Book Review: Interventions: Opposing Viewpoints edited by Susan Hunnicut


I saw this book on my local library’s new books shelf and am very glad it picked it up. . This is one of the best books I have read on the basics of addition and treatment. Of course, many of the chapters espouse my point of view, and I like them best, but even the viewpoints I disagree with are well-written and referenced.

There are four chapters, with various articles taken from other sources in each chapter that support the theme. The book is easy to read, the language is not highly medical or technical, and at the beginning of each article, there are questions to think about as you read.

Chapter 1: Is Substance Abuse a Serious Problem? addresses the issue of substance abuse in the “baby boomers’, on college campuses and in the workplace, as well as the effects of addiction on the family and includes opposing viewpoints on whether addiction is a “brain disease.”

In Chapter 2: Is Intervention the Best Approach to Addiction? different models of intervention are discussed, including Harm Reduction, which is an approach I use in my practice, especially with adolescents. The discussion about different models of intervention is important, as many people are only familiar with the style of intervention popularized on the TV show “Intervention”.  It is important to know that that is only one style of intervention, one that makes good TV, and although it seems to be effective, the course of treatment available to the addicts on the show are not the most commonly available or affordable treatments.
Chapter 3: Who Should be Involved in Substance Abuse Interventions? discusses more than which family members should be involved, but also, who else such as friends and employers and why. Of course there is the reminder that professional help is important, as families who aren’t prepared can be disappointed or sidelined by the addict. There is also a discussion about medical professionals and screening for addiction issues.

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