Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs
Timely and comprehensive, the text addresses current topics related to drug use and society, including the medicalization, legalization, and widespread availability of THC, the complex problem of prescription and black-market opioid and heroin abuse, nicotine’s effects on the brain, the growing popularity of e-cigarettes and hookah bars, and more.
Early chapters address addiction through topics such as pleasure and the brain, food addictions and the ways food can alter neurochemistry, and the effect of stress hormones on mood. Later chapters discuss the prevention and treatment methods discovered within the past decade, namely the introduction of natural highs – such as exercise, meditation, and eating well – to children to help them achieve pleasure and reduce stress without the use of dangerous substances.
Highly readable and engaging, Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs will appeal to students of addictive behavior, physical and mental health practitioners of all kinds, and anyone interested in discovering healthy ways to find satisfaction, wellness, and a natural sense of elation in life.
Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D.
Morris E. Chafetz Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of Behavioral Sciences, Harvard Medical School
Director, Division on Addiction, The Cambridge Health Alliance
Past Editor, Psychology of Addictive Behaviors
“If there is but one book that you read about pleasure, addiction, and recovery this by far THE book. Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs is by the most comprehensive, informative, and ground breaking book that I have read on these broad subjects. Fascinating as it is fun to read, it is a gold mine of cutting edge science and a go-to book for insights on drug and natural highs.”
John B. Arden, Ph.D., author of Mind-Brain-Gene
“There is not a society on earth that does not regularly employ intoxicants. The human desire to transport our minds to states of awe, wonder, and ecstasy is ubiquitous. It is akin to a basic instinct, like hunger, sex, and attachment.
We learned this crucial lesson, now essential to beat back the opioid and other drugs epidemic and a world encased in ennui, from Dr. Milkman in the groundbreaking first edition of Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs. Now we can learn so much more as Dr. Milkman updates us – in his always engaging style – on what is new and revelatory in the science and culture of hedonic practices, including drug use and abuse.
The 2nd Edition of Craving for Ecstasy and Natural Highs is remarkably timely and exceptionally relevant. You will want to read it, and you will enjoy the read.”
Lloyd I. Sederer, MD
Adjunct Professor, Columbia University School of Public Health
Chief Medical Officer, New York State Office of Mental Health
Reviews for First Edition:
"This book is extremely useful for a broad range of readers. This book reflects the extensive scientific and clinical expertise of the authors and is compelling reading for anyone interested in addictive behaviors. It is one of the rare books that from page one immediately engrosses, educates and broadens your perspective."
Alex Blaszczynski, The University of Sydney, International Journal of Mental Health Addiction
"Psychologist Harvey Milkman and chemist Stanley Sunderwirth explore why our relentless search for pleasure sometimes leads to dangerous addictions and show us healthy ways to achieve happiness."
Scientific American Mind
"Reading this book is in itself and ecstatic experience! . . . a fascinating journey that explores the benefits and risks of pleasure and the universal desire to feel good . . . It's quite a trip."
G. Alan Marlatt, Ph.D., University of Washington
"The chemistry and psychology of addiction are described with considerable insight. . . . These authors know their stuff and make a compelling case."
The Los Angeles Times
"The authors provide a valuable service by placing into perspective a large array of behaviors that could be considered addictive."