Neuroscientist Carl Hart: Everything you think you know about drugs and addiction is wrong

Image: Raw Story

Carl Hart grew up in Miami in what he calls the ‘hood, a poor community with high rates of crime and prevalent drug use. He kept a gun in his car, engaged in petty crime and sold drugs. Today Hart is a neuroscientist and associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University. He’s also an expert on drug addiction. In a TEDMED Talk earlier this month, Hart explained how he went from dealing drugs in the ‘hood to studying addiction at one of the world’s top universities. His talk summarizes some of the major themes from his book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society (HarperCollins, 2013).

Hart said growing up as he did, he came to believe the prevailing assertion that crack cocaine and other drugs were the villains behind crime and poverty. If he could only solve the addiction problem, he thought, he’d be tackling the root of the problem. As Hart came to learn, that is not the reality. Poverty and crime were around long before crack and other drugs appeared on the scene, and the forces at play that keep poor communities poor are insidious and systemic.

More from the Raw Story

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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