Salon discusses the ideas of neuroscientist Marc Lewis, a psychologist, former addict, and author of the book, The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease.
“Lewis’s argument is actually fairly simple: The disease theory, and the science sometimes used to support it, fail to take into account the plasticity of the human brain,” reports Salon.
“All significant and repeated experiences change the brain; adaptability and habit are the brain’s secret weapons. The changes wrought by addiction are not, however, permanent, and while they are dangerous, they’re not abnormal. Through a combination of a difficult emotional history, bad luck and the ordinary operations of the brain itself, an addict is someone whose brain has been transformed, but also someone who can be pushed further along the road toward healthy development. (Lewis doesn’t like the term ‘recovery’ because it implies a return to the addict’s state before the addiction took hold.)”
Addiction is not a disease: A neuroscientist argues that it’s time to change our minds on the roots of substance abuse (Salon, June 27, 2015)