Is drug addiction just a behavioural problem?

Marc Lewis: the neuroscientist who believes addiction is not a disease

For decades the medical profession has largely treated addiction as as a chronic brain disease. The US government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse characterises addicts as compulsive drug seekers and users who continue taking drugs despite harmful and unwanted consequences. “It is considered a brain disease,” the institute says, “because drugs change the brain; they change its structure and how it works.” ‘No one starts with a needle in their arm’: a police chief fights drugs with empathy. Dr Marc Lewis, a developmental neuroscientist – perhaps most famous for detailing his own years of drug addiction and abuse in Memoirs of an Addicted Brain – strongly refutes this conventional disease model of addiction. ….[READ]

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