4. Cooling the flame: pictures of addiction, chronic pain, and recovery

What do a delicious glass of red wine and a nagging backache have in common? Not much, our intuition tells us. One experience (if you enjoy a good red) is something to be savored and something to look forward to at the end of a long, grueling day. The other is something we’ll do just about anything to get away from—including, perhaps, drinking too much red wine.

As brain researchers lift the lid on the raw neural experiences of physical addiction and intractable pain, they are discovering that the wars they wage on our bodies and minds can be won, or lost, on surprisingly similar ground. If the glass of red wine becomes addictive, or if the pain becomes chronic, chances ...

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