Alcohol dependency isn’t a disease

Alcohol dependency, along with other addictions, isn’t a disease. This has been convincingly explained by numerous authorities including Dr Stanton Peele (a psychologist and healthcare researcher) and Archie Brodsky, a Senior Research Associate at the Program in Psychiatry and the Law, Harvard Medical School, in their book The Truth About Addiction and Recovery (1991).

Marc Lewis, a Canadian psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist, was the author of Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs (2013) and The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease (2015). In 2016 he gave a presentation at the Royal Institution in London, The Neuroscience of Addiction (video, 1:00:48). The video description:

“In recent decades doctors have branded addiction a brain disease, and treated it as such. But in this riveting and provocative talk, neuroscientist and former addict Marc Lewis makes the convincing case that addiction isn’t a disease at all. Using personal stories and robust science, he explains how addiction really impacts our brains, and how neuroplasticity and a developmental approach to treatment can help to overcome it.

Marc Lewis is a neuroscientist and professor of developmental psychology, recently at the University of Toronto, where he taught and conducted research from 1989 to 2010, and presently at Radboud University in the Netherlands. He is the author or co-author of over 50 journal publications in psychology and neuroscience, editor of an academic book on developmental psychology, and co-author of a book for parents. More recently he has written two books concerning addiction.”

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Drinkers with a physical dependency on alcohol are strongly urged to seek the advice of their doctor before reducing or stopping consumption.  For such drinkers, the consequences of reducing or stopping drinking alcohol without professional medical support can be damaging and potentially fatal.

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