97) Addiction w/ Professor Robert West


What is addiction? A paper released in 2019 says, 21 million Americans suffer from addiction and that's just one country. While not the only cause, addiction is a large contributor to the 350,000 people who die every year due to overdoses, and this stat doesn't include the number one drug related killer in the world; tobacco. How does addiction work and what can we do to solve it? Professor Robert West is the author of "Theory of Addiction," and he joined me today to help explain this phenomenon.

Bio: Robert West is Professor of Health Psychology and Director of Tobacco Studies at the Cancer Research UK Health Behaviour Research Centre, University College London, UK. Professor West is also co-director of the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training and is Editor-in-Chief of the journal Addiction. He is co-author of the English National Smoking Cessation Guidelines that provided the blueprint for the UK-wide network of stop-smoking services that are now an established part of the UK National Health Service. His research includes evaluations of methods of helping smokers to stop and population surveys of smoking and smoking cessation patterns.

Book: An understanding of addiction theory is vital to understanding addiction itself. Theory of Addiction takes theory development from a simple 'rational addiction model', adding elements such as compulsion, self-control and habit, to explain the 'big observations' in the field. As well as explaining and evaluating the arguments of each of the prevailing schools of thought, the book develops a new, synthetic theory of addiction that brings together the diverse elements of current models.

Designed to enable students, practitioners and researchers to establish a starting point in the labyrinthine world of addiction theory, Theory of Addiction supports abstract thinking with concrete and realistic scenarios, underlining the centrality of theoretical understanding to working with addiction.