The Disease Called Drug Addiction

We criminalize drug addicts in this country. To Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that would be equivalent to putting someone with Parkinson’s in jail. Drug addiction is a disease that changes the chemistry of your brain, and makes you unable to kick the cravings. It all stems from dopamine, a powerful drug that controls pleasure and leads you to make decisions that aren’t truly benefitting your body.

Volkow walks us through the reasons that different drugs trigger addictions and why certain people are more prone to addiction than others. It’s not only about genetics- nurture plays a key role in making someone vulnerable to the disease.

She also launches into a discussion on the human’s propensity for food addictions, a relationship more complex than that of drugs. Is it possible to transfer a love of chocolate to a desire for lettuce and running? It’s more complicated than you think.

James Patterson on writing: Plotting, research, and first drafts

The best-selling author tells us his methods.

  • James Patterson has sold 300 million copies of his 130 books, making him one of the most successful authors alive today.
  • He talks about how some writers can overdo it by adding too much research, or worse, straying from their outline for too long.
  • James' latest book, The President is Missing, co-written with former President Bill Clinton, is out now.
Keep reading Show less

How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
  • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
  • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
Keep reading Show less

Why the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner won’t feature a comedian in 2019

It's the first time the association hasn't hired a comedian in 16 years.

(Photo by Anna Webber/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
Culture & Religion
  • The 2018 WHCA ended in controversy after comedian Michelle Wolf made jokes some considered to be offensive.
  • The WHCA apologized for Wolf's jokes, though some journalists and many comedians backed the comedian and decried arguments in favor of limiting the types of speech permitted at the event.
  • Ron Chernow, who penned a bestselling biography of Alexander Hamilton, will speak at next year's dinner.
Keep reading Show less