1-805-202-3440

24/7 Confidential Hotline

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Combating Addiction Via Community

addiction
The neuroscience of addiction is the life work of Professor Judith Grisel. For Grisel, gaining a better understanding of the disease, and potentially curing it, is personal. That is because Dr. Grisel is in recovery.

In her new book, Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction, the Bucknell University professor explores ways of combating today's epidemic. She is acutely familiar with how drugs and alcohol can take hold of people. While the cost of her substance use disorder was high, it also set her on a path to one day help others break the cycle and recover.

The behavioral neuroscientist drew from experience to describe how a seemingly normal upbringing can devolve into crisis. She shares anecdotes about her journey from utter despair to recovery. For the last 25 years, Grisel has dedicated her efforts to end the scourge of alcohol and drug abuse. What began as a research quest for a disease panacea, resulted in some surprising conclusions.

While Grisel may never find a panacea for addiction, the author believes that the solution can be found in connecting with each other. She believes love, compassion, and connection are the answer to the disease, The Guardian reports. "The people right next to us are an obvious place to start," she writes. "Human relationships and connections are the low-hanging fruit."

Motivation for Recovery


In the book, Grisel shares that she began drinking at 13, and how the experience was the first time she felt calm. Like many addicts and alcoholics, her disease progression moved at a swift pace. Her first drink led to daily drinking in high school and marijuana use in high school; she eventually moved on to harder substances.

At 19, Dr. Grisel dropped out of college and became estranged from her family. Intravenous cocaine use ensued, along with homelessness and unemployment. She shares about the experience that any addict can relate to, that one needs to use drugs just to feel normal. After a series of unfortunate and scary life events, the neuroscientist decided it was time to reach out for support.

Grisel's family helped her get into an addiction treatment center when she was 23. Around the same time, she began wondering if there might be a cure and thought that maybe she could help. Finding a cure served as motivation for her continued sobriety, according to the article. The professor is still looking for her eureka moment 25 years later, but she has many valuable insights to offer.

"Right now we're in a rising phase of escapism and pharmacology – this epidemic of addiction is really an epidemic of avoidance. Above all we need better ways to cope with life and to be present to our experiences. Ultimately you can't avoid yourself. It didn't matter how high I got, I was stuck with myself. I think we're soon going to get to that point as a society and then we might finally have our moment of truth."  

The New York Times bestselling author's discovery that community and human interaction is the answer to addiction is not novel. Fellowship has long been a guiding principle in 12 Step recovery programs, and they have helped countless people rebuild their lives. Still, it's beneficial when a renowned neuroscientist lends credence to the power of togetherness.

SLO County Addiction Treatment Center


Please contact The Haven if you are struggling with an alcohol or substance use disorder. Our highly credentialed team of addiction professionals can help steer you onto course toward long-term recovery. The Haven at Pismo is the perfect place to renew to your best today.