More people than ever before see themselves as addicted to or recovering from addiction, whether it's alcohol or drugs, prescription meds, sex, gambling, porn, or the Internet. But despite the unprecedented attention, our understanding of addiction is trapped in unfounded 20th-century ideas, addiction as a crime or as brain disease, and equally outdated treatment.
Challenging both the idea of the addict's "broken brain" and the notion of a simple "addictive personality", Unbroken Brain offers a radical and groundbreaking new perspective, arguing that addiction is a learning disorder, and shows how seeing the condition this way can untangle our current debates over treatment, prevention, and policy. Like autistic traits, addictive behaviors fall on a spectrum - and they can be a normal response to an extreme situation. By illustrating what addiction is and is not, the book illustrates how timing, history, family, peers, culture, and chemicals come together to create both illness and recovery - and why there is no "addictive personality" or single treatment that works for all.
Combining Maia Szalavitz's personal story with a distillation of more than 25 years of science and research, Unbroken Brain provides a paradigm-shifting approach to thinking about addiction.
©2016 Maia Szalavitz (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
I was raised by a raging alcoholic father and a "wire monkey" mother. I've been involved in three interventions. I went to ACA meetings on a weekly basis for ten years. I thought I knew a lot about addiction. I did not.
I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about addiction as a learning disorder. There wasn't much development of this idea to explain more about why it is a learning disorder or how thinking of it that way would change our understanding of it. Instead, the author just asserted it as a basis for a lengthy discussion of the problems with current drug policies and the need for reform. I'm sympathetic to her viewpoint but was disappointed because I have heard these arguments before.
And for anyone who has or had an addiction to any kind of substance . Of course that includes most the human race. If you've not experienced it yourself then read it for perspective to how it's affected loved ones. I have new view of addiction and new hope for those with addictions. She also confirmed much of my skepticism of 12 step programs and our current drug laws.
I did not expect to like this book, since I worked in drug policy for many years and I wasn't sure her approach would make sense. But listening to it I was completely convinced that the author had some unique and important insights on the whole system of addressing drug use. Highly recommended! Also well read by narrator.
Extremely educational for people who have little understanding of addiction or that world. This book totally changed my view on so many ideas, and gave me plausible, effective solutions to help my loved ones. I will be reading it again and owning a hard copy.
This book has been eye opening, I highly recommend it to anyone seeking guidance in how to speak with/comfort/understand a loved one in addiction. I hope that our society begins to view drugs and addiction and addicts in this way!
excellent book. not your typical misery then surrender to 12 steps crap that passes for most addiction book. in fact there is a very critical and insightful analysis of 12 step industry. the book makes a strong case for addiction as a learned disorder
I think it is useful to learn more about addiction. I found the thoughts an interesting look at drug addiction and wondered how applicable it is to alcohol. I would have liked a little more discussion on the subject. I can see the similar set up to addiction but I wonder if there is the ability to develop a safe controlled use of alcohol. I found it refreshing and honest to examine both the good and potentially harmful aspects of the current treatment.
I love reading. I used to be a fitness professional, but trauma made my past life unreclaimable. I enjoy the option to be read to sleep.
Everybody who deals with anybody else on any level should read this book. Very informative, honest and refreshing.
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