Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease
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 Desireis enlightening and optimistic reading for anyone who has wrestled with addiction either personally or professionally. 'A courageous and much-needed voice in rethinking addiction . . . Through his intimate personal and professional knowledge of addiction, Lewis reframes our understanding of its mechanisms and nature in a way that is empowering.' Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, author of the The Woman Who Changed Her Brain
'A courageous and much-needed voice in rethinking addiction ...Through his intimate personal and professional knowledge of addiction, Lewis reframes our understanding of its mechanisms and nature in a way that is empowering.';- Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, author of the The Woman Who Changed Her Brain;;'Marc Lewis provides a wonderful mix of biography, psychology, and neuroscience to explain desire and addiction in a new way. It will stimulate thinking about our approaches to addiction and desire. His writing is accessible, personal, and captivating.';- David Roland, author of How I Rescued My Brain;;'This is the real story of 'this is your brain on drugs,' but one that provides a refreshing, convincing alternative to the widespread traditional disease-model view of addiction. Through compelling stories of real people who struggled with various addictions, Lewis lucidly makes the case for a new science-based understanding of what causes and sustains addiction. Most important, it offers far more positivity about ways out of addiction than those offered by traditional treatment, providing hope for those struggling as well as for their loved ones.';- Anne M. Fletcher, MS, RD, author of Sober for Good and Inside Rehab;;'Informed by unparalleled neuroscientific insight and written with his usual flare, Marc Lewis's The Biology of Desire effectively refutes the medical view of addiction as a primary brain disease. A bracing and informative rebuke of the muddle that now characterizes public and professional discourse on this topic.;- Dr. Gabor Mate, MD, author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction;;'Marc Lewis's new book neatly links current thinking about addiction with neuroscience theory and artfully selected biographies. Ex-addicts, we learn, are not 'cured,' rather they have become more connected to others, wiser, and more in touch with their own humanity. This is a hopeful message that has, as Lewis demonstrates, the advantage of also being true.';- Gene Heyman, author of Addiction: Disorder of Choice;;'Whether you are looking for a foundation in the neuroscience of addiction, guidelines for recovery or just hope that recovery is possible, it's all here. The scientific information is presented in the context of day-to-day behavior and the lives of individuals you will come to care about. You'll learn more about neuroscience (and human development and psychology) than you may have thought possible. Informed by this book, you'll see how neuroscience explains addiction as a part of life, rather than a mysterious entity only experts can understand.';- Tom Horvath, President of Practical Recovery and SMART Recovery, and author of Sex, Drugs, Gambling & Chocolate: A Workbook for Overcoming Addictions
Dr Marc Lewis is a developmental neuroscientist and professor of human development and applied psychology at Radboud University Nijmegen, one of the top five universities in the Netherlands, and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto, where he taught and conducted research from 1989 to 2010. The author of over 50 journal publications in neuroscience and developmental psychology, he is at the forefront of knowledge of the emotional brain and the neural foundations of personality development.