Format Type: PDF
Read Online: 1116
One question that anyone who has witnessed addiction up close inevitably asks is, "Why can't they just stop?" For decades the question has confounded addicts, their families, and the doctors and specialists trying to help them. Now it can finally be answered. Thanks to major leaps in the scientific understanding of addiction, an entirely new portrait of this frightening disease has come into focus. The new science tells us that addicts, in part, are unable to quit using drugs or alcohol because chemical changes in their brains prevent them from doing so. In this penetrating look at how addiction works, editors John Hoffman and Susan Froemke (producers of the HBO documentary series ADDICTION) have turned more than two years of research and reporting into a vitally important guide for any family faced with the disease. New imaging technology has enabled scientists to peer inside the addicted brain and observe in real time what craving for drugs and alcohol looks like chemically. It is now possible to literally see the ways that substances like cocaine, heroin, and alcohol alter the brain's "Stop!" and "Go!" decision-making processes. Better scientific understanding has yielded innovations in behavioral therapies, while new medications that can be prescribed by family doctors have been clinically proven to reduce craving in alcoholics and opiate addicts. The result? As Addiction: Why Can't They Just Stop? reports in riveting detail, there is new hope for anyone struggling with addiction. The stories about scientists, doctors, researchers, and families that face addiction gathered in this book testify to the fact that the tide has turned. Yes, recovery remains an imperfect process. It must be tailored to the needs of the individual; it may take years to achieve remission. But, armed with the new science-based understanding of the disease, experts have created treatments that are ever more precise and effective—making recovery a realistic goal for all addicts. The evidence is in. The battle against the addiction epidemic can—and should—be won.