[Podcast] Could it be Time to Decriminalize Drugs? – SMART Recovery


Maia Szalavitz is an award-winning, best-selling author and opinion writer, whose focus is on changing the narrative of addiction and recovery. Two of her books Undoing Drugs: The Untold Story of Harm Reduction and the Future of Addiction and Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, are among a long list of publications that address this issue.

In this podcast, Maia talks about:

  • Her New York Times opinion piece about Oregon decriminalizing drug possession
  • How external forces undermine internal motivation
  • How the Black Lives Matter Movement shows the racial disparities in the justice system
  • That criminal drug laws aren’t based on science and how emotions are decision algorithms
  • The debate over decriminalization is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what actually works
  • Explaining the analogy of addiction to that of falling in love or having a baby; people do crazy things
  • People with addiction are not lazy, they are hurting
  • Trying to punish our way out of addiction is not the answer
  • Why it’s important to meet people where they are and welcome them to treatment
  • Not calling doctor prescribed medication Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Why we need more expansive definitions of recovery
  • How chronic pain patients are being negatively affected by the opioid epidemic

Additional resources:


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