Addiction and the Brain: Development, Not Disease
A paper by Marc Lewis, 2016
"[This analysis] also highlights neural and behavioral parallels between substance addictions, behavioral addictions, normative compulsive behaviors, and falling in love."M. Lewis
"I review the brain disease model of addiction promoted by medical, scientific, and clinical authorities in the US and elsewhere. I then show that the disease model is flawed because brain changes in addiction are similar to those generally observed when recurrent, highly motivated goal-seeking results in the development of deep habits, Pavlovian learning, and prefrontal disengagement.
"This analysis relies on concepts of self-organization, neuroplasticity, personality development, and delay discounting. It also highlights neural and behavioral parallels between substance addictions, behavioral addictions, normative compulsive behaviors, and falling in love.
"I note that the short duration of addictive rewards leads to negative emotions that accelerate the learning cycle, but cortical reconfiguration in recovery should also inform our understanding of addiction. I end by showing that the ethos of the disease model makes it difficult to reconcile with a developmental-learning orientation."
Addiction | Disease model | Learning | Development | Neuroplasticity | Self-organization | Delay discounting