Regular price: $14.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Addiction is a problem that affects everyone - even if we haven't experienced addiction ourselves, we all know someone who has. Unfortunately many sources of information about addiction seem inaccessible or irrelevant because they present vague or false science, they present accurate science in an excessively complicated way, or they are more moralistic than informative.

Addiction is sometimes viewed as a failure of character or will or morality. But neuroscience offers a very different picture - one that can inform how we, as individuals and as a society, treat addicts and the problems caused by addiction. These 12 eye-opening lectures will show you that addiction is a scientifically understandable problem that has its origins in neurobiology and genetics.

The Addictive Brain is a fair and balanced investigation of addiction, backed by hard science and behavioral science. Most of us have probably seen the old antidrug commercial in which an actor compares your brain on drugs to an egg sizzling in a hot frying pan. That's a powerful image, but it doesn't tell us what actually happens when drugs enter your body and interact with neurochemical processes.

Professor Polk gives you a comprehensive but concise survey of addiction and the major drugs of abuse, highlighting the differing neurological effects of stimulants, opioids, and more. He also delves into the world of behavioral addictions, such as gambling and compulsive video gaming, which, neurologically, operate very similarly to drug addiction. This course will clearly and compassionately inform you on what addiction means scientifically, socially, and behaviorally.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2015 The Great Courses (P)2015 The Teaching Company, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,149
  • 4 Stars
    497
  • 3 Stars
    158
  • 2 Stars
    28
  • 1 Stars
    15

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,078
  • 4 Stars
    398
  • 3 Stars
    125
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    986
  • 4 Stars
    443
  • 3 Stars
    144
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    11
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book for anyone

I have a family member who has a major addiction problem and was listening to this to better understand that person. I walked away understanding myself far better. Very very fascinating book if you are an inquisitive person. It's like a feast of interesting information that applies to yourself whether it's behavioral addiction or a medical addiction. Cool course.

48 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Biology of Addictions

Good course. The lectures are given mostly from the perspective of biology or physiology, but also touches on the psychology of it. Presented well, but I was hoping for more a more in depth look at gambling, pornography, and video games. Ironically, these 3 things he covers only briefly at the very end of the course. That being said, it's still a great course about why people become addicted.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enlightening and absorbing.

This course exceeded my expectations and has given me insight into understanding the problems and difficulties of those trying to recover from addictions of any kind. I am inspired to listen to it again as it has equipped me to grasp the reasons why recovery from addiction, of many kinds, is so seemingly impossible for some sufferers and knowing what I now know I can be support with confidence and genuine hope. Thank you .

53 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent.

I've been a psychotherapist for over 30 years. I've been studying and thinking about this stuff for over 40 years. This guy has a clarity that is admirable and a slant on the material that is novel. I never read or listen to books more than once any more. This one made me think. I WILL listen to it again.

69 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed it!!

Very interesting, it kept my attention.
I found a lot of insight into the processes of the brain regarding addiction.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The addictive brain

A wonderful and informative overview of addiction that covers drugs like opiates, amphetamines, alcohol and nicotine, as well as compulsive behaviors like gambling. Not only did I learn a vast amount about the neurological implications of addiction, I became more sensitive to the struggles of addicts to change their behavior. An excellent investment of my time.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very interesting and in depth

His was an extraordinary in depth study of the brain, substances and how everything interacted with each other. Wonderful course to listen too. Also offers nice tips on how to combat certain types of addiction.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great insight

There are a lot of scientific explanations which provide insight into why brains get addicted, and some but not much on cessation

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent review of the underlying mechanics of all addictions

An intuitive and principled discussion of the physiological and psychological mechanisms of all addictions from overeating, gambling and porn to alcohol and opioids. Treatment by drugs and psychiatry are discussed.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not an addictive lecture but quite enjoyable

These lectures were great and easy to understand. It was great to learn how each drug and habit alters the brain to cause addiction, tolerance, and what happens when withdrawal occurs.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr. M. Metcalf
  • Mr. M. Metcalf
  • 09-03-17

Excellent

Really well-paced series of lectures with a compassionate look at addiction from a thoroughly-researched scientific perspective. While not hugely detailed on methods for overcoming addiction, the overall learnings from this course could definitely help anyone trying to understand the sources of their compulsive behaviours. Professor Polk has a calm and clear way of speaking and he was a pleasure to listen to. Thanks

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for yenny f wakeham
  • yenny f wakeham
  • 02-24-18

Eye opener

Super informative. Extremely well presented. Clear, touching but objective. Everyone should be educated of the risks to which we are all exposed in a world of instant gratification.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for chatbear1
  • chatbear1
  • 02-05-16

a good lidten

Although a bit repefatave ,this was the authors point.all addiction have the same points.my intetetest was keptefin the subect well,with the quality of delivery

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for carlos
  • carlos
  • 07-31-15

A must read

It gives you information that helps you understand addiction and it is easy to understand. You get lots of examples and application suggestions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark
  • Mark
  • 03-02-16

Excellant

From a person who had issues with a lot of these types of things and the way they can make you feel, it's comforting to understand the process.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris
  • Chris
  • 08-28-15

Very good!

A lovely introduction to addiction and neuroscience. The information was brilliant, as was the performance.