Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy

Book - 2013
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Addiction is a preventable, treatable disease, not a moral failing. As with other illnesses, the approaches most likely to work are based on science -- not on faith, tradition, contrition, or wishful thinking.

These facts are the foundation of Clean , a myth-shattering look at drug abuse by the author of Beautiful Boy . Based on the latest research in psychology, neuroscience, and medicine, Clean is a leap beyond the traditional approaches to prevention and treatment of addiction and the mental illnesses that usually accompany it. The existing treatment system, including Twelve Step programs and rehabs, has helped some, but it has failed to help many more, and David Sheff explains why. He spent time with scores of scientists, doctors, counselors, and addicts and their families to learn how addiction works and what can effectively treat it. Clean offers clear, cogent counsel for parents and others who want to prevent drug problems and for addicts and their loved ones no matter what stage of the illness they're in. But it is also a book for all of us -- a powerful rethinking of the greatest public health challenge of our time.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
ISBN: 9780547848655
Characteristics: xxii, 374 p.


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Feb 14, 2019

This was an informative and interesting read. It's written from the perspective of a father whose son struggled with addiction, and the journey to find answers, being a follow up to the memoir 'beautitul boy'. It takes the reader through several aspects of recovery, from the science of why we get addicted, to the outcomes, including the efficacy of different treatment styles and fellowships. I liked the book because it was modern and scientific and thorough. What I think could've been better is the perspective. Since it is written by someone not in recovery themselves, I feel that the voice sometimes 'otherizes' the addicted person. Also, a few too many traumatic stories of bright young lives who were cut tragically short by addiction are included, you almost start cringing when he starts talking about "the promising life of Jeff the star athlete" when you know it's going to end in ruin. Overall though, the book was informative and worth reading to anyone who wants to explore the recovery industry, or the effects of drugs on individuals, especially kids.

StephanieOne Dec 06, 2018

A very insightful book about new thinking when it comes to addiction and treatment. Goes against traditional thinking that all you need is 12 Steps and a higher power, and challenges the thinking that addiction is a choice rather than a disease. Some fantastic resources, with references made to different drugs and classifications of drugs, and how their effects on the brain and treatment for them differ from others.
This is a must-read for anyone who is dealing with addiction, knows someone dealing with addiction, or works with those dealing with addiction.

Mark_Daly Nov 16, 2013

A very useful and practical introduction to the newest thinking on this contentious subject. Reframes drug abuse as a consequence of underlying mental illness, and argues for better treatment of the root causes.

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