or YouTube!

Dr. Sharma is an avid proponent of the American Society of Addiction Medicine 2011 Definition of Addiction, which informs his approach to mental health treatment. (ABCDE characteristics highlighted below).

"Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviours. Addiction is characterized by

inability to consistently Abstain,

impairment in Behavioural control,


Diminished recognition of significant problems with one's behaviours and interpersonal relationships,

and a dysfunctional Emotional response.

Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death."

He encourages a holistic approach to recovery that emphasizes all aspects of health, including the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual elements.

Read more about the ASAM 2011 long definition of addiction here: