Memoirs of an Addicted Brain

addicted brainOur minds are governed by a cycle of craving what we don’t have, finding it, using it up or losing it, and then being driven by loss, need, desire, or insecurity to crave it all the more. This cycle is at the root of all addictions: addictions to drugs, drink, cigarettes, sex, love, soap operas, wealth, and wisdom itself. But why should this be so? Why are we so driven, often at great cost to ourselves? No one is better qualified to answer these questions than Dr. Marc Lewis. He is a distinguished neuroscientist. And, for many years, he was a drug addict himself, dependent on a long series of dangerous substances. His narrative moves back and forth between the long, dark, ultimately triumphant story of his relationship with drugs, and a revelatory analysis of what was going on in Marc’s brain. He shows how drugs speak to the brain–itself designed to seek rewards and soothe pain–in its own language. He shows in detail the different neurological effects of a variety of powerful drugs, from oxycodone to heroin, from drink to love. This is the story of his journey, seen from the inside out.

“Lewis’ twin expertise as a longtime addict and a brain scientist enabled him to produce a memoir mapping, in remarkably lucid and vivid detail, entirely new ground. Weaving together his objective accounts of drugs’ effects on the brain with descriptions of his mind’s subjective experience, he brings to light how the very shape of intoxication on one substance or another mirrors the shape of the specific chemical reactions taking place inside your skull.”  the Fix

Marc Lewis, PhD, is a neuroscientist and professor of developmental psychology. He has authored or coauthored more than fifty journal articles in neuroscience and developmental psychology. Presently, he speaks and blogs on topics in addiction science, and his critically acclaimed book, Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, is the first to blend memoir and science in addiction studies. His newly released book, The Biology of Desire, debunks the currently popular disease model of addiction.

Informed by unparalleled neuroscientific insight and written with his usual flare, Marc Lewis’s The Biology of Desireeffectively refutes the medical view of addiction as a brain disease. A bracing and informative corrective to the muddle that now characterizes public and professional discourse on this topic.” —Gabor Maté, M.D., author of In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction

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