Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong

What really causes addiction — to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions. He started to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do — and if there might be a better way. As he shares in this deeply personal talk, his questions took him around the world, and unearthed some surprising and hopeful ways of thinking about an age-old problem.

  • Sprite

    Awesome TED Talk that upsets the apple cart regarding how we treat addiction and best of all, gives us a positive alternative.

  • Cynthia rodriguez

    Awesome! Makes complete sense! I have been to AA meetings to support family members. I wish I could get this point across without offending them. HUMAN CONNECTION is everything! It’s our first basic need. In my opinion the AA meetings works mainly because it is a place for people to connect. I wish they would stop labeling themselves as negative “addicts” and start seeing themselves as human beings needing deep connection with themselves and each other.

  • sarms58

    Very interesting. Of course we can’t totally overlook the physiological aspects since withdrawal can actually kill those in chronic addiction. But his thought align well with mine as for why people get into addiction – a learned behavior that becomes a habit. And habits are behaviors done with little cognitive thought – they are more like conditioned responses. The need for community is a very basic human need and those who fl isolated must address that need in some way. Interestingly, many are attracted to the drug culture as away of fitting in – it becomes their per group where they belong and have community. Unfortunately, long term use/abuse generally lead to isolation.

    I think people need to listen to what Johann Hari is saying – we need to quit addressing addiction as a legal issue and treat it as a medical/psychological issue. And we need to really think about the effects of isolation on human development and try to combat the culture in our schools where groups seek to be exclusive instead of inclusive. Those kids who don’t fit in and are shunned, bullied and isolated are tomorrow’s addicts or even worse, the people we read about who open fire in a crowd and randomly kill people.