Maia Szalavitz is an award-winning neuroscience journalist who knows addictions research and policy inside out. But she has also struggled with addiction to cocaine and heroin, a journey that took her from dealing drugs in glamorous nightclubs in the 1980s to jail to rehab to getting kicked out of college. The result of her remarkable story is a one-of-a-kind perspective and a groundbreaking new book: Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction.
Even as millions of people find themselves gripped by addiction, whether to opioids, prescription drugs, alcohol, gambling, porn, or sex, our understanding and treatment of addiction remains stuck in stigmatizing and misleading territory. Even scientists and policy-makers remain confused about what addiction is and is not and, more importantly, what to do about a growing national crisis.
In conversation with Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, Maia Szalavitz offers a new way of understanding addiction. Building on 25 years of research, Maia and Ellen discuss:
Why addiction shouldn’t be thought of as a disease or a moral failing, but rather a learning disorder
The surprising number of people who simply “grow out of” addiction
Why teens and young adults are particularly vulnerable to addiction
Maia’s remarkable personal experience of addiction and recovery