Addiction

Episode 66: Overlooking Alcohol and The Nature of Addiction with Dr. Stanton Peele

Booze is one of the most ancient and most prolific drugs in society, yet for some reason, it’s always placed in some separate category. Drugs and alcohol. Even at Narcotica, we’ve done over 65 episodes about drugs and not one of them has focused solely on ethanol. We just haven’t gotten to it yet, we’ve had so many other topics we’ve wanted to explore.

The relationship people have with alcohol is so illustrative of Western society’s perspective on addiction and substance use, which is linked to the idea that addiction is a disease. But this framework, while a step above the idea that addiction is a moral failing, is still very destructive.

Narcotica co-host Troy Farah gets into why this is the case in an interview with Dr. Stanton Peele, a brilliant psychologist and the author of Love and Addiction, co-authored by Archie Brodsky, a 1975 book that has really turned the idea of addiction as a disease on its head. Many giants in drug policy analysis, including Maia Szalavitz and Dr. Carl Hart, have cited Love and Addiction as influential on their way of thinking.

Follow Stanton Peele on Twitter @speele5 and check out his new book, A Scientific Life on the Edge: My Lonely Quest to Change How We See Addiction.

If you liked this episode, here are others you might enjoy:
Episode 33: Party and Play—An Intro to Chemsex with David Stuart
Episode 61: Undoing Drugs—Harm Reduction’s Early History with Maia Szalavitz
Episode 51: The Joy of Drug Use with Dr. Carl Hart

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Producers: Christopher Moraff, Troy Farah, Zachary Siegel
Co-producer: Aaron Ferguson / Troy Farah
Music: Glass Boy / Crowander
Intro voice: Jenny Schaye
Image: Noun Project // edit: Troy Farah