Maia Szalavitz is widely viewed as one of the premier American journalists covering addiction and drugs. A neuroscience writer for TIME.com and a former cocaine and heroin addict, she understands the science and its personal dimensions in a way that few others can. She is co-author of Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential—and Endangered and The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, both with Dr. Bruce D. Perry. Her 2006 book, Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids is the first book-length exposé of the "tough love" business that dominates addiction treatment. She writes for a variety of publications including TIME.com, the New York Times, New York Magazine, Pacific Standard, Scientific American, Nautilus, Matter, Elle, Psychology Today, VICE, and Marie Claire. Her newest book is Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction.
We have typically defined addiction as needing a substance to function normally, but this ignores crucial psychological qualities of addiction. A new and better definition has arrived, says Maia Szalavitz.
American anti-drug laws are inspired by colonialism and racism, not science. They are at odds with our current understanding of addiction and ignore the economic blight of this second gilded age.