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Publisher's Summary

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of addiction is trapped in unfounded 20th-century ideas, addiction as a crime or as brain disease, and equally outdated treatment.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.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Jennifer Sader on 08-28-16

Not what I expected

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.

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44 of 46 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By reviewatr0n on 10-10-16

An incredible new way of understanding addiction

If you or a loved one struggles or has struggled with addiction you owe it to yourself to read this book. The story is incredible but the research and journalism on display are staggering in their completeness and depth of thought. This is one of the most important books I've ever read.

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17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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