The Fix: How Addiction Is Taking Over Your World

Damian Thompson. Collins, $15.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-00-743610-1
Drawing on his own experience as a binge drinker, as well as personal interviews with addicts and data from recent studies, Daily Telegraph editor Thompson (Counterknowledge) aims to show that, contrary to the teachings of popular 12-step programs, addiction is not a disease in any medical sense, but a “disorder of choice.” The author demonstrates that addictions have as much to do with “disordered brain chemistry” as they do with social conditions, as when the sudden lifting of bans in 18th century London allowed anyone to distil spirits, leading to the “first recorded epidemic of drunkenness in history.” Today the drugs of choice range from designer pills to sugar, social media (“by the end of 2011, Facebook was cited in a third of divorce cases in the U.K.”), and the pursuit of increasingly exotic digital pornography. Thompson argues that the purveyors of these luxuries make us greedy beyond “our ability to cope with the psychological and social problems that are created as a result” of their use. Alarmist about the ubiquity of addictive behavior while remaining optimistic about the ability of vigilant individuals to keep it under control, Thompson compellingly presents addiction not as the problem of genetically unlucky individuals, but of Western culture as a whole. Agent: Simon Trewin, WME Entertainment (U.K.). (Apr. 23)
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-00-743609-5
Hardcover - 279 pages - 978-0-00-743608-8
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