Addiction: A Learning Disorder

Posted on Friday, August 5th

In case you missed it the first time here it is again; the pathway to understand and treat addiction:

“Can You Get Over an Addiction?” By Maia Szalavitz;

Begin by accepting that addiction is not a moral failure or criminal intent:

“Addiction is a learning disorder; a difference in the wiring of the brain that affects the way we process information about motivation, reward and punishment.”

“A 2007 meta-analysis of dozens of studies over four decades found that empowering, empathetic treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy, which nurture an internal willingness to change, work far better than the more traditional rehab approach of confronting denial and telling patients that they are powerless over their addiction.”

It remains all too common today to blame addicts as if they could will their way to¬† becoming and staying clean. That’s like telling the diabetic to knock it off and start producing insulin. Treat don’t punish.