Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari

What really causes addiction — to everything from cocaine to smart-phones? And how can we overcome it? Johann Hari has seen our current methods fail firsthand, as he has watched loved ones struggle to manage their addictions. He started to wonder why we treat addicts the way we do — and if there might be a better way. As he shares in this deeply personal talk, his questions took him around the world, and unearthed some surprising and hopeful ways of thinking about an age-old problem.

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49 responses to “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong | Johann Hari”

  1. Jojo gun Avatar

    right on!!!!!

  2. Helen Humphreys Avatar

    Just a wonderful honest approach
    full of love

  3. Serial Chillin' Avatar

    There’s no such thing as addiction. There are just things you enjoy doing more than life.

  4. Brittney Minard Avatar

    Truthfully being an alcoholic knowing what addiction is. Which is a spiritual and mental disease. I like what he says, but ehhh I could get more deeper on this. He is not correct. He makes good points. But people have addictions because it's a chemical make up in our brain. Not all people who have addictions are due to environmental situations. It's our brain. I'll tell you more just email me and I'll just speak on Ted Talks Brittney.Minard@gmail.com

  5. M0stly Stormy Avatar

    Trying to get sober & truthful the only reason why I drink is because i feel alone. Had a long talk with a friends mom and I just broke down sobbing uncontrollably when i said “I just feel so stuck in my life. I hate my job. I don’t have much emotional support, I don’t have many family and friends, I just feel so alone & that’s what hurts the most”. Everything this man said is so true.

  6. Lindsey Goulet Avatar

    Can someone send this to Donald Trump.

  7. SneakyBadness Avatar

    This sounds true at first but then i think of the cravings that come at like 3 months clean and you'll just be sitting there and Bam it'll hit you out of nowhere. I'd be sitting with my friends watching a movie and I have to excuse myself and go lay in my bed basically in a fetal position because I just couldn't take how bad I wanted it. Although this is an important factor we seem to overlook almost completely I don't think it's the end all be all

  8. Ron Hall Avatar

    But only GOD can take away the ( DESIRE ) for the drug or what ever we may be addicted to.

  9. Himzo Kevric Avatar

    Connecting has never worked in my attempts to help those around me, but I guess to each their own. I still do no believe that what this man is saying is going to solve the problem. Portugal worked because the addicts had to experience the suffering before they were shown another way. These Ted talks, although they acknowledge the problems, seem to disregard the bigger picture.

  10. Vinyl Fiend668 Avatar

    The solution is tough love and 12 step recovery otherwise you will die. This disease kills millions every year how much longer will we let alcohol and drugs take the lives of such wonderful people. If your loved ones suffer from addiction get the the help they need now or they will die. I’ve know people personally who died from addiction cause they couldn’t become honest with themselves about their denial. Rehab is the best solution for long term recovery because there is no cure for addiction. It’s a progressive disease of mind body and spirit that doesn’t discriminate based on your class or upbringing. It is a killer just like cancer. You only can arrest through entire abstinence.

  11. Jack Pot Avatar

    My flesh friends are my Facebook friends ……

  12. Akshay Soni Avatar

    This was a great explanation.Thank you.

  13. D Buse Avatar

    I have an addicted daughter who is very loved and has had connections. What I see in her, is that no connection or love is fulfilling to her. What now? It's sad and hard to watch,but as her mother I keep loving her. My other family relationships have suffered all for the addicted child. I think I have loved her, to my own demise.

  14. The Outlaw Warles Chill-I-Am Avatar

    I will let you in on a little secret. Everyone is addicted to something, and it is done on purpose…but not done to YOU on purpose. Who or Whatever created the human being embedded the addiction into our DNA…so that we would be addicted to the HUMAN EXPERIENCE. When you complete your life experience and go to the otherside, it's the addiction to the human experience that makes the spirit come back to do it again.There is a reason why tibetan monks deprive themselves of everything that feels good in the modern world, they get it. They know the only way to defeat the cycle is to defeat the addiction to the human experience. It's only when we say, "Ok I've done the human thing, there is no reason I want to go back again..BOOM the cycle is broken, and you are no longer the slave that you were created to be. Consciousness is much deeper than anyone can imagine, and until we realize this, the yo-yo effect of here-there-and back again will end.

  15. michelle miller Avatar

    Interesting when he mentioned the show Intervention. Yes, they gather the addict’s closed friends and family and have them each reveal the consequences the addict will now get if they keep using. But what they do FIRST is have them each tell the addict how much they love them and how much they mean to them. They may have already told them this countless times before but when you get everyone in the same room and do it in the manner they do, it’s the only way the addict truly hears them. And I think THAT’S what gets the addict to agree to go to treatment. I’ve seen a lot of episodes and you’ll notice that the certain addicts that don’t have those deep rooted connections with they’re family and friends are the ones that either don’t go to treatment or do but end up relapsing.

  16. allan crumb Avatar

    What he is saying may work just fine for so-called normal people. None of those connections mean anything to someone who truly suffers from the disease of addiction.


    addicts  there  some  thing in the horizon  which you   could try to  help your  addictions and   build yr cells  better   it is worth a while   me abut    write  banaout@gmail.com ,i  am  honest  pharmacist   of  course your addictions   doctor are  sociopathes an psychopaths   write I  could be  of help in  three  to 4  areas to get to  get  heroin write

  18. Alex Mills Avatar

    as an addict who can understand what I'm going through as is unfolds around me, this couldn't be a more precise definition of addiction

  19. Yolanda Gallo Avatar

    I am using this presentation as reference to an email blitz that I am sending out to invite people to a presentation. I would like to get the Authors permission to use this. I realize that this on YouTube and already public domain but I would like to still get author permission.
    I love this presentation,

  20. Blondman1000 Avatar

    The only solution for substance addiction is abstinence through a 12 step program. Love them, enable them sure! Perhaps that helps but ultimately they must be abstained to recover

  21. Patrick McAsey Avatar

    I was impressed by this, at first. But then I started thinking about the addiction crisis affecting the USA. I don't know how many videos I've seen of parents who have lost a child because of an overdose. These are good, caring parents who gave their children the best love and care possible. The tragic children grew up in good homes. They were often successful and highly intelligent. In so many cases they have siblings who have not become addicts but are leading normal, healthy lives. The young addicts, now dead, had excellent friendship networks and appeared to have rich, fulfilling lives – in short, they were privileged. So how does Johann Hari's analysis fit in here?

  22. Diane Wittman Avatar

    So true. Face to face help from friends

  23. ASL Mentor Avatar

    As a Deaf adult in a hearing society where 99.9% do not sign in ASL (American Sign Language) – I am constantly disconnected due to language barriers. Thus the "drug" of my choice is food… it's so true that the opposite of addiction is connection. Due to elitism, busy peers raising children, elderly not wanting to associate with middle-aged folks, distance, lack of money, lack of time, lack of energy — it's no wonder I cannot stop relying on food to "comfort" me. Been two years in a new state I just moved to and I still haven't made a small group of new friends that I can socialize on frequent basis. No mate, no children, none of my siblings nor my parents are (emotionally, intellectually) close to me. I'm always reaching out, striving to bond and no one does. It's so very hard.

  24. Dehyak Avatar

    "Read loads, but never found the answers I was looking for"? Isnt that defining confirmation bias?

  25. asif shaik Avatar

    Go to 6:34 … you can see notes on hand

  26. wonder woman Avatar

    Wow….superb. Defines my addictions…

  27. Steve Pixie Avatar

    Thankyou dude!!!

  28. Michael Wilson Avatar

    there a loads of flaws in what this guy is talking about, validates drug addicts watching this into a false sense of security, also Portugal they have not legalised drugs they have decriminalised it and normalised drug use making it appear they have no problem yet the problem is still real, over a certain amount in potrugal and you get charged as a dealer, all they did in portugal was "move the goal posts" so to speak to make it look like the problem is solved, this whole thing about curing people through love and mushy feel good stuff does not work and has never worked through history, I realise you all want to get your hopes up but this is highly flawed.

  29. The Garden of Eatin Avatar

    Never happen in America. Conservatives like punishing people too much.

  30. Otis Firefly Avatar

    yep amazing i have been using heroin for over 30 years daily, it has not fucked me up in any way, the total opposite i am fine i function better with it than without it, [ much, much better in fact.] anyone over the age of 21 and above a certain IQ drugs should be a choice, why if you are not hurting anyone should you have a criminal record or even worse go to jail because of it. people get addicted to drinking, they do not go to jail for it, and its a fact that drink kills more people than all the different drugs put togother."I KNOW WHERE IM GOING TO LIVE, HAVE A GUESS.lol

  31. kingkronik4200 Avatar

    Vietnam killed my uncle nine years after if was over. Some of our soldiers couldn't just stop.

  32. Joe Chavey Avatar

    How are there withdrawals though if there is no chemical addiction? Although I agree with most of what he said about why people use

  33. Danielle Townsend Avatar

    Wish I could thumbs up more than once

  34. Krystal smith Avatar

    I didn't know you could get addicted to coke, I did it all the time my senior year and summer after graduation , didn't get addicted , but Percocet those perks I did:( still call myself an addict,( I got the help years ago ) I have an addictive personality and loads of trauma.

  35. Ayla Dillis Avatar

    this made me cry

  36. Sweet Bee Avatar

    This guy makes a lot of sense.

  37. BroccoliQueefed Avatar

    I hate British accents. They sound so stuck up and phony..

  38. C Kris Avatar

    Omg… you can't just go sit with someone forever and hold their hand and say everything's okay and I love you no matter what. Go ahead and call me names cheat lie to me steal and that's all okay I'll just hang out with you all the time anyway. You can do it sometimes but sometimes is never enough for any addict I've known. They will suck up your life along with theirs you better be ready to go down with the ship if you're going to take that approach.
    Yes I get it about love and yes that's real but…

  39. Chris Gains Avatar

    Best TED talk I've seen

  40. corinna ramirez Avatar

    Great video. I agree with you , we are suppose to love our neighbors. That should come naturally. However, I think alot of addiction comes from self medicating an underlying problem in the brain. If you have never read the book , Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. By Daniel Amen. You really should asap. Daniel Amen is incredible .

  41. Daniel Malin Avatar

    Great talk but seeing how babies can be born addicts, I believe it's a bit of both dependency and the social factor. The social factor drives and initiates the dependency, and the dependency becomes and addiction because of its dopamine effects.

  42. Hz432 Avatar

    ( russ) Ну это хот бы часть правды, а не полная ее противоположность.
    Чтобы разобраться в проблемах наркомании нужно понять что такое ЗАВИСИМОСТЬ.
    Лично я считаю, что любая зависимость- это в первую очередь ЗАЛИПАНИЕ, ее сила зависит от процентного соотношения характеристик человека. Если коротко, то как правило, чем сильнее амбициозность и меньше осознанности тем бОльшая вероятность на что-либо залипнуть и сильнее присесть на это.
    Любое залипание это сознательное или бессознательное стремление к удовольствию, к состоянию счастья, так как оно является нашим природным состоянием и все что мы делаем, без исключения, направленно лишь на то чтобы получить это состояние удовольствия. Каким способом мы это делаем об этом уже говорят наша культура и мировоззрение.

    Здесь прежде всего люди делятся на тех, кто хочет получить удовие опираясь на внешний мир и тех кто готов получать из внутреннего. Готов, потому что из внутреннего в нашей социальной системе считается труднее, не так ярко и не так быстро, хотя более естественно, стабильно и с меньшими зависимостями. По этой причине всякая химическая дрянь пользуется огромной популярностью и даже часть из этого легализована. На самом деле у нас просто тысячелетиями выработана привычка иметь фокус внимания «ДОМИНАНТА НА ВНЕШНЕМ», но если ПРИВЫЧКУ поменять, то фиксация на внутреннем станет такой же легкой как сейчас на внешнем и всякого рода зависимости от химии заметно снизятся и довольно быстро уйдут из нашей жизни.

    ПРОБЛЕМА привязок/зависимостей очень глубока и лежит в НЕЗНАНИИ СЕБЯ, от этого неумение управлять своим состоянием, которое дает легкость восприятия жизни, а именно ее мы и называем СЧАСТЬЕМ.

    По сути все люди на Земле наркоманы, потому что всегда к чему-то привязаны, ВСЕ ОТ ЧЕГО-ТО ЗАВИСЯТ и любые привязки разрушительны, потому что имеют тенденцию к зацикливанию, к стагнации, а жизнь всегда движется. Но наш мир так устроен, что он функционирует только благодаря ограничениям, привязкам, а залипания это и есть те самые ограничения, которые не позволяют видеть дальше своего носа. Каждый человек имеет свое мировоззрение и свои доминанты в нем, кто-то зацеплен за отношения и ему надо, чтобы в них было все хорошо, кто-то за вещи, без которых ему плохо, кто-то за шоколад, а кто-то за футбол, кто то за сериалы, потому что только там УМЕЕТ получать приятные ему ощущения, кто-то цепляется за свою важность, развивая эгоизм…..куча всего за что мы цепляемся и у всех свои задачи и поэтому свои доминанты. Но факт остается фактом, за что бы ты не цеплялся ты рано или поздно всегда теряешь, проходит ощущения счастья, любое восхищение чем-либо, кем-либо всегда сменяется на разочарования.Любое удовольствие, получаемое через органы восприятие временное, на время нам хорошо, но коротко, потому что ничего нельзя удержать, если не теряем людей и вещи, то теряем наше отношение к ним и все равно мы начинаем переживать чувство потери, одиночества и страха, которое заставляет нас завоёвывать все бОльшую зависимость от внешних вещей и обстоятельств. Так функционирует мир психологически незрелых людей, так скажем больших детей.

    Наше общество учит убегать ЧУВСТВА страха и одиночества путем достигаторства, поощрением сменой зависимостей, перестал быть наркоманом, стал игроманом, заядлым курильщиком. До тех пор пока не будет «модным» в обществе быть смелым, смотреть своим страхам в глаза, мы будем засранцами бегущими от себя, но выдающими это действие за Достижения. Отсюда берет начало потребительство и зависимости, а это бесконечное колесо проблем, сколько бы мы об этом не говорили пока мы не научимся быть смелыми и поворачиваться к страхам лицом, мы так и будем бесконечно крутить колесо зависимостей.

    Когда бОльшая часть людей поймет и покажет тем самым другой части, что сохранить состояние Счастья, а значит и легкость восприятия жизни можно лишь в том случае, когда научаешься управлять своим внутренним состояниями, не зависимо от того, что у тебя есть или что у тебя нет, будут исчезать сами собой зависимости и беды связанные с ними. Наши проблемы практически все завязаны на неумении управлять своими внутренними состояниями.

    Ну а в процессе этого нужно учиться как минимум оставаться спокойным к тому что уже произошло и действовать по обстоятельствам из этого состояния, а не из состояния паники, страха и разочарования.

  43. Project Unbroken Avatar

    Love this talk! I think it's spot on about addiction. Although I like the rat test…humans are more complex than rats…and humans add a little more variables into the mix.

  44. Raed Kaddoura Avatar

    Anyone notice the notes on his hand?

  45. Karen McCarrell Avatar

    my very first thought was Financial it's a smart way to hide their assets

  46. Eugene Steele Avatar

    Here is an easy way to end addiction https://youtu.be/BMQ2wdgtMmI

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