Everything You Know About Addiction Is Wrong

“… what if addiction isn’t about your chemical hooks? What if addiction is about your cage? What if addiction is an adaptation to your environment?”

The TED-talk editors write:

“What really causes addiction – to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail first-hand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions. He started to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do – and if there might be a better way.

As he shares in this deeply personal talk, his questions took him around the world, and unearthed some surprising and hopeful ways of thinking about an age-old problem.”

Amongst other things, he cites Prof. Bruce Alexander, who argues that that addiction is not about chemical hooks, but is instead about the ‘cage’ you live in – i.e. an adaptation to your environment.

Here’s the 15 minute video of his talk:


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