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Humans have struggled with the phenomenon of addiction for centuries. What are we getting wrong?

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Prescriptions for opioid painkillers increased, and so did incidents of opioid addiction.
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Throughout history, the befuddling nature of addictive behavior has vexed those who’ve endeavored to define, treat and control it.

In his newest book, physician Carl Erik Fisher chronicles the history of addiction from the ancient Greeks to the War on Drugs, and weaves in the first-hand perspectives of individuals working to understand or overcome addictions — including his own.

What are the most common misunderstandings about addiction? Why does it continue to be such a persistently perplexing problem?

What can we learn about addiction from the realms of not only medicine and science, but also literature, religion, philosophy and public policy?

How can we better define and treat addiction without stigmatizing those who are battling it?

Guest: Carl Erik Fisher, M.D., addiction physician, bioethicist, an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry in the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry at Columbia University, and author of “The Urge: Our History of Addiction

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Monday, February 14.

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