The Biology of Desire

The Biology of Desire

Why Addiction Is Not A Disease

Book - 2015
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Through the vivid, true stories of five people who journeyed into and out of addiction, a renowned neuroscientist explains why the "disease model" of addiction is wrong and illuminates the path to recovery.

The psychiatric establishment and rehab industry in the Western world have branded addiction a brain disease, based on evidence that brains change with drug use. But in The Biology of Desire, cognitive neuroscientist and former addict Marc Lewis makes a convincing case that addiction is not a disease, and shows why the disease model has become an obstacle to healing.

Lewis reveals addiction as an unintended consequence of the brain doing what it's supposed to do--seek pleasure and relief--in a world that's not cooperating. Brains are designed to restructure themselves with normal learning and development, but this process is accelerated in addiction when highly attractive rewards are pursued repeatedly. Lewis shows why treatment based on the disease model so often fails, and how treatment can be retooled to achieve lasting recovery, given the realities of brain plasticity. Combining intimate human stories with clearly rendered scientific explanation, The Biology of Desire is enlightening and optimistic reading for anyone who has wrestled with addiction either personally or professionally.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, 2015.
ISBN: 9780385682282
Branch Call Number: 616.86001 Lew
Characteristics: xiii, 238 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.


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Dec 12, 2016

Excellent book detailing addiction as "not" a disease. Fact filled and accessible and also personal, as the stories of those fighting addiction provide colour for the science of addiction.

Jan 20, 2016

Excellent book explaining the neurology of addiction and why the author (in spite of having been an addict) does not believe addiction is a disease. He is a neurologist himself.

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