Article- 'Unbroken Brain' Explains Why 'Tough' Treatment Doesn't Help Drug Addicts
Tough love, interventions and 12-step programs are some of the most common methods of treating drug addiction, but journalist Maia Szalavitz says they're often counterproductive.
"We have this idea that if we are just cruel enough and mean enough and tough enough to people with addiction, that they will suddenly wake up and stop, and that is not the case," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
Szalavitz is the author of Unbroken Brain, a book that challenges traditional notions of addiction and treatment. Her work is based on research and experience; she was addicted to cocaine and heroin from the age of 17 until she was 23.
Szalavitz is a proponent of "harm reduction" programs that take a nonpunitive approach to helping addicts and "treat people with addiction like human beings." In her own case, she says that getting "some kind of hope that I could change" enabled her to get the help she needed. - Read More (Source - NPR Images- Taylor Callery/Ikon Images/Getty Images)