In her book “Never Enogh, the Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction”, Judith Grisel shares her unique perspective on addiction, as a neuroscientist and person in long-term addiction recovery.
Through her education and life experience she is able to marry emotional and scientific views to drive her point home to the reader – there is no free lunch. She explains the laws of pharmacology and how the brain adapts to every drug by counteracting the drug’s effects. The opponent process theory (below) illustrates her point. On the right, we see the effects of a drug on a naive brain (in red), the response of the brain to the drug (in blue), and the experience of the user. On the left we see the same processes and experiences but in a seasoned drug user, where the brain has come to anticipate the stimulus and responds immediately and intensely when stimulated – making for a much worse high and much worse withdrawal.
Grisel explains all the neural processes which indicate addiction; she is the perfect yin to Gabor Mate’s yang. She illustrates her points with diagrams, graphs, and personal anecdotes, making her points clear to understand for anyone, regardless of learning style.
I can’t recommend her book highly enough, her perspectives on addiction are so unique and interesting, and her policy recommendations for addressing addiction are so pragmatic and understanding.