Recommended Books

Adult Children of Alcoholicsby Janet Gerhringer Woititz
Coming Home: The Return to True Selfby Martia Nelson
Don’t Let Your Kids Kill You by Charles Rubin
Everything Changes:  Help for Families of Newly Recovering Addicts by Beverly Conyers
Loving An Addict, Loving Yourself: The top 10 Survival Tips for Loving Someone with an Addiction by Candace Plattor
Sweat: A Practical Plan for Keeping Your Heart Intact While Loving An Addict by Denise Krochta
The New Codependency by Melody Beattie
Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher
No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction by Debra Jay

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.

Chapter 4: Should Interventions be Televised? has interesting discussions about why it should or should not and what it is/is not. The issue of whether or not an impaired person should be prevented from driving by the producers is a good one. In my opinion, an impaired person should never be allowed to get behind the wheel of a car.

The book has an excellent bibliography for further study and information and a very good list of organizations to contact for help and more information. Of course it is not exhaustive, that is a volume in itself, but it is a very good foundation to start with, and a must read if you are considering an intervention for a loved one. It is also a good resource if you want to know more about addiction, and wisely reminds the reader that intervention is only the first step to recovery.

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