Books on addiction that I’ve read recently.

Posted on September 21, 2009. Filed under: Addiction Resources/Support |

I just started reading the book, Healing the Addicted Brain, by Harold C. Urschel, III, MD

The premise of this book seems to be that alcoholism/addiction, is a chronic brain disease that cannot respond to talk therapy until the brain chemistry is changed. “New, scientifically-based approaches that recognize the biological basis of addiction have brought major advances in the treatment of addiction.  Dr. Urscehl is at the forefront of this treatment paradigm.” The philosophy that addiction is a brain disease and not just a matter of poor will power or weak moral character, helps soften me a bit towards my daughter.  We’ll see.

Other books that I’ve read this summer and were helpful in their addiction information/messages were:

The Lost Years, Surviving a Mother and Daughter’s  Worst Nightmare, by Kristina Wandzilak and Constance Curry.

A child caught in the depravity of alcohol and drug addiction; a mother helplessly standing by unable to save her.  The Lost Years is the real life story of just such a mother and child, each giving their first hand accounts of the years lost to addiction and despair. Both mother and daughter are now in recovery – the mother from co-dependency and the ravaging effects of an addicted loved one; and the daughter, Kristina, from her alcohol and cocaine addictions.  Kristina is now a nationally acclaimed speaker on addiction and is a professional addiction interventionist.  Visit her website at:       

beautiful boy: a father’s journey through his son’s addiction, by David Sheff

This book is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional rollercoaster of loving a child who seems beyond help. I typed up and   categorized all of  my underlines in this book – 8 pages!  I’ll attach and/or post them if I can figure out how.  This book contains a lot of good information about meth addiction and brain chemistry; but, again, the most compelling component of the book was the personal story of father David, and son, Nic.

The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure, by Chris Prentiss

This book is essentially an advertisement for the Passages Treatment Center programs that take a holistic approach  to recovery.  The book/treatment centers claim to:  “Heal the Underlying Causes, How to End Relapse, How to End  Suffering”.  “Freedom from dependency starts with understanding that alcohol and drugs are not the problems,” says Chris Prentiss, cofounder of Passages. “They are merely the substances you are using to help yourself cope with your real problems . . . “  Duh. Passages’ 30 day treatment program seems insanely expensive (~$75,000) and too short to truly effectively uncover an addict’s deep emotional problems that drove them to use in the first place.  Although I’m not completely sold on 12 step based treatment programs, they at least have ubiquitous aftercare support groups (AA) in place that are accessible and free.  I’m not sure what a “graduate” from the Passages does to keep him/herself on the path of sobriety. The personal struggle of Prentiss’ son, Pax, who was addicted to heroin, cocaine, and alcohol for ten years, was the best part of the book, in my opinion.  It gave me some insight in to the power of addiction and information about the physical withdrawal from heroin that was helpful.


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One Response to “Books on addiction that I’ve read recently.”

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Thank you for these resources! “Healing the Addicted Brain” is on my resource listt too (which I’m still putting together and haven’t published yet). We learned about this at the rehab clinic — the brain chemistry. Our counselor explained it with an excellent diagram. If I can find or create a graphic of that, I will pass it along. Thank you for being here!

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