From a renowned behavioural 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 a 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 learns the science behind the love of various drugs, from marijuana to alcohol, opiates to psychedelics, speed to spice.
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 behaviour 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 colour, candour, and bell-clear writing, Never Enough is a revelatory look at the roles drugs play in all of our lives. It offers crucial new insights into how we can solve the epidemic of abuse.
Judith Grisel, PhD, is a professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Bucknell University. Her efforts in the classroom, laboratory, and public domain have positively impacted students, the field of behavioral neuroscience, and the broader community. As an active scholar, Judy has been recognized as an outstanding mentor by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. With students and the support of the National Institutes of Health, she’s published dozens of scientific articles, primarily on the complex causes of drug abuse. Current studies focus on sex-dependent influences of stress on drug reinforcement, and the role of endogenous opioids in alcohol use disorders. A strong proponent of the liberal arts, she teaches a wide range of undergraduate courses, including introductory psychology and neuroscience, and a popular seminar in neuroethics. In 2019, Judy published a book on the neuroscience and experience of addiction that became a NY Times bestseller, which has since been translated for a worldwide audience. She regularly speaks on the relationship between the brain and behavior to parents, teachers, legislators, the judiciary, and clinicians; she’s shared her knowledge effectively from classrooms to the World Economic Forum in Davos. As a recovering addict, scientist, and practiced instructor, Judy is uniquely qualified to communicate knowledge about the neural causes and consequences of substance use disorders.
Financial: Judith Grisel has employment relationships with the University of Colorado, Furman University, and Bucknell University. She receives royalties as a published author. She receives a speaking honorarium from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Judith Grisel is a member of the International Behavioral and Neural Genetics Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society, and the International Society for Brain Research on Alcoholism.
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