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The Selfish Brain: Learning from Addictionby Robert L Dupont
Synopses & Reviews
Why is the brain so vulnerable to the effects of alcohol and other drugs? How does addiction echo through families, cultures, and history? What is it that families and communities do to promote or prevent addiction?
These are some of the questions that this thorough, thoughtful, and well-reasoned book answers--in clear, comprehensible terms. From the basics of brain chemistry to the workings of particular drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, The Selfish Brain explains how individuals and communities become trapped in destructive habits--and how various treatments and approaches lead to recovery and whole, healthy lives.
Thoughtful, thorough, and well-reasoned, this book by DuPont takes a no-holds-barred look at the easy path to drug addiction and the tough road to recovery. Written in an easy-to-understand style, "The Selfish Brain" can help people confront addiction in their lives by exploring the biological roots of addiction.
About the Author
Robert L. DuPont, M.D., has been a leader in the fields of substance abuse and anxiety disorders for more than twenty-five years. Since 1978 he has been president of the Institute for Behavior and Heath, a nonprofit research and policy organization. He is also vice president of Bensinger, DuPont, and Associates, a management consulting firm dealing with workplace substance abuse. He has been Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine since 1980. Dr. DuPont received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA in 1963. He was a psychiatric resident and teaching fellow at the Massachusetts Mental Heath Center and Harvard Medical School, (1964-1966); and a clinical associate at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD (1966-68). Dr. DuPont was the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) from its inception in September 1973 until July 1978. In June 1973 he was appointed by the President to direct the White House Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention (SAODAP), a position he held until the office terminated in June 1975. As SAODAP director, with a staff of more than one hundred, he coordinated the government's drug abuse treatment, research, and prevention efforts. From 1970 to 1973, Dr. DuPont was administrator of the Narcotics Treatment Administration (NTA) of the District of Columbia Department of Human Resources. NTA was a comprehensive, city-wide, multi-modality program which treated 15,000 heroin addicts in twenty facilities with a staff of more than 500 during those three years. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1970), and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) (1989). He is a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and was chairman of the Drug Dependence Section of the World Psychiatric Association from 1974 to 1979. He was the founding president of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA) (1980-1984). In 1989 he became a founding member of the Medical Review Officer committee of ASAM (1989-present). Since 1969 he has maintained an active psychiatric practice specializing in addiction and anxiety disorders. He is listed in The Best Doctors in America and Who's Who in America. He has written for publication more than two hundred professional articles and fifteen books and monographs on a variety of subjects. The American Psychiatric Press, Inc. has recently published his books, Getting Tough on Gateway Drugs: A Guide for the Family and A Bridge to Recovery: An Introduction to Twelve-Step Addiction, was published by the American Psychiatric Press in 1995. In 1998 he and his two daughters, Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, MSW and Caroline M. DuPont, M.D., wrote The Anxiety Cure: An Eight-Step Program for Getting Well, published by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. The Anxiety Cure had the distinction of being a featured selection of the Book of the Month Club, the Quality Paperback Club, and the One Source Book Club. Dr. DuPont has been actively involved in public education about health topics for two decades, having been health commentator on ABC-TV's Good Morning America and a frequent guest on NBC-TV's Today Show. He has also appeared as a guest on the CBS Evening News, the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour, and the programs of Phil Donahue, David Susskind, Dick Cavett, and Oprah Winfrey. He is often quoted in the national media.
Table of Contents
Thinking about addiction: Addiction to alcohol and other drugs — A world history of drug abuse — The contemporary scene for alcohol and other drugs. — The brain and addiction: The brain, target organ of addiction — Gateway drugs: alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine — Heroin and other drugs of abuse. Overcoming addiction: The addict's life — Codependence, the mirror of addiction — Preventing addiction — Intervention and treatment — Twelve-step programs, a modern miracle — Tough policy choices to prevent addiction — The future of addiction — A personal footnote. — Drug facts. — Bibliotherapy. — Appendix 1: Twelve Step Fellowship and other mutual-aid group descriptions. — Appendix 2: Resources.
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