The Same 24 Hours

Dr. Howard Wetsman: On Ending Addiction in America

May 4, 2020

Howard Wetsman, MD is an Addiction Psychiatrist who has pioneered the treatment of addiction as a primary complex biological illness regardless of reward involved. He has been using genetics to guide the treatment of patients for over 10 years in various capacities.

He currently blogs at and and has a web series on YouTube called Ending Addiction.

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“The drug isn’t the agent that causes addiction”- Dr. Howard Wetsman

Top takeaways:

  • Why addiction should be classified as an illness.
  • The role of dopamine in accelerating and decelerating addiction.
  • Why drugs aren’t the cause of addiction.
  • The genetic components that affect addiction levels.

Key Moments:

  • [1:28] What did Dr. Howard learn in medical school about alcoholism?
  • [4:00] Why he uses the term illness when defining addiction.
  • [6:13] The story of addiction and where it began in America.
  • [8:14] The power of chemical dopamine release, its functions, and how its contribution to addiction.
  • [16:04] Dr. Howard’s mission of making addiction not a problem in America since there’s no sophisticated medicine for the illness.
  • [20:37] How he made a solution for addiction and why he believes nobody cares about it.
  • [23:22] He shares his views on ASAM’s decision of coming up with another definition of addiction.
  • [27:30] Why we need to work on our attachment on drugs and not the drug itself.
  • [32:21] He explains the genetic component that affects dopamine which in turn affects addiction.
  • [39:53] Do drugs really cause addiction?
  • [43:07] Why cocaine in itself doesn’t release dopamine.


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