Summary

Addiction is a problem that affects everyone - even if we haven't experienced addiction ourselves, we all know someone who has. Unfortunately many sources of information about addiction seem inaccessible or irrelevant because they present vague or false science, they present accurate science in an excessively complicated way, or they are more moralistic than informative.
Addiction is sometimes viewed as a failure of character or will or morality. But neuroscience offers a very different picture - one that can inform how we, as individuals and as a society, treat addicts and the problems caused by addiction. These 12 eye-opening lectures will show you that addiction is a scientifically understandable problem that has its origins in neurobiology and genetics.
The Addictive Brain is a fair and balanced investigation of addiction, backed by hard science and behavioral science. Most of us have probably seen the old antidrug commercial in which an actor compares your brain on drugs to an egg sizzling in a hot frying pan. That's a powerful image, but it doesn't tell us what actually happens when drugs enter your body and interact with neurochemical processes.
Professor Polk gives you a comprehensive but concise survey of addiction and the major drugs of abuse, highlighting the differing neurological effects of stimulants, opioids, and more. He also delves into the world of behavioral addictions, such as gambling and compulsive video gaming, which, neurologically, operate very similarly to drug addiction. This course will clearly and compassionately inform you on what addiction means scientifically, socially, and behaviorally.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2015 The Great Courses (P)2015 The Teaching Company, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mr. M. Metcalf on 03-09-17

Excellent

Really well-paced series of lectures with a compassionate look at addiction from a thoroughly-researched scientific perspective. While not hugely detailed on methods for overcoming addiction, the overall learnings from this course could definitely help anyone trying to understand the sources of their compulsive behaviours. Professor Polk has a calm and clear way of speaking and he was a pleasure to listen to. Thanks

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Lord Peridot on 25-04-18

Addiction 101

Great set of lectures as others have noted. Deals with the science of addiction in general as well as the specifics of various legal & illegal substances including coffee, booze and tobacco. Prof. Polk has an excellent style, cheerful, clear and in no way patronising. He's obviously genuinely interested in the subject and seems keen to communicate his knowledge to the rest of us. There is a bit of science here, receptors, neurotransmitters and the like, but Polk keeps it to a minimum, concentrating instead on what the actual effects of drugs are on your mind & body and how you can best deal with any addictions you may be suffering from. Another great set of lectures from the Great Courses.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By marilyn popko on 16-03-15

Excellent.

I've been a psychotherapist for over 30 years. I've been studying and thinking about this stuff for over 40 years. This guy has a clarity that is admirable and a slant on the material that is novel. I never read or listen to books more than once any more. This one made me think. I WILL listen to it again.

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99 of 104 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Matthew Bukovicky on 27-04-15

Very interesting and in depth

His was an extraordinary in depth study of the brain, substances and how everything interacted with each other. Wonderful course to listen too. Also offers nice tips on how to combat certain types of addiction.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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