Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs Hardcover – March 6, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 75 customer reviews

See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$6.87 $4.77

Popular & highly-rated in Biographies & Memoirs
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus
review in January 1 issue:
“Developmental neuroscientist Lewis examines his odyssey from minor stoner to helpless, full-blown addict….as [he] unspools one pungent drug episode after another, he capably knits into the narrative an accessible explanation of the neural activity that guided his behavior. From opium pipe to orbitofrontal cortex, a smoothly entertaining interplay between lived experience and the particulars of brain activity.” 

Publishers Weekly
“Meticulous, evocative… Lewis’s unusual blend of scientific expertise, street cred, vivid subjectivity and searching introspection yields a compelling perspective on the perils and allure of addiction.”

Wall Street Journal
"Compelling…for readers grappling with addiction, Mr. Lewis's…approach might well be novel enough to inspire them to seek the happiness he now enjoys.”

Chronicle of Higher Education
“He proceeds deftly from episodes of his drug years to neuroscientific explanations of his brain's response to drugs.”

Boston Globe
“A surprising and charming addition to this crowded genre. Yes, it embraces the classic redemption narrative - teenage experimentation, late-’60s Berkeley, exotic forays into Malaysia and Calcutta, the inevitable slide into deception, crime, and desperation. But he ends up a professional neuropsychologist, able to enliven the tired streams of addled consciousness with metrical rapids of semi-hard science.”
 
Guardian
“Marc Lewis's brilliant – if not wholly sympathetic – account of his many mind-bludgeoning drug experiences wears its biological determinism on its sleeve … Lewis has certainly woven his experiences into an unusual and exciting book… (Memoirs of an Addicted Brain) is as strange, immediate and artfully written as any Oliver Sacks case-study, with the added scintillation of having been composed by its subject.”
The Fix
“the most original and illuminating addiction memoir since Thomas De Quincey's seminal Confessions of an Opium Eater…[an] electrifying debut.”

Midwest Book Review
“A powerful survey recounting the author’s powerful addiction and how he broke an intense hold on drugs… This will appeal to a range of collections, from those strong in autobiographies to science and health holdings alike.”

BBC Focus Magazine
“(W)hile the narrative of Marc’s life is a real-page turner, what makes this such an interesting and unusual book is that it also contains detailed descriptions of the neuro-chemical changes that are going on inside Marc’s brain as he takes the different drugs, and later as he wrestles to come off them. After reading the book, I felt that I understood for the first time what addiction is like at both the personal and the chemical level.”

About the Author

Dr. Marc Lewis is a developmental neuroscientist and professor of human development and applied psychology at Radboud University in the Netherlands, and professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. He is the author of over fifty journal publications in neuroscience and developmental psychology and coeditor of Emotion, Development, and Self-Organization: Dynamic Systems Approaches to Emotional Development.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 Reprint edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610391470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610391474
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Ive been a heroin addict for the last 18 years and have read just about every book about dope out there. While other books may better portray the visceral effect of addiction this book examines the complete process and the mental / physical circuitry that evolves into that monkey riding your back.

Although i'm a junkie I don't consider myself an idiot, nor a weak willed person. I've completed my masters, been employed with the same company for over 12 years, pay my bills, never drink and don't touch any other drugs...yet when it comes to quiting heroin my actions completely perplex even myself. This book has gone a long way toward helping me understand why I act as I do, and has opened up a new vocabulary with which to engage my therapist as a means to describe the process which leads to relapse.
This is definitely not your normal "i shot dope" confessional, but for those looking for a deeper understanding of why it is so hard to keep that needle out of your arm, this is a must read. I thank the author for using his talent and knowledge to break this material down into a format that anyone could understand.
2 Comments 51 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The writing in this book is simple, elegant, and totally compelling. The description of the author's inner feelings as he searches for his own version of inner peace and calm through drugs is captivating. I also really enjoyed the clinical descriptions of the effects the various drugs he took have on the human brain. The author makes the science accessible to someone not versed in neuroscience and neuroanatomy.
Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Memoirs of an Addicted Brain: A Neuroscientist Examines his Former Life on Drugs

A must read for anyone interested in learning more about their own addictive behaviours. This book is relevant for any kind of addiction;drugs, booze, sex....anything. If you are trying to give up your current addiction, Dr Lewis' text will bring you right up to date with the current science. He describes a lot of great things useful if you're trying to develop effective tools for recovery. This book would also be a great reference for addiction councelors too.

Not only is the book chock full of useful information, but it's also a compelling story. Anyone will empathize with the despair, yearning, craving and looming self destruction Dr Lewis describes. It's a good read. Pretty compelling stuff.
Comment 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Marc Lewis masterfully incorporated engaging textbook style neurobiological explanations behind addiction within his "Memoirs of an Addicted Brain." Each chapter is a rich anecdote describing a different phase of Lewis' life, accompanied by the introduction of a new cause of addiction for most of the book. He explains his emotions and thought processes leading up to, during, and after each new high. After a new drug is introduced, he not only describes the pharmacological effects but also explains basic anatomy of the brain and what the processing or physiology of the particular receptor, neurotransmitter, or structure of interest would be under normal conditions.

The feel and structure of this book is an unusual and remarkable combination of explanations from both a raconteur and college lecturer. It is extraordinary and unique because Lewis is both neuroscientist and drug addict in the book. He is able to provide valuable insight that could usually be lost in translation between experimenter and lab rat. Lewis guides us through the neurology behind addiction as he reveals his first encounter with underage drinking, his temporary escape from depression via dextromethophan, sexual desires, and his experimentation with psychedelics, PCP, and eventually heroin and more. Though not an addict yet, in the first chapter, Lewis jumped straight to expressing the insecurity and curiosity that led first to drinking alcohol. He noticed a change in mood and his self-criticism finally being silenced. He switches from raconteur to college lecturer mode when he begins describing how alcohol is affecting his system by enhancing GABA transmission, which means "the inhibitory chemicals get boosted," and muffling glutamate transmission, meaning "the excitatory chemicals get hushed.
Read more ›
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am currently working as a Dialysis RN and my boyfriend is a recovering heroin addict. He was 8 months sober when I met him when he relapsed in my bathroom. I found him unconscious and blue. Luckily, being an RN, I am skilled at CPR and I kept him alive until the paramedics arrived and administered Narcan, giving him another chance at life. Seeing his decent into relapse was heartbreaking and eye opening. I witnessed firsthand the powers of this encompassing disease. This book was an excellent read, very interesting and enlightening into the thoughts of an addict and also told his experiences from a scientific perspective. It helped me come to terms with the fact that addiction, particularly to heroin, is not a moral failing in any account but a horrible disease of the brain. I found it very fascinating, raw and eye opening. Perfect book for someone looking for a more in depth perspective of the human brain and the effect of drugs on your loved ones mind. Its a very powerful read. I found myself underlining many passages and marking up my book as I read. This book really helped me come to terms with what his addiction means and how hard it really is to overcome, but also gave hope into the possibility of a brighter tomorrow after conquering addiction.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews