Memoirs of An Addicted Brain

Memoirs of An Addicted Brain

A Neuroscientist Examines His Former Life on Drugs

Book - 2012 | 1st ed.
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Marc Lewis's relationship with drugs began in a New England boarding school where, as a bullied and homesick fifteen-year-old, he made brief escapes from reality by way of cough medicine, alcohol, and marijuana. In Berkeley, California, in its hippie heyday, he found methamphetamine and LSD and heroin. He sniffed nitrous oxide in Malaysia and frequented Calcutta's opium dens. Ultimately, though, his journey took him where it takes most addicts: into a life of addiction, desperation, deception, and crime.

But unlike most addicts, Lewis recovered and became a developmental psychologist and researcher in neuroscience. In Memoirs of an Addicted Brain , he applies his professional expertise to a study of his former self, using the story of his own journey through addiction to tell the universal story of addictions of every kind. He explains the neurological effects of a variety of powerful drugs, and shows how they speak to the brain--itself designed to seek rewards and soothe pain--in its own language. And he illuminates how craving overtakes the nervous system, sculpting a synaptic network dedicated to one goal--more--at the expense of everything else.

Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs 2012, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781610391474
Branch Call Number: 362.2909 LEWIS
Characteristics: 327 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Feb 10, 2019

I truly loved this book. It is a personal and moving memoir, a discussion if the science of addiction and recovery, and a wild adventure story which takes the reader from 60s haight Ashbury, to India and back into he halls of academia. I was so engrossed by his descriptions and metaphors that I couldn't put it down.

Aug 31, 2016

An outstanding book. The intermingling of feelings and emotions of an addicted brain with the science of what is going on upstairs. This makes for a wonderful exposition either for the addicted, those recovering, family and health care providers. Well written and brutally honest at times, the book gives an honest account of addiction with the rare look at what one persons feelings and emotional state was while in the moment thanks to the authors journals. It was nice to read what I think is the missing piece of addiction theory. Neither disease or lack of moral character, but the brain systems learned actions. Fortunately this is reversible though the imprinting stays forever. Entertaining and educational it is. Well worth the time if this is a subject that interests.

Jul 06, 2016

Marc Lewis is truly a gifted writer, his synthesis of material science and the human condition enables a layperson or someone who has never experienced addiction to truly comprehend the forces that propel the self destruction and melancholy that is drug addiction.
Certain sections of the book are so heartbreaking, that even a stoic like myself wept.

Aug 23, 2012

Not your usual addiction memoir. This is a great exploration of what your brain is like on drugs -- literally! This book could be a good source for a student of brain physiology.

xumaggi1 Aug 15, 2012

Marc Lewis is a professor at OISE, University of Toronto, who I worked with. His life experience from drug addict to a professor is fascinating. I found the book did not explain enough scientific reasons on how he recovered from addiction. a little bit disappointed on too much personal story telling on his life.

Nov 19, 2011

Be aware that this is the drug equivalent of a drunkalogue -- mostly a narration of the troubles the author got into through his massive and varied drug use. What is happening inside the brain is there, too, and sobering. But, as a friend of an addict (who has since died), I found listening to the account of all that happens to people driven by their addictions hard to listen to again.

debwalker Oct 13, 2011

Addiction memoir from an expert.


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