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But unlike most addicts, Lewis recovered and became a developmental psychologist and researcher in neuroscience. In Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, he applies his professional expertise to a study of his former self, using the story of his own journey through addiction to tell the universal story of addictions of every kind. He explains the neurological effects of a variety of powerful drugs, and shows how they speak to the brain—itself designed to seek rewards and soothe pain—in its own language. And he illuminates how craving overtakes the nervous system, sculpting a synaptic network dedicated to one goal—more—at the expense of everything else.
“Meticulous, evocative… Lewis’s unusual blend of scientific expertise, street cred, vivid subjectivity and searching introspection yields a compelling perspective on the perils and allure of addiction.”
Wall Street Journal
"Compelling…for readers grappling with addiction, Mr. Lewis's…approach might well be novel enough to inspire them to seek the happiness he now enjoys.”
Chronicle of Higher Education
“He proceeds deftly from episodes of his drug years to neuroscientific explanations of his brain's response to drugs.”
“A surprising and charming addition to this crowded genre. Yes, it embraces the classic redemption narrative - teenage experimentation, late-’60s Berkeley, exotic forays into Malaysia and Calcutta, the inevitable slide into deception, crime, and desperation. But he ends up a professional neuropsychologist, able to enliven the tired streams of addled consciousness with metrical rapids of semi-hard science.”
“Marc Lewis's brilliant – if not wholly sympathetic – account of his many mind-bludgeoning drug experiences wears its biological determinism on its sleeve … Lewis has certainly woven his experiences into an unusual and exciting book… (Memoirs of an Addicted Brain) is as strange, immediate and artfully written as any Oliver Sacks case-study, with the added scintillation of having been composed by its subject.”
“The most original and illuminating addiction memoir since Thomas De Quincey's seminal Confessions of an Opium Eater…[an] electrifying debut.”
Midwest Book Review
“A powerful survey recounting the author’s powerful addiction and how he broke an intense hold on drugs… This will appeal to a range of collections, from those strong in autobiographies to science and health holdings alike.”
BBC Focus Magazine
“(W)hile the narrative of Marc’s life is a real-page turner, what makes this such an interesting and unusual book is that it also contains detailed descriptions of the neuro-chemical changes that are going on inside Marc’s brain as he takes the different drugs, and later as he wrestles to come off them. After reading the book, I felt that I understood for the first time what addiction is like at both the personal and the chemical level.”
The Independent (UK)
Posted August 13, 2013
Truly the best book I have read in regard to understanding addiction.
My son died from drug overdose and I now work to help others fight this ugly disease...this book made understanding the dynamics of addiction possible....for anyone. This is a must read for anyone that has been touched by addiction and wondered, "why can't he/she just stop?" I am grateful to Marc Lewis for having the courage to tell his story so that others can begin to understand this heinous disease.
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Posted July 8, 2012
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