I was laying on my porch on a summer afternoon with my feet up on the couch when I realized that the health of all Americans was about to change for the better. It is a wonderful day in the life of a physician when the word gets out that there is hope on the […]
Excerpted from The Craving Brain: ————————————————————————————————————————————————- It was a family party like any other. The grandfather was sitting in the corner by himself, drinking heavily. I had known him since he was a handsome young man, but now he had a red, enlarged nose, a flushed face, and a protruding stomach. A blank stare suggested […]
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recently published a summary on the genetics of addiction to aid in the understanding of research on genes and their role in addiction and alcoholism. Researchers are searching for the gene or genes responsible for addiction that we see in families who have addiction across multiple generations. The family studies […]
Above all, trust in the slow work of God. Teilhard de Chardin Early in my medical career, when I began recognizing the life-destroying consequences of addiction in my patients, I fell into magical thinking. I was sure addiction was a bad habit, one that could be fixed by a little will power and a motivating […]
The impact of addiction on the brain is both catastrophic and comprehensive. When the brain is damaged by an addicting chemical, its executive functions—including judgment, decision making, and impulse control—are hijacked to meet the demands of addiction. The addicted brain doesn’t try to save the addict. Instead, it kicks into high gear, employing its extraordinary powers to keep a […]
“It was like watching a movie, one where you know something bad is about to happen to the main character, and you hope that somehow he escapes danger. Except the main character was me.” James B., The Craving Brain James B. was an athletic, intellectually gifted, and spiritually sensitive teenager. Before he even graduated from college, he had lost […]
When I began practicing medicine in the 1960s, I was confident that I understood everything there was to know about people like James B. James,who became a good friend and colleague, agreed to share his story of addiction and recovery. His chronic addiction to alcohol and drugs is a classic example of a tragic story, familiar to people in America and around the world. His recovery, however, is not the familiar story. We hope that by sharing our story it will become the norm.