In truth, most addiction knowledge has so far been either from animal testing (breeding drunk-swilling rats and cocaine-addicted monkeys), educated scientific guesswork based on genetics (promising, but flawed), or from dogma and hearsay.
Beth Burgess is a psychotherapist, coach and author at Smyls, where she specialises in treating addiction, anxiety disorders, stress, self-esteem, and mental health. Beth is the author of "The Recovery Formula: An Addict's Guide to Getting Clean & Sober Forever" and "The Happy Addict: How to be Happy in Recovery from Alcoholism or Drug Addiction." She has also published a mini ebook, "What is Self Esteem?" As someone who has herself recovered from alcoholism, social anxiety disorder, bulimia, self-harm and Borderline Personality Disorder, Beth has an empathy and insight that allow her to reach people in the darkest of places, and a determination to help others succeed. Beth is also the founder of Wiseiem, a website dedicated to helping everyone create health, wealth and happiness through wisdom. As a freelance writer, Beth regularly covers personal and professional development topics, but has written on everything from business to leisure. She also enjoys writing on social subjects, such as criminal justice, charity, and mental wellbeing. Find out what Beth is up to on her personal website, read more articles or watch videos by Beth.
06/06/2016 10:48 BST
Thousands of pounds, which might have been spent on B&B accommodation, substance- or violence-related hospital admissions, and re-imprisonment are saved when people are supported to heal and grow with specialist services and safe accommodation.
18/05/2016 15:21 BST
Are you already feeling frazzled by the festive season? Going into meltdown with all the extra things to remember and do? Engaging in a little altruism could help you battle stress, a team of top scientists say.
18/12/2015 18:05 GMT
People in the UK are taught that alcohol is the best way to help us bond, socialise, become more confident and let go of that stiff upper lip. We've also learned that alcohol can comfort, console and reward us when times are tough. Alcohol is portrayed as an elixir in good times and bad, the answer to everything.
18/11/2014 17:12 GMT
I always say the best way of reducing stress is to change the way you consider, and respond to, pressure mentally. But while you're practising changing your thinking, you may as well have some fun with these instant stress-busters.
05/11/2014 11:53 GMT
It's World Mental Health Day 2014 this Friday, and despite the fact that one in four people will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime, there still exists a damaging stigma towards having problems located in the mind.
10/10/2014 11:19 BST
England are out. Lessons will be learned. It's the same old World Cup story for England fans, who'll be leaving Brazil with sunburn, tacky souvenirs and a familiar sense of disappointment. What Hodgson will do to improve the team's performance for the European qualifiers remains to be seen.
26/06/2014 12:30 BST
When you feel seriously depressed, it is difficult to find the energy to do anything. By its very nature, depression leaves you feeling resourceless, lifeless and limp. But however serious your depression, there are steps you can take to alleviating it, or at least not allowing it to deepen.
01/05/2014 13:28 BST
Seeing a therapist means that you are actually the sort of person who is willing to strive hard to be the best person you can be. People who make the effort to change are much more laudable than those who steadfastly refuse to address their issues, or who go through life content to be miserable and spread that misery to everyone they come into contact with.
05/02/2014 13:14 GMT
The goal of Buddhism is ultimately to achieve enlightenment, but along the pathway to awakening, there are many useful lessons about how to operate ethically and effectively in the world.
05/01/2014 16:34 GMT
All of a sudden, you find yourself wine in one hand, Twix in the other, and wondering just how your Auntie Marge gets her potatoes looking so crispy. So what have you done wrong? Why have all your best intentions gone the same way as, let's face it, last year's New Years Resolutions?
30/12/2013 15:06 GMT
Aaah Christmas. A time of jingling sleigh bells and jangling nerves. Of togetherness and family, and massive rows with your nearest and dearest. Yes Christmas is a time for joy and celebration, but it's also a time that causes most people an untold amount of stress.
15/12/2013 20:51 GMT
There. I've started you all off. It's Alcohol Awareness Week from from 18 to 24 November and Alcohol Concern is encouraging people to have conversations about alcohol and how it affects them. The charity hopes to get us talking about the health risks and social problems that are linked with alcohol use.
17/11/2013 23:30 GMT
On National Stress Awareness Day, it is important that people not only check their own stress levels, but that employers and businesses show some willingness to take responsibility for their staff.
05/11/2013 18:23 GMT
On 14 September, Amy Winehouse would have turned 30 if her life had not come to such a tragic end, a fact that is especially poignant to me, as I sit here aged 33, sober, in recovery from addiction and very much alive.
13/09/2013 16:56 BST
From around the age of nineteen, I considered myself a broken person; I was an alcoholic, a prostitute and was plagued by a crippling anxiety disorder. Little did I know that one day it would all be resolved, proving that nothing about me was broken, only lost.
12/09/2013 13:46 BST
A brain chemical called dopamine may be responsible for more of your choices than you think. This much-misunderstood neurotransmitter, whose original function was to ensure our survival, has been somewhat hijacked by the modern world, meaning that more of us are likely to fall prey to addiction and other unwanted behaviours.
23/08/2013 10:28 BST
Much of our unhappiness comes from comparing ourselves to where we think we should be, or where others are, rather than seeing what is positive about our own reality. Instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses, we should be focusing on ourselves and ploughing our unique furrow.
08/08/2013 13:21 BST
Scanning your body for feelings of tension and stress means you can identify them and take corrective action, rather than let them carry on building up until they take you to breaking point.
22/07/2013 12:00 BST