The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

by Marc Lewis PhD


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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. 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. As a result, most treatment based on the disease model fails. Lewis shows how treatment can be retooled to achieve lasting recovery. This is enlightening and optimistic reading for anyone who has wrestled with addiction either personally or professionally.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610394376
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 07/14/2015
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 831,996
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 2.10(d)

About the Author

Marc Lewis, PhD, is a neuroscientist and professor of developmental psychology. Now at Radboud University in the Netherlands, he taught for more than twenty years at the University of Toronto. He has authored or coauthored more than fifty journal articles in neuroscience and developmental psychology. Presently, he speaks and blogs on topics in addiction science, and his critically acclaimed book, Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines His Former Life on Drugs, is the first to blend memoir and science in addiction studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 Defining Addiction: A Battleground of Opinions 1

Chapter 2 A Brain Designed for Addiction 27

Chapter 3 When Craving Comes to Power: Natalie's Story 47

Chapter 4 The Tunnel of Attention: Brian's Romance with Meth 71

Chapter 5 Donna's Secret Identity 95

Chapter 6 Johnny Needs a Drink 117

Chapter 7 Nothing for Alice: The Double-Edged Sword of Self-Control 139

Chapter 8 Biology, Biography, and Addiction 161

Chapter 9 Developing Beyond Addiction 193


Notes 219

Index 225

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