Unbroken Brain – Reading Group Discussion Questions

Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction, by Maia Szalavitz, St. Martin’s Press, April 6, 2016

Unbroken Brain by Maia SzalavitzUnbroken Brain braids together three narratives: Maia Szalavitz’s personal story, what the science reports about addiction, and a call to action to change belief-based addictions treatment to evidence-based treatment.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What could you relate to in Maia’s personal story?
  2. What have you believed to be true about addiction? Has Unbroken Brain challenged your beliefs about addiction? If so, in what ways?
  3. The subtitle of Unbroken Brain is “a revolutionary new way of understanding addiction.” Do you have a new understanding of addiction as a result of reading Unbroken Brain? If so, what are the highlights of what you now understand?
  4. What do you still not understand about addiction? If you could speak with the author, what three questions would you ask her that seem unanswered to you in Unbroken Brain?
  5. If your life, or the lives of loved ones or of those you know, has been touched by addiction, does Unbroken Brain help you better understand what happened? If so, how?
  6. What concepts in Unbroken Brain did you find most challenging? Please select three to discuss.
  7. What concepts in Unbroken Brain did you find most relieving or satisfying? Please select three to discuss.
  8. Has your idea of drugs and drug use changed after reading Unbroken Brain? If so, how?
  9. Did anything in Unbroken Brain shock or surprise you? If so, what?
  10. After reading Unbroken Brain, how would you describe addiction to someone who doesn’t understand it?
  11. Do you feel called to take action after reading Unbroken Brain? If so, what would that be?
  12. What discussion question do you wish had been on this list? Please write it here and consider sharing it with the group: _________________________________________

To learn more about author Maia Szalavitz:

The Reading Group Discussion Questions for Unbroken Brain were written by Anne Giles and Laurel Sindewald.

Last updated 6/18/16