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First step to treating addiction? Quit calling it a disease, says neuroscientist and recovered addict

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In our highly medicated and over-prescribed world, drug and alcohol addiction is often treated as a disease.

In "The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease," author Mark Lewis argues that addiction is not a disease rather a natural result of our brains searching for pleasure and relief, and why the disease model prevents healing.

A cognitive neuroscientist and former addict, Lewis examines how treatment for drug addictions can be retooled to achieve lasting recovery. He shares the stories of addicts that have struggled professionally and personally with addiction and the scientific findings that could help addicts in the future.


Marc Lewis, a developmental neuroscientist and author of numerous books on the subject of addiction. His latest is “The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease” (PublicAffairs, 2015)