In Most of What You Know About Addiction is Wrong, distinguished psychiatrist Anirudh Kala debunks common myths on the largely misunderstood topic of addiction. The book introduces readers to the ways in which humankind has been engaging with addictive substances over time and our complicated ongoing relationship with them.
Beginning with the early humans and the formation of their bonds with mind-altering substances, it goes on to share a comprehensive account of the use of various substances in India with a special focus on Punjab. In the late 80s, drug addiction peaked in Punjab and it continues to be a major public health concern today. The book closely examines the links between addiction and the social and economic changes plaguing the state, urging policy makers and law enforcement to stop viewing addiction through a moralistic prism and to adopt a more holistic and scientific approach to manage it.
Both the history and the science of addiction are explained in an easy-to-read, accessible style. The nature-versus-nurture debate about the origins of addiction also feature prominently in the book. The benefits of decriminalization and legalization of addictive substances, which countries like Portugal have achieved through pragmatic initiatives are substantiated with ample data. Statistics about the number of people using drugs or affected by addictions are not just quoted; readers are shown how to derive meaning from this data.
Most of What You Know About Addiction is Wrong sends out a set of well-researched, informed and timely messages about how mature societies should be handling addictive drugs. This makes the book essential reading for policy makers, politicians, health professionals as well as general readers everywhere.