From a renowned behavioral neuroscientist and recovering addict, a rare page-turning work of science that draws on personal insights to reveal how drugs work, the dangerous hold they can take on the brain, and the surprising way to combat today's epidemic of addiction.
Judith Grisel was a daily drug user and college dropout when she began to consider that her addiction might have a cure, one that she herself could perhaps discover by studying the brain. Now, after twenty-five years as a neuroscientist, she shares what she and other scientists have learned about addiction, enriched by captivating glimpses of her personal journey. In Never Enough, Grisel reveals the unfortunate bottom line of all regular drug use: there is no such thing as a free lunch. All drugs act on the brain in a way that diminishes their enjoyable effects and creates unpleasant ones with repeated use. Yet they have their appeal, and Grisel draws on anecdotes both comic and tragic from her own days of using as she limns the science behind the love of various drugs, from marijuana to alcohol, opiates to psychedelics, speed to spice. With more than one in five people over the age of fourteen addicted, drug abuse has been called the most formidable health problem worldwide, and Grisel delves with compassion into the science of this scourge. She points to what is different about the brains of addicts even before they first pick up a drink or drug, highlights the changes that take place in the brain and behavior as a result of chronic using, and shares the surprising hidden gifts of personality that addiction can expose. She describes what drove her to addiction, what helped her recover, and her belief that a “cure” for addiction will not be found in our individual brains but in the way we interact with our communities. Set apart by its color, candor, and bell-clear writing, Never Enough is a revelatory look at the roles drugs play in all of our lives and offers crucial new insight into how we can solve the epidemic of abuse.
About the Author
JUDITH GRISEL, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized behavioral neuroscientist and a professor of psychology at Bucknell University. Her recent research helps explain the different trajectories of alcohol abuse in men and women.
“Dr. Judith Grisel, a neuroscientist and a person in long term addiction recovery, juxtaposes stark examples from her own tortured past, methodically connecting each experience to the hard science of addiction neurobiology. Doing this captures our attention as we peer into one of the most complex puzzles of humankind. The science behind addiction comes alive in its sorrow and grandeur. When you pick up this book get ready for an intense ride.” —Paul H. Earley, M.D., DFASAM; President-elect, American Society of Addiction Medicine
“Grisel is a recovering addict, a neuroscientist, and a talented writer. Who better to help us understand drug addiction? This book is as informative as it is moving. Here you will find clearly explained science and a gripping account of the personal and societal toll of drug addiction.” —Martha J. Farah, Ph.D., Director, Center for Neuroscience & Society, and Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Natural Sciences, University of Pennsylvania
“It is rare to have a book on addiction marry emotional and scientific views. Never Enough sends a message of hope in relaying Judith Grisel’s pathway out of her own drug quagmire—notably, one triggered by the positive and compassionate responses of those near and dear to her.” —Christopher J. Evans, Ph.D., Director, Hatos Center for Neuropharmacology, UCLA
“Grisel’s account of her wayward early 20s, chasing one high after another, is harrowing . . . She writes clearly and unsparingly about both her experiences and the science of addiction—tobacco and caffeine figure in, as well—making plain that there is still much that remains unknown or mysterious about the brain's workings. In the end, she notes, much of our present culture, which shuns pain and favors avoidance, is made up of ‘tools of addiction.’ Illuminating reading for those seeking to understand the whos, hows, and wherefores of getting hooked.” —Kirkus Reviews