I recently wrote a book that recounts the story of my years of almost continuous drug taking and periods of intense addiction—interspersed with neuroscience—to help explain what was happening to me, why it was happening, and how it is that addictions are so hard to beat. The book is written from the perspective of a neuroscientist and a recovered addict. It speaks to both the raw, often horrendous experience of drug use and addiction and to the science of how brains operate, when they're under the influence...or desperately wishing they were.
So why a blog?
This blog can be a meeting place for people with starkly different backgrounds and experiences—people who have one thing in common: Their lives have been deeply affected by addiction. They include present and former addicts, whether to drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, or other obsessions. They include people whose family members or loved ones have been beaten down by addiction. They include people who just love drugs, or are fascinated by them, who may remain free of addiction for now—maybe not forever. And they include scientists, clinicians, mental health professionals, and others who've devoted their careers to trying to understand addiction or help alleviate it. Scientists, clinicians, addicts, nonaddicted druggies or drinkers...we come to the issue with different kinds of information, different pieces of the puzzle, and most of us will benefit by putting those pieces together. Our lives, one way or another, have been caught in the magnetic field of substances or activities that can hijack the nervous system, because...well let's face it, because they are tremendously attractive.
My readers will be looking at addiction from the inside, because that's you, or from the outside, because that's what you're trying to unravel in others. To help make it happen, this blog will describe recent findings from the neuroscience of addiction (and related topics), start conversations and debates about drugs and the brain, invite opinions, or confessions, and ask questions that we might be able to answer for each other. Neuroscientists, clinicians, and addicts have a lot to share, and this is the place to do it.
Additional posts on similar topics (with more personal and/or scientific detail) can be found on the Memoirs of an Addicted Brain website and blog.