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

Most Helpful

By Harriet Meikle on 03-24-15

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 .

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53 of 54 people found this review helpful

By Charles on 03-28-15

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.

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48 of 49 people found this review helpful

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By Mr. M. Metcalf on 09-03-17


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

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By chatbear1 on 02-05-16

a good lidten

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

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0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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By carlos on 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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Mark on 03-02-16


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.

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