About AddictScience.com


When I entered rehab on July 5, 1996, involuntarily and five times the legal limit for drunk driving, I was certain alcoholism was a personality defect and I was a poster boy for the proposition. As my doctor noted in my medical chart, “He has lots of shame associated with his present problem, does not think he has a disease, just thinks he’s a bad guy.” I dismissed both my doctor’s diagnosis of alcoholism and the 12-Step solution rehab prescribed. But I was to learn I couldn’t have been more wrong.

32 days of rehab shattered my denial of my alcoholism. But when I got out I still didn’t accept that it was a disease and couldn’t shake the stigma I attached to it. But then I studied the science of addiction and learned I’d been wrong about the disease model: addiction really is a brain disease. Addicts have physiologically different brains than “normies,” which explained why I felt and acted the way I did.

Rehab led me to intellectual acceptance of my addiction. But that wasn’t enough. Coming to see that it’s a brain disorder enabled me to reach the emotional acceptance necessary for long-term sobriety.

I created AddictScience.com to help those affected by addiction, particularly for people like I used to be who harbor doubts about whether it’s really a disease or whether treatment works. (For more, click on Doubt Addiction Is A Disease? I Did, and Doubt Treatment Works? I Did.)

I hope the information in this website will help ease the journey others have to travel in coming to terms with addiction, whether their own or a loved one’s.Golden Gate Bridge

Steve Castleman

San Francisco, California

January 2012

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10 Responses to “ About Us ”

  1. omg, this is a really good website that you created. Currently going through ALOT of different things with my son. I just found your site today, and am just now getting into it, but wanted to thank you for sharing all the info I am seeing here. God Bless!!

  2. My husband and I are both in Al Anon to learn how to deal with our son’s addiction. He’s 21 and has had several bottoms and relapses including a couple stays in rehab, jail, prison and a wedding cancellation. He’s currently relapsing. Thank you so much for doing to work to research and inform. Thank you, too, for your honesty and vulnerability to share your experience.

  3. Steve, what an incredibly useful and timely website you’ve created here. Prior to reading this, I felt lost–my ‘qualifier’ is a 28 y.o single son who once had so much promise. Now he’s slipping back into opiate use following 2 inpatient treatments and Intensive Outpatient treatment, all within a matter of 4 months. His addiction, near as I can figure, began earnestly 2 years ago. He has lost his job, been homeless, currently lives in an Oxford house but I expect that will be over in a matter of days, when then he’ll be back on the street, using and panhandling. I found Nar-Anon during this time; it has helped me tremendously.
    I just wanted to express my whole-hearted thank you for your very thorough website.

  4. Hey Steve, I love your site and recommend it to others. Could you please consider updating some content and perhaps writing about Suboxone as a way to transition from opiate addiction to taper, withdrawal and detox? Some people are taking suboxone as a “maintenance” solution and dying a day at a time instead of using as a tool along the path to finding a spiritual solution. The site is starting to look like a relic but your subject is so important and timely.

    Thanks again and best wishes,


  5. Will add “updating re:Suboxone” to my list…

  6. Steve,

    I came across your website today while reviewing articles on Join Together, your link was embedded in a comment on a story on addiction as a disease vs. a moral issue. What a breath of fresh air!

    As an addiction counseling professional and a person in recovery for the past 17+ years, I have become so used to reading comments, articles and websites bashing the disease model of treatment and twelve step programs. I’ve seen Nora Volkow vilified by some Rational Recovery guru as a liar and manipulator, although his primary evidence seems to be that she’s Leon Trotsky’s granddaughter.

    I’ve looked at your sight, find it well laid out and of incredible assistance in explaining the disease of addiction, the program of AA and the link between science and spirituality. I have bookmarked it, and intend to share it with all of those individuals I come across in treatment and in the rooms who seem to struggle with the concepts of addiction as a disease.

    God bless you for the time,effort and love for your fellow addicts that you have put into this site!

  7. Nice post! it shows to other addict out there that there’s still a chance for you to be fully recovered. Just brave enough to convince and enroll your self for a treatment like a rehab center.

  8. Great website! My sobriety date is 8/3/11. Keep up the good work, and I hope you’re enjoying your new life as much as I enjoy mine.

  9. Thank you for the kind words and congratulations on your sobriety.

  10. I am enjoying reading this. I like to share every addiction fact and info that I can find on my methadone support page. Please add some Methadone treatment information, it saves a lot of lives and the stigma scares away too many people that may benefit from this treatment. It is scientifically proven to make a huge, huge difference for so many people. it doesn’t always change someone overnight but the process usually starts quickly and progressesin a good direction. Progress!!! Thank you.

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