• Arnold Schroder

#31: Addiction, Madness, Despair pt. 1: Addiction

(07/06/2021) As we emerge from quarantine and reveal to one another our many wounds, Arnold describes a recent, months-long period of psychological rupture as a narrative frame for an inquiry into the relationship between addiction, madness, despair and revolutionary social possibility. In this episode we examine the dubious origins of 12-steps programs like Alcoholics Anonymous in hallucinatory christianity, the neuroscience of addiction, and the relationship between addiction and pain. We also explore the fundamental unity of the changes to neural circuitry that result from exposure to drugs or exposure to all the other hyper-potent reward stimuli that consumer civilization has to offer.



Bibliography for episode 31:


Anda, R. F., Butchart, A., Felitti, V. J., & Brown, D. W. (2010). Building a Framework for Global Surveillance of the Public Health Implications of Adverse Childhood Experiences. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 39(1):93–98. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2010.03.015

Blum, K. (2017). Dopamine homeostasis brain functional connectivity in reward deficiency syndrome. Frontiers in Bioscience 22(4), 669–691. doi:10.2741/4509

Greenberg, G. (2013) The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry. Blue Rider Press.

Herzog, J. I. & Schmahl, C. (2018) Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Consequences on Neurobiological, Psychosocial, and Somatic Conditions Across the Lifespan. Front. Psychiatry 9:420. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00420


History of Alcoholics Anonymous. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous


Koob, G. F., & Volkow, N. D. (2009). Neurocircuitry of Addiction. Neuropsychopharmacology 35(1):217–238. doi:10.1038/npp.2009.110


London, E. D. (2000) Orbitofrontal Cortex and Human Drug Abuse: Functional Imaging. Cerebral Cortex Mar 10:334–342.

Oshri, A., et al. (2019) Adverse Childhood Experiences and Amygdalar Reduction: High-Resolution Segmentation Reveals Associations With Subnuclei and Psychiatric Outcomes. Child Maltreatment, 107755951983949. doi:10.1177/1077559519839491

Maté, G. (2010) In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. North Atlantic Books.


Schulkin, J. & Sterling, P. (2019). Allostasis: A Brain-Centered, Predictive Mode of Physiological Regulation. Trends in Neurosciences. doi:10.1016/j.tins.2019.07.010




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