Is Addiction a Disease? The current medical consensus about addiction may very well be wrong

The prevailing wisdom today is that addiction is a disease. This is the main line of the medical model of mental disorders with which the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is aligned: addiction is a chronic and relapsing brain disease in which drug use becomes involuntary despite its negative consequences.  

. . . 

Yet, though there are positive aspects to seeing addiction in this light, it seems unduly pessimistic and, though no one will deny that every behavior has neural correlates and that addiction changes the brain, this is not the same as saying that, therefore, addiction is pathological and irreversible.

And there are reasons to question whether this is, in fact, the case.

Why are so many people dying from opiate overdoses? It’s our broken society Marc Lewis

Never mind the ‘war on drugs’ or laying all blame with pharmas, this epidemic exists because millions live in a world without hope, certainty and structure

• Marc Lewis is a neuroscientist and author of The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease


Dr. Nelson on the Dr. Breggin Hour, Archive

My guest Dawn R. Nelson has a PsyD as well as a Masters in Divinity, and comes from a rich background of thoughtfully providing human services.  She conducts her private practice based on principles similar to my Guidelines for Empathic Therapy and will inspire other therapists to practice true to themselves and their ideals.   She exemplifies a growing consensus that therapists should be genuine and caring, as well as informed about the importance of childhood and nurturing in respect to who we are as adults.   She renews my faith in the future of psychotherapy.

The DSM and the Medical Model: New Video

"It [this video] lays bare the counterproductive nature of the medical model and the pseudoscience and elitism that support it. . . . few people understand the World Health Organization definition of mental health as a social welfare issue of “well-being.  . . . emotional suffering (mental distress) is a natural reaction to distressful experiences, rather than a disease.  The social welfare narrative also advocates that physical health directly affects mental health: physical sickness, allergies, nutritional deficits, fatigue, and environmental toxins can all lead to mental distress."

Marriage and Couples, The Gottman Institute Research

the average couple waits 6 years before seeking help for marital problems

the Four Horsemen - criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling - predict divorce 5.6 years after the wedding

emotional withdrawal and the absence of positive affect - shared humor, affection, empathy - during conflict discussions predict divorce 16.2 years after the wedding

69% of all conflict in relationships is about unresolvable, perpetual problems - based on personality differences between partners.  16% of those perpetual issues involve gridlocked couple conflict.


Bad pharma and the canary in the coalmine for problems in modern medicine

“If we can’t get this stuff right for [statins] the single most commonly prescribed class of drug in the whole of the developed world – a tablet that is taken every day by 100 million people – then that’s a real window into our failures to do appropriate clinical trials throughout the whole of medicine.”

You Won't Believe the Outrageous Ways Big Pharma Has Bribed Doctors to Shill Drugs by MARTHA ROSENBERG

At the 2010 meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in New Orleans, a psychiatrist from the East coast shared her anger with me about the recent clamp down on Pharma financial perks to doctors. “They used to wine us and dine us. An SSRI maker flew my entire office to a Caribbean island…but now nothing,” she lamented.


The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists

Today, scientists' success often isn't measured by the quality of their questions or the rigor of their methods. It's instead measured by how much grant money they win, the number of studies they publish, and how they spin their findings to appeal to the public.

Over time the most successful people will be those who can best exploit the system . . .



Andrew Yount v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals,

Alabama man Austin Pledger, who was prescribed Risperdal in 2002 as a teenager for treatment of mood swings related to his autism, developed size 46 DD breasts, allegedly as a result of taking the drug.