Unbroken Brain

Unbroken Brain

A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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More people than ever before see themselves as addicted to, or recovering from, addiction, whether it be 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of addiction is trapped in unfounded 20th century ideas, addiction as a crime or as brain disease, and in equally outdated treatment.

Challenging both the idea of the addict's "broken brain" and the notion of a simple "addictive personality," The New York Times Bestseller, Unbroken Brain, offers a radical and groundbreaking new perspective, arguing that addictions are learning disorders 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.

Her writings on radical addiction therapies have been featured in The Washington Post, Vice Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, in addition to multiple other publications. She has been interviewed about her book on many radio shows including Fresh Air with Terry Gross and The Brian Lehrer show.

Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Press,, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250055828
Characteristics: 336 pages


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May 25, 2017

I'm not an addict and I don't know any but we all have unbalanced sides of our lives and a lot of "there but for the grace of God go I" situations. This was like being transported into my worst nightmare of the worst version of my life after making every worst decision I could possibly make. And then when that's done, facing up and working out of it. All that without having to do anything of consequence. And isn't that why we read?

Absolutely brilliant. Well written and well lived. You know you're enjoying a book when you want to give the author a hug afterward.

Aug 28, 2016

I found this book so helpful and true to my experiences with my family, that I have bought my own copy, so that I can mark it up, share it with others, and have it as a reference. My attempts to get help for family members have run aground on the same mistaken ideas explained in this book. It is such a relief to see that someone with personal experience has figured it out and explained it in such a clear and readable manner.

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