Like love, addiction seems easy to identify but hard to define. The most common understanding of addiction today sees addiction as a disease. The disease theory purports to capture addiction’s essential nature and tells a story about how addiction works and what can be done to treat it. The setting is our brains, the characters a series of biological factors, including our genes. Specifically, this basic framework defines addiction as a disorder of the individual and designates the medical establishment as the set of professionals best suited to manage it. In this story, addiction is black and white: one is either locked in a cycle of desperate seeking, obsessive thinking, and temporary satisfaction, the well-documented manifestations of addiction, or else one is unafflicted. And, in the end, there is either the triumphant hero or the tragic one, the one who overcomes their addiction or the one who continues succumbing to...
Skip Nav Destination
Review| April 01 2023
Addiction Beyond a Cure
Carl Erik Fisher.
The Urge: Our History of Addiction.
2022. xxi + 400 pp., illus., index. ISBN 9780525561446. $30 (hardcover).
On Wanting to Change.
2022. First published in Great Britain in 2021. xiv + 160 pp. ISBN 9780374172046 (paper).
On Getting Better.
2022. First published in Great Britain in 2021. xvi + 176 pp. ISBN 9781250838872 (paper).
Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences (2023) 53 (2): 189–195.
Gloria B. Yu; Addiction Beyond a Cure. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 1 April 2023; 53 (2): 189–195. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/hsns.2023.53.2.189
Download citation file: