The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Marc Lewis

Narrated By: Don Hagen

Publisher: Gildan Media

Date: August 2015

Duration: 7 hours 45 minutes


Through the vivid, true stories of five people who journeyed into and out of addiction, a renowned neuroscientist explains why the "disease model" of addiction is wrong and illuminates the path to recovery.

The psychiatric establishment and rehab industry in the Western world have branded addiction a brain disease, based on evidence that brains change with drug use. But in The Biology of Desire, cognitive neuroscientist and former addict Marc Lewis makes a convincing case that addiction is not a disease, and shows why the disease model has become an obstacle to healing.

Lewis reveals addiction as an unintended consequence of the brain doing what it's supposed to do-seek pleasure and relief-in a world that's not cooperating. Brains are designed to restructure themselves with normal learning and development, but this process is accelerated in addiction when highly attractive rewards are pursued repeatedly. Lewis shows why treatment based on the disease model so often fails, and how treatment can be retooled to achieve lasting recovery, given the realities of brain plasticity. Combining intimate human stories with clearly rendered scientific explanation, The Biology of Desire is enlightening and optimistic reading for anyone who has wrestled with addiction either personally or professionally.


  • Jason P

    Excellent material. This will help immensely with my work as an addiction counselor. I throughly enjoy how the author uses real life stories (narratives) to illustrate the neuroscience. Very well done. This book is a breakthrough. The narrator has a great voice, but his "s-es" get high. It can be annoying if you pay attention to it. But mostly you get into the material and don't notice.

Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease

by Marc Lewis

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Biology of Desire: Why Addiction Is Not a Disease, Marc Lewis