Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

Download Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF book free – From Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF: More people than ever before see themselves as addicted to, or recovering from, addiction, whether it be alcohol or drugs, prescription meds, sex, gambling, porn, or the internet. But despite the unprecedented attention, our understanding of addiction is trapped in unfounded 20th century ideas, addiction as a crime or as brain disease, and in equally outdated treatment. Buy from Amazon

Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

Challenging both the idea of the addict’s “broken brain” and the notion of a simple “addictive personality,” The New York Times Bestseller, Unbroken Brain, offers a radical and groundbreaking new perspective, arguing that addictions are learning disorders and shows how seeing the condition this way can untangle our current debates over treatment, prevention and policy. Like autistic traits, addictive behaviors fall on a spectrum — and they can be a normal response to an extreme situation. Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

By illustrating what addiction is, and is not, the book illustrates how timing, history, family, peers, culture and chemicals come together to create both illness and recovery- and why there is no “addictive personality” or single treatment that works for all.

Combining Maia Szalavitz’s personal story with a distillation of more than 25 years of science and research,Unbroken Brain provides a paradigm-shifting approach to thinking about addiction. Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

Her writings on radical addiction therapies have been featured in The Washington Post, Vice Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, in addition to multiple other publications. She has been interviewed about her book on many radio shows including Fresh Air with Terry Gross and The Brian Lehrer show.

Editorial Reviews

Review – Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

“Maia Szalavitz is one of the bravest, smartest writers about addiction anywhere. Everything she writes should be read carefully – I guarantee you’ll have a lot to think about, and you’ll know far more than at the start.”
― Johann Hari, New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream

“Maia Szalavitz is one of our most incisive thinkers about neuroscience in general and addiction in particular and her writing is astonishingly clear and compelling. In the timely, important, and insightful Unbroken Brain,Szalavitz seamlessly interweaves her moving personal story with her investigation into what addiction is (and isn’t) and how we can most effectively prevent and treat it.” ―David Sheff, New York Times bestselling author of Clean and Beautiful Boy Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

“Through the lens of her own gripping story of addiction – supported with empirical evidence – Szalavitz persuasively shows that addiction is a disorder of learning, not one characterized by progressive brain dysfunction.”―Carl Hart, Ph.D., author of the Pen/Faulkner award-winning High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society

“Of the countless writers out there who’s focus is addiction, no one can begin to touch the brilliance of Maia Szalavitz. She is by far my favorite addiction writer, perhaps one of my favorite writers ever. Her passion and exceptional writing talent combined with her exhaustive research, create a book that will inspire, educate, enrage, and entertain. I can only promise one thing: if you read this book, you will never be the same again.”
―Kristen Johnston, actress, author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Guts, addiction advocate, founder of SLAM, NYC Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

“As more professionals realize that addiction isn’t really a disease, our challenge is to determine exactly what it is. Szalavitz catalogs the latest scientific knowledge of the biological, environmental and social causes of addiction and explains precisely how they interact over development. The theory is articulate and tight, yet made accessible and compelling through the author’s harrowing autobiography. Unbroken Brain provides the most comprehensive and readable explanation of addiction I’ve yet to see.” ―Marc Lewis, author of The Biology of Desire

“… a new way of looking at drug addiction that offers a fresh approach to managing it. [Salavitz] writes frankly about her background …. In a heartfelt manner, she exposes her own fears and pain … A dense blending of self-exposure, surprising statistics, and solid science reporting that presents addiction as a misunderstood coping mechanism, a problem whose true nature is not yet recognized by policymakers or the public.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Szalavitz makes a novel and even beautiful proposal. Addiction, she hypothesizes, is a developmental disorder. Specifically, it is a learning disorder. . . .[Szalavitz] explores problems with the criminalization of drugs, the place of racism in our culture’s treatment of drugs and addiction, and she looks closely and illuminatingly at different treatment methods. There’s a lot of news you can use in this book if you or someone you love is an addict.” -npr.org Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

“Journalist Szalavitz offers a multifaceted, ground-up renovation of the concept of addiction–both its causes and its cures.”Publishers Weekly

“Anyone who has battled addiction or seen it harm a loved one will gain insights from “Unbroken Brain,” and if it influences policymakers, too, everyone will benefit.”-Associated Press

Ms. Szalavitz deftly threads her life story through the book to illustrate the dynamics that put people at risk of addiction.” ―The Wall Street Journal

Review – Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

Because I’m a substance abuse counselor, people have often asked me to recommend a book about addiction. For thirty years, the only one I ever urged people to read has been the Big Book of AA, written eighty years ago, when we knew next to nothing about addiction. I’ll get into the reason why I recommended it in a minute. I’m happy to say that now there’s a better book for anyone interested in learning about addiction, drawing on the latest findings, written by an award winning journalist and recovering addict, Maia Szalavitz. Her book is Unbroken Brain.

The central premise to Unbroken Brain, is that we’re in the middle of an epidemic of addiction and we are stuck in treating it ineffectively when there are better methods available. One in ten Americans are in the throes of some type of substance use disorder. That’s 23 million and doesn’t even count tobacco addiction and the myriad millions who have behavioral addictions to sex, gambling, shopping, etc; nor, one third of Americans who overeat and are said to be addicted to food. At the same time, pharmaceutical companies, tobacco companies, alcohol companies, agribusiness companies, casinos, lotteries, and every store at the mall all seem to know how to induce addiction for their purposes. We need some new ideas to help people, or, at least, stop recycling old ideas that don’t work. Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

The first idea that doesn’t work is throwing addicts in jail. Think about it; addiction is defined as using, despite negative consequences. Why then would we believe that applying negative consequences would treat addiction? It makes no sense, but we do it anyway.

I’ll tell you why we do it. AA taught us to. Yes, the Big Book of AA, that other book I told you about, the only one I ever could recommend, has taught us that addicts have to hit bottom, they have to lose everything and become totally humiliated before they will ever change. It’s this idea which justifies the drug war, mass incarceration of addicts, and many of the other degrading things we put addicts and their families through.

This is where I give you the reason I have never been able to recommend any book other than the Big Book of AA. It’s because the field of addiction has been so dominated by it, that no one has been able to go further, or contradict, the ideas found there. Almost everything else that has been written about addiction is based on AA principles.

When I began working in the addictions field, practically everyone else working as a counselor was a recovering addict. AA had saved their lives. They were consequently devoted to AA and, when they wrote books and designed what were supposed to be professional treatment programs based on science and best practices, they just repeated AA slogans and principles. That’s fine as long as AA works, but frequently it doesn’t work; actually, more often than not, it doesn’t. seventy percent of the people who try AA-like groups drop out within six months. Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

If a doctor had a pill that 70% of her patients stopped taking before the course of treatment was complete, she’d conclude that the pill had serious side effects, instead of just blaming the patients for being uncooperative. In addiction treatment we blame the patients. We say they haven’t hit bottom yet. They have to hit bottom before they will get serious.

I didn’t enter the addictions field by first being in recovery. I entered it because I wanted to be a counselor and saw opportunities there. When I began, I found that the counselors were treating clients very differently than they way I was taught to treat them in school. I was taught to respect clients, offer them unconditional positive regard, and put them in the driver’s seat. What I saw was the opposite. Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

Chemical dependency counselors were very directive; they told people when and how they were full of shit, and made decisions for them. They said a client’s best thinking got them in this mess; it was not able to get them out. They said that an addict is lying whenever his lips are moving. When I objected, I was told things had to be different in chemical dependency. Addicts would take advance of my naiveté. My education had not prepared me for the real world. An addict’s mind was broken, they said, we can’t expect it to work like everyone else’s.

According to Szalavitz, they’re wrong and I should have believed what I was taught in school all along. Addiction does not break a brain, nor is it caused by a broken one. She characterizes addiction as a developmental disorder, like autism, ADHD, or dyslexia; which arises as an attempt to solve problems like trauma, interpersonal conflict, and sensitivity to stimulation, for which the person’s brain is not yet equipped; and one which resolves itself if the person is given the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Indeed, the vast majority of addictions begin in adolescence and most end by the time the brain is mature around age thirty.

If we treated others who have a developmental disorder as we do addicts, we would tell the kid with dyslexia, for instance, that nobody could help him until he came to the realization that he was powerless over his dyslexia. We would punish him whenever he spelled a word wrong and, if he continued to do so, would throw him out of school, and maybe into jail. Not only would we fail to teach him, but we would call anyone else who had patience for him codependent and enabling. That’s not what we do with dyslexics, not any more, anyway; consequently, most compensate for their dyslexia and learn to read.

The concept of hitting bottom undermines AA’s other, more accurate, principle that addiction is a disease. It justifies the criminalization, discrimination, and humiliation of addicts. It spawns “tough love” approaches and the pathologizing of loved ones as codependent. It led to abusive methods in many other “therapeutic communities.” It leads to seventy percent of the people walking out.

There are many more points Szalavitz makes in this quite comprehensive book about addiction. She reviews in detail the connection between our drug policies and racism. She gives us the the dope on dopamine. She describes the twin hooks of wanting and having. She gets autobiographical, revealing her own transit into and out of addiction. But, for me, it is the counterpoint she provides to the last great book about addiction that is most valuable. Read Unbroken Brain if you need to understand something about addiction. Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Maia Szalavitz is one of the premier American journalists covering addiction and drugs. She is co-author of Born for Love and The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, both with Dr. Bruce D. Perry. Her book, Help at Any Cost is the first book-length exposé of the “tough love” business that dominates addiction treatment. She writes for TIME.com, the New York TimesNew York MagazineVICEScientific AmericanEllePsychology Today, and The Guardian among others.

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Maia Szalavitz is an award-winning author and journalist who covers addiction and neuroscience. Her next book, Unbroken Brain (St. Martins, April, 2016), uses her own story of recovery from heroin and cocaine addiction to explore how reframing addiction as a developmental disorder could revolutionize prevention, treatment and policy.

She’s the author or co-author of six previous books, including the bestselling The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog (Basic, 2007) and Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential— and Endangered (Morrow, 2010), both with leading child psychiatrist and trauma expert Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD.

Her book, Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids, is the first history of systemic abuse in “tough love” programs and rehabs and helped spur Congressional hearings, GAO investigations and proposed legislation to regulate these groups. She also co-wrote the first evidence-based consumer guide to addiction treatment, Recovery Options: The Complete Guide, with Joe Volpicelli, MD, PhD. (Wiley, 2000).Unbroken Brain by Maia Szalavitz PDF

Currently, she writes a bi-weekly column for VICE on drugs and addiction. From 2010 to 2013, she wrote daily for TIME.com and she continues to freelance there and for other publications including the New York Times, Scientific American Mind, Nature, New York Magazine online, Pacific Standard, Matter, Nautilus, and The Verge.

Szalavitz has won major awards from organizations like the American Psychological Association, the Drug Policy Alliance and the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology in recognition of her work in these areas.

She lives in New York with her husband and a Siamese shelter cat.

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