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Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction

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From a renowned behavioral neuroscientist and recovered drug addict, an authoritative and accessible guide to understanding drug addiction: clearly explained brain science and vivid personal stories reveal how addiction happens, show why specific drugs--from opioids to alcohol to coke and more--are so hard to kick, and illuminate the path to recovery for addicts, loved one From a renowned behavioral neuroscientist and recovered drug addict, an authoritative and accessible guide to understanding drug addiction: clearly explained brain science and vivid personal stories reveal how addiction happens, show why specific drugs--from opioids to alcohol to coke and more--are so hard to kick, and illuminate the path to recovery for addicts, loved ones, caregivers, and crafters of public policy. Addiction is epidemic and catastrophic. With more than one in every five people over the age of fourteen addicted, drug abuse has been called the most formidable health problem worldwide. If we are not victims ourselves, we all know someone struggling with the merciless compulsion to alter their experience by changing how their brain functions. Drawing on years of research--as well as personal experience as a recovered addict--researcher and professor Judy Grisel has reached a fundamental conclusion: for the addict, there will never be enough drugs. The brain's capacity to learn and adapt is seemingly infinite, allowing it to counteract any regular disruption, including that caused by drugs. What begins as a normal state punctuated by periods of being high transforms over time into a state of desperate craving that is only temporarily subdued by a fix, explaining why addicts are unable to live either with or without their drug. One by one, Grisel shows how different drugs act on the brain, the kind of experiential effects they generate, and the specific reasons why each is so hard to kick. Grisel's insights lead to a better understanding of the brain's critical contributions to addictive behavior, and will help inform a more rational, coherent, and compassionate response to the epidemic in our homes and communities.

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From a renowned behavioral neuroscientist and recovered drug addict, an authoritative and accessible guide to understanding drug addiction: clearly explained brain science and vivid personal stories reveal how addiction happens, show why specific drugs--from opioids to alcohol to coke and more--are so hard to kick, and illuminate the path to recovery for addicts, loved one From a renowned behavioral neuroscientist and recovered drug addict, an authoritative and accessible guide to understanding drug addiction: clearly explained brain science and vivid personal stories reveal how addiction happens, show why specific drugs--from opioids to alcohol to coke and more--are so hard to kick, and illuminate the path to recovery for addicts, loved ones, caregivers, and crafters of public policy. Addiction is epidemic and catastrophic. With more than one in every five people over the age of fourteen addicted, drug abuse has been called the most formidable health problem worldwide. If we are not victims ourselves, we all know someone struggling with the merciless compulsion to alter their experience by changing how their brain functions. Drawing on years of research--as well as personal experience as a recovered addict--researcher and professor Judy Grisel has reached a fundamental conclusion: for the addict, there will never be enough drugs. The brain's capacity to learn and adapt is seemingly infinite, allowing it to counteract any regular disruption, including that caused by drugs. What begins as a normal state punctuated by periods of being high transforms over time into a state of desperate craving that is only temporarily subdued by a fix, explaining why addicts are unable to live either with or without their drug. One by one, Grisel shows how different drugs act on the brain, the kind of experiential effects they generate, and the specific reasons why each is so hard to kick. Grisel's insights lead to a better understanding of the brain's critical contributions to addictive behavior, and will help inform a more rational, coherent, and compassionate response to the epidemic in our homes and communities.

30 review for Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction

  1. 5 out of 5

    Morgan Blackledge

    Author Judith Grisel is a former hard drug addict who got clean in the 80s and became a neuroscientist in search of a cure for addiction. Now, 40 some years later, she’s all but thrown in the towel on that project. There is no cure. There may never be a “cure”. Addiction is simply not that kind of issue. Addiction has historically been viewed as a weakness of will, or flawed character, or due to an addictive personality. That’s all a bunch of primitive, punitive, ignorant, dysfunctional, ineffect Author Judith Grisel is a former hard drug addict who got clean in the 80s and became a neuroscientist in search of a cure for addiction. Now, 40 some years later, she’s all but thrown in the towel on that project. There is no cure. There may never be a “cure”. Addiction is simply not that kind of issue. Addiction has historically been viewed as a weakness of will, or flawed character, or due to an addictive personality. That’s all a bunch of primitive, punitive, ignorant, dysfunctional, ineffective, grossly inaccurate nonsense. More recently, the disease model of addiction has been promoted to counter all of that. And it is a huge firmware upgrade. But the disease model is still confusing, slightly disingenuous, and somewhat intellectually dishonest. Particularly when you understand the issue with greater resolution. Addiction can be considered a disease, but a very different kind of disease than cancer or the flu. Addiction involves a complexity of interacting biological, psychological, social, environmental, cultural and even ‘spiritual (with an asterisk)’ factors. Yes, it’s a brain disease of sorts, involving artificially super stimulating compounds that hack, exploit and re-wire a vulnerable brains evolutionarily conditioned motivation, reward and learning systems. But that’s not what most people think of when they hear ‘addiction is a disease’ and that’s not the kind of thing a pill or surgery will ever be able to ‘cure’. Addiction is (like diabetes) a chronic condition, typically necessitating a long term, comprehensive and systematic program of bio-psycho-social rehabilitation. But that takes a lot of work. And no pill can do all that. Addiction is manageable. Millions of people recover every day, and go on to lead highly productive, meaningful lives, that are frequently highly enriched as a result. People in recovery often develop super human psycho-social skills resulting from the programs of rigorous honesty, personal exploration and growth, self care, radical acceptance and compassion, and commitment to service and community typically necessary to overcome this tremendous adversity. Again, that all takes work. Really really hard as fuck, hard, hard, extremely difficult, extremely rewarding and meaningful, really hard fucking work. It’s like Britney says. And she should know. Ya gotta work biotch. So Judith Grisel’s work didn’t produce a miracle cure. But her decades of work did provide humanity with something that is arguably as important. Clarity. Or good, organized data (GOD). That’s an old atheist joke (not a very funny one, but then again, it’s not a very funny subculture). Never Enough toggles between addiction memoir (written in the first person) and neuroscience popularization (written in the third person), providing the reader with a gritty hell ride through personal ruin to recovery, intermittently augmented with extremely fucking interesting neuroscience that normalizes the issue and introduces badly needed clarity to the Tower of Babel that is the current public conversation. In a nutshell: if you tip your your brain out of balance with the happy chemicals in drugs of abuse, your brain compensates in a multitude of problematic ways, including by over producing the opposite neurochemistry, which makes you feel worse than awful when you’re not high. Recovery necessarily entails healing this imbalance and the underlying issues that initially lead you-me-us-them to the blunt, bottle, pooky or point. And did I mention that takes really hard work? Addiction is a brain disease, a deadly illusion, an evolutionary miss-match, a product of learning gone wild, a public health issue, a spiritual crisis and so much more. Never Enough provides a clear, realistic window into a large section of the issue, from the inside out, written by a former coke slamming neuroscientist. How much more could a reader honestly ask for? FIVE STARS (🌟X5) NOTE: Never Enough is not a self help book. And the author is not an expert in recovery. Additionally, she seems to lack important insight into how good therapy and sober social support can help. Lots of other good books for that. This book is only good for those interested in a clear explanation of the neuroscience, from a trustworthy source. So if that’s what you’re after, consider yourself informed.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kristy K

    3.5 Stars An eye-opening and informative book about addiction and neuroscience. Written by an addict turned PhD recipient, there were great insights along with well-researched data. A lot of pieces of information I didn’t know and having Grisel’s personal experience interjected really helped flesh out the material. Addiction is a crippling and oft misunderstood mental illness that so many battle and it was good to see text that exposed the reality of addiction while not shaming those who suffer. 3.5 Stars An eye-opening and informative book about addiction and neuroscience. Written by an addict turned PhD recipient, there were great insights along with well-researched data. A lot of pieces of information I didn’t know and having Grisel’s personal experience interjected really helped flesh out the material. Addiction is a crippling and oft misunderstood mental illness that so many battle and it was good to see text that exposed the reality of addiction while not shaming those who suffer. Grisel covers alcoholism as well as a gamut of drugs, both legal and illegal. Not only does she detail effects of them she also explores the neurological response garnered from taking them. This is the perfect blend of science and memoir (leaning more toward the former) and I’d recommend to anyone interested in learning more about addiction or drugs in general. I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Henk-Jan van der Klis

    After years of experience as drugs addict, Judith Grisel got sober and embraced the chance to scientifically study the mechanisms underneath addictive substances, and their consequences on behavior. Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction is her accessible and authoritative guide through a taxonomy of stimulants, depressants, uppers and downers, alcoholics, plants, liquids, pills, and needles. Addiction today is epidemic and catastrophic. The personal and social consequences of After years of experience as drugs addict, Judith Grisel got sober and embraced the chance to scientifically study the mechanisms underneath addictive substances, and their consequences on behavior. Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction is her accessible and authoritative guide through a taxonomy of stimulants, depressants, uppers and downers, alcoholics, plants, liquids, pills, and needles. Addiction today is epidemic and catastrophic. The personal and social consequences of this widespread and relentless urge are almost too large to grasp. In the United States alone some 16 percent of the population aged twelve and above meet criteria for a substance use disorder. In purely financial terms, it costs more than five times as much as AIDS and twice as much as cancer. The book highlights the current knowledge neuroscience has brought on this topic. How are substances transmitted into cells, synapses and influence behavior, central nerve system, and impact movements, speech, memory, fetus' health, etcetera? When any drug has an effect, it's due to the drug's chemical actions on brain structures. For most drugs of abuse, we know precisely which structures are modified, and this gives us a really good start to understand how they make us feel the way they do. Yet, there's still much we don't know yet. The bottom line in is this book is that there can never be enough drug. Because of the brain's tremendous capacity to adapt, it's impossible for a regular user to get high, and the best a voracious appetite for more drug can hope to accomplish is to stave off withdrawal. This situation is best recognized as a dead end, in the most literal sense. But to wait for a biomedical or any outside cure is to miss asking questions of ourselves and considering our own role in the epidemic. While we are at it, instead of wringing our hands, we might try holding one another's.

  4. 5 out of 5

    GONZA

    Interesting overview on addiction, mostly because told from the point of view of an ex-consumer. Some things I already knew, some other not really. To read. Interessante visione d'insieme sulle dipendenze, soprattutto perché raccontate da chi ci é passato e ancora lotta per non ricaderci. Alcune cose le conoscevo, altre non tanto bene. Da leggere. THANKS EDELWEISS FOR THE PREVIEW!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Nixon

    STOP, read Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs and The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma if you want to learn about addiction/neurology re: addiction. I have never been so disappointed by a book. It's a weird book in that it starts off as, and sometimes returns to being, a memoir of a junkie. The rest feels like a stale book report prepared by a High School student about various drugs or effects, almost as though it was lifted from w STOP, read Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs and The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma if you want to learn about addiction/neurology re: addiction. I have never been so disappointed by a book. It's a weird book in that it starts off as, and sometimes returns to being, a memoir of a junkie. The rest feels like a stale book report prepared by a High School student about various drugs or effects, almost as though it was lifted from wikipedia, except wikipedia goes into more depth. Have I mentioned I was sorely disappointed? What a bore. The audible is especially flat and terrible. I was so sure this would be my non-fiction of the year. When clients ask me if they are addicts or addicted to something I tell them #1, addiction is by self-diagnosis, but a test I use with myself often is "will there ever be enough?" I like to tell the story of a man who liked a sandwich so much he ordered another (this is from the AA book), or if one Tylenol works, why not take 2 so it works even better? With this very test being the NAME of the book I had the highest of hopes. Again, GOOD FOR HER but this book is a NOPE. I'm SO DISAPPOINTED.

  6. 5 out of 5

    LittleSophie

    That was a really informative and engaging book about the neurological implications and pecularities of addiction and specific drugs. The author mixes easy to follow scientific explanations with more colloquial musings about her own experience with addiction, which worked really well, I think, and prevented the book from ever feeling didactive. I really recommend this for an informed, sympathetic and emphatic view on the rising tide of addiction.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    I had to really take my time with this one... Grisel proves her wisdom over and over, detailing the hows and whys of addiction specific to different drugs, but it missed the mark I was hoping it would land on in the end. I guess it's that I was hoping for more of a tell-all about this neuroscientist's own trial with addiction while she was much younger as she still lives to warn us nearly 30 years after getting sober, but instead it read mostly like a textbook. I was glad to have this informatio I had to really take my time with this one... Grisel proves her wisdom over and over, detailing the hows and whys of addiction specific to different drugs, but it missed the mark I was hoping it would land on in the end. I guess it's that I was hoping for more of a tell-all about this neuroscientist's own trial with addiction while she was much younger as she still lives to warn us nearly 30 years after getting sober, but instead it read mostly like a textbook. I was glad to have this information in one place, sporadically broken up (mostly in the very beginning and ending) by her insights and allusions to her experiences, but I was hoping for more of a literary bent. The note she ends on is really a good one though, pointing to the fact that we so often perceive addicts as "them" and instead of being the people those addicts need when they're at they're worst, we're quick to judge and lament how these people got themselves there on their own and should pull themselves up in the same way- but that is wholly the worst thing we, either the non-addicts or recovering addicts, could possibly do, and after all aren't we ALL just the same kind of human trying to make it through this life in one piece?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kari

    Incredibly informative and insightful investigation of addiction from the perspective of a recovering addict and neuroscientist. I enjoyed Grisel's ability to put the isolation of addiction into context with social movements and the rise of capitalism. Addiction is a personal, social, neuroscientific, and public health issue. She wove in all of the intertwining factors beautifully and in an entertaining way. Highly recommend this book to anyone as the drug crisis is more urgent than ever.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Never Enough by Judith Grisel is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early February. Perpetual addiction as a way to escape day to day reality and the tight grasp of mental illness, as well as the neurological side of being addicted to different kinds of drugs, how prevalent it can be in any society, the personal/institutional costs, and stories of the author’s own experiences. Grisel grasps your hand at the beginning of each chapter to make a good impression and offer deep-cut philosophical th Never Enough by Judith Grisel is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early February. Perpetual addiction as a way to escape day to day reality and the tight grasp of mental illness, as well as the neurological side of being addicted to different kinds of drugs, how prevalent it can be in any society, the personal/institutional costs, and stories of the author’s own experiences. Grisel grasps your hand at the beginning of each chapter to make a good impression and offer deep-cut philosophical theory, then drops it to turn to a chalkboard filled with neurocogitive stats, only to turn around, snapping to get your attention, and luring you partway back in with another personal reference.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    Grisel does two things really well in this book. She gets to the marrow of what an addict's life is because she lived it before she found recovery and got her professional credentials. She also, in very helpful chapters, describes what the specific drugs do to our brains. So enlightening to me as someone genetically predisposed to alcohol abuse.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dan Wilbur

    Helped me understand drugs I’ve mindlessly put in my body for my whole life. Personal, interesting, important. Some of the explanations of how the brain works, understandably, were difficult to understand. Gets a little too technical at times in that sense but if you have patience, you can understand how everything affects your brain and body!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Connie Hall

    Utterly fascinating. As a sober/clean person for many years now, I loved her succinct explanation of each class of drugs and how they work and then stop working. I thought that I was pretty well versed in this area, but found myself learning a lot. I highly recommend!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dramatika

    A fascinating study on addiction, perfect for a laymen, the best pop science book I’ve read this year

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    As heard on the Science Magazine Podcast: http://traffic.libsyn.com/sciencemag/...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Excellent and accessible account of the complexity of addiction from a personal, but mostly scientific perspective. Brilliant.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Travis Lupick

    This is not a review but is based on an interview I had with the author. It was originally published in the Georgia Straight newspaper. Judith Grisel enjoyed using drugs. Cannabis, especially. “In many ways my relationship with the drug was among the purest and most wonderful relationships of my life,” she writes in Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction (Doubleday, February 2019). “From the first time I got high until long after I’d smoked my last bowl, I loved the drug like a This is not a review but is based on an interview I had with the author. It was originally published in the Georgia Straight newspaper. Judith Grisel enjoyed using drugs. Cannabis, especially. “In many ways my relationship with the drug was among the purest and most wonderful relationships of my life,” she writes in Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction (Doubleday, February 2019). “From the first time I got high until long after I’d smoked my last bowl, I loved the drug like a best friend.” The behavioral neuroscientist and professor of psychology at Pennsylvania’s Bucknell University also once had an intense love-hate relationship with cocaine, and pretty much any mind-altering substance within reach. It’s been three decades since she stopped using drugs, save for her daily use of the coffee bean. But Grisel concedes she sometimes misses them, and still sees potential benefits in the occasional use of certain substances; psychedelics, primarily, which she notes new research suggests may help some people with mental-health issues such as PTSD. And so, Grisel told the Straight, in that regard, it’s a sad story she tells in Never Enough. It turns out that mind-altering drugs simply aren’t good for you, cannabis included. “Using drugs to change the way we think, feel, and behave, is ancient and universal,” Grisel says in a telephone interview. “I do think that, not only is it natural, but that there are some benefits. I might have not survived my childhood without all that weed, now that I think about it. So I’m not against it. But I do think that addiction takes all the fun out of it, and that there are consequences for people, their families, and society.” Grisel sought an education and then a career in neuroscience because of her addiction to drugs. The book recounts how she entered the field with the goal of finding a “cure”. “I thought that if I could find the cellular switch that flipped somewhere between my third and my fourth drinks, or each time a promising bag was within my sight, and then find a way to keep this switch in the ‘off’ position, I might be able to refrain from…spending all my tips on very temporary thrills, or making blacked-out road trips to Dallas,” she writes. Nearly three decades into her search, Grisel writes that she’s learned the problem is not so much the drugs, per se, but rather the human brain’s powerful ability to respond to the altered chemistry that drugs produce. “There will never be enough drug, because the brain’s capacity to learn and adapt is basically infinite,” reads Never Enough. “What was once a normal state punctuated by periods of high inexorably transforms to a state of desperation that is only temporarily subdued.” While a cure for addiction remains elusive, there’s never been a more urgent need to pursue the question. Opioids alone killed nearly 4,000 people across Canada in 2017, up from roughly 3,000 the previous year, according to Health Canada. In the United States, 47,600 people died after taking opioids in 2017, up from 42,400 in 2016, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Use. It’s one of the worst health crises the continent has ever experienced, and there’s no end in sight. With a tidy writing structure that weaves personal anecdotes alongside accessible science, Never Enough describes how the brain of someone addicted to drugs changes as the time they struggle with their drug use drags on. The book focuses on neurochemistry, but Grisel emphasizes that addiction is generally the result of a combination of genetic predisposition, developmental influences, and environmental input. “Since the beginning of when we’ve kept records, people have been using drugs to change the way they feel. So what’s different? Why do we have so much addiction now?” Grisel asks. “Isolation. Generally, in our distant history, it [drug use] was a communal activity, with spiritual or at least cultural overtones. It was something people did together. So using alone [is what’s different].” Grisel’s measured take on drugs means it’s not all bad news for everyone who enjoys a little help to keep the party going. “To the banker who uses cocaine once every four-to-six weeks, I would say, ‘Good for you’. I don’t think that’s so terrible,” Grisel says. “If you are one of these rare individuals that really does well with moderation—and that does sound pretty moderate if you’re just doing a little coke—ya, I think that is all right.” The problem is that for so many people, the brain’s adaptive nature makes moderation so difficult. “Luxuries become habits, habits become compulsions, and compulsions become addictions,” Grisel says. In addition to the imperative of moderation, the other major piece of advice that Grisel offers in Never Enough is for kids to stay away from drugs. It’s not a “Just say no” message she’s borrowed from the DARE program. There are very real reasons to wait, she explains. “Until you are 25, the brain is still being organized,” Grisel says. “So if you perturb it while it is still being organized—during development—then it alters the organizational structure. Whereas if the basic scaffolding is all laid down, once the pathways are all basically set—which they are sometime between 23 and 25—then you are more-likely to be able to undo it [changes to the brain made by using drugs].” Never Enough also includes lessons that apply to the war on drugs and which can inform North America’s response to the opioid epidemic. For example, Grisel says, it’s time for an honest assessment of criminalization. “If punishment worked, surely we would see diminishing numbers of addicts, and we don’t. We see more and more,” Grisel says. “I think it is alienating, to say to people, ‘You are bad and you’ve got to not be bad and we’re going to help you not be bad by doing bad things to you’.” The same sort of logical evaluation led her to support harm reduction at a time when the Ontario government and states such as Washington, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts are debating the merits of supervised-injection facilities like Vancouver’s Insite. “I think supervised injection is a great idea, because I don’t think punishment works,” Grisel says. “I don’t think it condones using. It is just trying to say, ‘Here’s a safe place’. “We should use every strategy we can to support people to be healthy,” Grisel continues. “It’s not like we’re going to teach people not to use by letting them die. That won’t work.”

  17. 4 out of 5

    Polly

    A compelling, important read offering a uniquely new perspective of addiction.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    I liked how the book included the author's own experience with addiction. It made the book more personal and less academic. The author got into the field of neuroscience to find a cure for addiction, because of her own experiences. The book's main focus is on what is known about how addiction is formed and the changes that occur to a human brain as a result. The book explains how each specific type of drug affects the person taking it and how the addiction is formed. Anyone who is thinking of tak I liked how the book included the author's own experience with addiction. It made the book more personal and less academic. The author got into the field of neuroscience to find a cure for addiction, because of her own experiences. The book's main focus is on what is known about how addiction is formed and the changes that occur to a human brain as a result. The book explains how each specific type of drug affects the person taking it and how the addiction is formed. Anyone who is thinking of taking Ecstasy should read this book before doing so - repeated use damages the brain permanently. You'll end up like Jim from the 80's TV show Taxi. The book doesn't answer the question of how to stop addiction from happening or cover much about the rehabilitation of addicts. Basically, the only way to make sure you don't become an addict is to avoid taking drugs, drinking alcohol or smoking in the first place. You won't know you've become addicted until it is too late. And once that happens there is no easy fix.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Elysse

    This entirely scientific while also completely relevant novel taught me a lot about addiction from the perspective of a neuroscientist, but also from a former addict. Grisel knows exactly how it feels to go through addiction, and yet understands it not just as a crisis but as a scientific phenomenon. Grisel talks about her experiences and the experiences of others, and talks about traditional drugs, not just those harder drugs that we associate with drug epidemic. There's a lot more to be addict This entirely scientific while also completely relevant novel taught me a lot about addiction from the perspective of a neuroscientist, but also from a former addict. Grisel knows exactly how it feels to go through addiction, and yet understands it not just as a crisis but as a scientific phenomenon. Grisel talks about her experiences and the experiences of others, and talks about traditional drugs, not just those harder drugs that we associate with drug epidemic. There's a lot more to be addicted to, including anxiety medication, which I myself take. The majority of us do take some type of drug, and it's important to understand the neurological implications of these drugs that the pharmaceutical companies are not telling you. This is a very important read for all adults, and parents who have children with ADHD and other mental disorders that might be utilizing medications.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bradley

    I'm always tentative to read books about neuroscience. Having studied the subject in college, usually mainstream books about neuroscience are too watered down and I feel as though I'm not really learning much. This book was the perfect balance between presenting the topic of addiction in a way that made sense to a naive reader, but was still engaging for people already familiar with the subject. I also really appreciated Grisel's own personal journey with addiction. By weaving together her narra I'm always tentative to read books about neuroscience. Having studied the subject in college, usually mainstream books about neuroscience are too watered down and I feel as though I'm not really learning much. This book was the perfect balance between presenting the topic of addiction in a way that made sense to a naive reader, but was still engaging for people already familiar with the subject. I also really appreciated Grisel's own personal journey with addiction. By weaving together her narrative with the more scientific descriptions of drugs/drug use, the book was not only accessible to a wide range of readers, but was also extremely engaging. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone curious about the widespread epidemic of addiction that our world currently faces.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Very interesting read. It was a bit more technical than I was expecting, but certainly remained quite readable. The more exacting details are already fading (does cocaine act on the receptors or the transporters? [I looked it up, it is the transporters]) but a-response and b-response are now part of my vocabulary. It took me a long time to finish this book as I had to read it in smaller doses. Most of the biological terms were unknown to me, so it took more concentration and backtracking than oth Very interesting read. It was a bit more technical than I was expecting, but certainly remained quite readable. The more exacting details are already fading (does cocaine act on the receptors or the transporters? [I looked it up, it is the transporters]) but a-response and b-response are now part of my vocabulary. It took me a long time to finish this book as I had to read it in smaller doses. Most of the biological terms were unknown to me, so it took more concentration and backtracking than other pop-science books I read. I am particularly glad that my daughter, a senior in HS, read it as well! She is much more versed in the biological terms; she really liked it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Fish

    Uber smart neuroscientist with first-hand knowledge This was a super interesting book that had loads of detail on what happens in the addicts brain depending on the drug. I am in awe of this authors ability to come out of deep addiction to study and teach about the brain and addiction. She is also very humble and acknowledge s there is still much to learn but expands on things that do work for addicts (support in groups of others etc..) highly recommend this book but you have to be willing to gr Uber smart neuroscientist with first-hand knowledge This was a super interesting book that had loads of detail on what happens in the addicts brain depending on the drug. I am in awe of this authors ability to come out of deep addiction to study and teach about the brain and addiction. She is also very humble and acknowledge s there is still much to learn but expands on things that do work for addicts (support in groups of others etc..) highly recommend this book but you have to be willing to grind through some scientific terminology and detail.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Love

    This book was incredibly insightful, illuminating the inner workings of addiction in a way that forces you to put yourself on the same level as everyone else with the concept that addiction is something we all struggle with in one or multiple forms. The world needs more books like this, as it is far too easy to judge people who struggle with addiction when it reality it is a struggle that reaches all of us throughout our lives, be it drugs, alcohol or anything that creates that same chemical rea This book was incredibly insightful, illuminating the inner workings of addiction in a way that forces you to put yourself on the same level as everyone else with the concept that addiction is something we all struggle with in one or multiple forms. The world needs more books like this, as it is far too easy to judge people who struggle with addiction when it reality it is a struggle that reaches all of us throughout our lives, be it drugs, alcohol or anything that creates that same chemical reaction and dependence.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ro Pannesi

    Written by a neuroscientist in recovery, this book attempts to draw grand conclusions about the impact of chronic use of any drug on the brain. She makes good points, especially around the vulnerability of the adolescent brain to permanent deleterious changes. I was not always convinced of her conclusions, because personal experience and opinion was often mixed with scientific research. Nevertheless, I appreciated her conclusion that drug use is a symptom of a society that increasingly promotes Written by a neuroscientist in recovery, this book attempts to draw grand conclusions about the impact of chronic use of any drug on the brain. She makes good points, especially around the vulnerability of the adolescent brain to permanent deleterious changes. I was not always convinced of her conclusions, because personal experience and opinion was often mixed with scientific research. Nevertheless, I appreciated her conclusion that drug use is a symptom of a society that increasingly promotes isolation and rejection of individuals, particularly those most vulnerable.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hari Balaji

    Judith Grisel's Never Enough is one of those rare books where the author-protagonist is able to talk about an ailment and draw from their experiences both as a sufferer and a scientist something that is missing in other books such as the Emperor of Maladies. It manages to be both personal and factual which is a phenomenal achievement for any work of non fiction. You won't find any cures but perhaps a better understanding. Must read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tycho Toothaker

    This is a fabulous book that explains the neuroscience of addiction with exactly the amount of scientific information I wanted. Very clearly written. And it isn't afraid to admit it ignorance in areas where we don't know as much. In particular I appreciated the explanation of the a-process b-process theory and the constant referencing of it. It helped contextualize a bunch of chemical information I would otherwise have a hard time processing.

  27. 5 out of 5

    James Kelly

    As someone in recovery and also with a background in cognitive psychology, I appreciated the two pronged approach the author takes to describing addiction. The cognitive/biological aspects can be read in depth or skimmed depending on reader's level of interest. Many stories of addiction/recovery deal with purely personal stories (which is no doubt useful), but I think this would be a valuable read for anyone interested in understanding what addiction looks like in a somewhat objective way.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Linda Knight Crane

    Wish I was able to read this book before my son overdosed. I did go straight from the library to read him excerpts from introduction at his grave. It was too late for him but validation that his addiction was not a moral failing but a chronic medical condition. Good information from someone who has been on both sides and very informative and interesting. Personal to me was the author’s Final Words. Isolation and alienation feeds into the epidemic. Wisdom, open-mindedness to stop thinking that ad Wish I was able to read this book before my son overdosed. I did go straight from the library to read him excerpts from introduction at his grave. It was too late for him but validation that his addiction was not a moral failing but a chronic medical condition. Good information from someone who has been on both sides and very informative and interesting. Personal to me was the author’s Final Words. Isolation and alienation feeds into the epidemic. Wisdom, open-mindedness to stop thinking that addicts can cure themselves. “...instead of wringing our hands, we might try reaching for another’s”. Thank you, Judith Grisel.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Robin Case

    This isn't a subject that I normally read about so my impressions are those of someone new to the issue of addiction. I learned a very large amount about the biology of addiction. This book was easy to read and understand. The author writes as someone who has personal experience with addiction and extensive professional knowledge. Very highly recommended to novices to the subject of addiction.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    This book shares the personal story of the author, the biology and neuroscience of addiction, insights into the relationship of culture and drug use and addiction. Plus she shares the power of caring and love on motivation. The clarity with which she does all of this earns her a deservedly high rating. I listened to the audio version and found myself several times wishing I had a paper copy to refer back to.

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