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Publisher's Summary

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 Desire is enlightening and optimistic listening for anyone who has wrestled with addiction either personally or professionally.
©2015 Marc Lewis PhD (P)2015 Gildan Media LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Boris Budwuff on 02-28-16

An important addition to understanding addiction.

This book offers enlightenment and intellectual understanding of addiction on several levels. The science was fascinating, the writing lucid, the stories compelling and the conclusions sound. As a now sober alcoholic who lost my mother and an uncle to liver disease, I know the horrible grip and terrible cost of addiction. This book takes a fair, clear minded look at the value and costs of the disease model. As such, it is not only valuable to the addict who travels their own healing journey, but to professionals in the field as well. It is time to point out with strength of conviction that the Emperor, if not lacking clothes entirely, is poorly dressed . I am hopeful this book will make healing more accessible to those who are not yet desperate enough for the dogma and theology of AA. Don't get me wrong, I credit AA with saving my life and helping me break the cycle of addiction for my family. This is miraculous praise indeed. But it is time for the next evolution into a more sophisticated and rationale treatment regimen based on neuro science and psychology. This book is an important contribution to that future and perhaps even prescient of where we are headed.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By ryan on 11-14-15

Great read for any thinking person!

Wow, very interesting explanations on how people think and how addictive tendencies are just part of human behavior. On that note alone it's a good read, however if your dealing with someone who is an addict of any sort this book really helps in understanding why they act the way they do.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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