BECAUSE YOU CAN STOP IT YOURSELF – 

August 20, 2015 – The prevalent theory in the United States, and to some degree in Australia, is that addiction is a chronic brain disease – a progressive, incurable condition that can be kept at bay only by fearful abstinence. There are variations of this disease model, one of which became the basis of 12-step recovery and the touchstone of the vast majority of rehab programs.

Lewis argues that addiction – or dependence, as we would call it in Australia – is the result of “deep learning”, probably triggered by stress or alienation. It can duly be unlearned by forging stronger synaptic pathways via better habits.

The implication for the $35 billion-dollar treatment industry in the US is that tackling addiction as a medical issue should be only a small element of a more holistic approach. The problem is, there’s a lot of vested interest – and financial investment – in perpetuating the disease model.

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