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Of the people who use drugs, 80 to 90 percent don’t become addicted, and of those who actually do become addicted, 80 to 90 percent overcome those addictions without any professional help; they just seem to naturally outgrow their addictions over time. These numbers are surprising to many people, perhaps because we live in a culture that encourages the idea that drugs almost invariably lead to addiction due to their chemical composition and the way these substances interact with the body. But under this over-medicalized view of drug use, how can we make sense of these numbers? This question underlies many of the topics explored by Aaron Ferguson and Zach Rhoads on The Social Exchange podcast, which is aimed at placing the concept of “addiction” in a much broader context than most people are used to.

On today’s episode, Ferguson and Rhoads discuss a number of perspectives on the nature of addiction, the philosophy of harm reduction, how to understand chemical dependency, and so much more.

Press play to hear the full conversation.

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