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Addiction: Why Can't They Just Stop? [Hardcover]

John Hoffman , Susan Froemke , Sheila Nevins , Susan Cheever
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)


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Book Description

March 6, 2007 1594867151 978-1594867156 First Edition
This companion book to the HBO documentary of the same name sheds light on the hidden American epidemic of addiction. Blending compelling personal narratives with statistics and expert opinion, all gleaned from over two years of research and reporting, ADDICTION offers a comprehensive and provocative look at the impact of chemical dependency on addicts, their loved ones, society, and the economy. Breaking the stigma that addicts are simply weak and immoral, it delves into new brain research proving that drugs and alcohol change the chemical composition of addicts' brains, making it veritably impossible for them to quit. The nation's top experts persuasively argue that the time has come for the blame to stop and the healing to begin.

ADDICTION also features material not included in the documentary: testimonials, original graphics and images, additional elaboration on theories and treatments of addiction, and more. Featuring a foreword by Sheila Nevins, the president of Documentary and Family Programming at HBO, an afterward by the best-selling author Susan Cheever, and the writing of David Sheff, this book is essential reading for anyone who has been impacted by what is now realized to be a very real and widespread disease.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Hoffman--Vice President of HBO Original Programming, has spent the past eleven years creating, producing, and supervising documentary programming for HBO, including the ADDICTION project, Hacking Democracy, the Emmy-nominated Last Letters Home: Voices of American Troops from the Battlefields of Iraq, and In Memoriam, New York City, 9/11/01. Before coming to HBO, Hoffman produced and created the children’s television series Allegra’s Window and served as executive director of AIDSFILMS, where he produced six multi-award-winning films, including AIDS: Changing the Rules.

Susan Froemke has more than twenty-seven nonfiction films to her credit, including the 1976 classic Grey Gardens and the 2001 Academy Award-nominated Lalee’s Kin, an HBO film that was also honored at the Sundance Film Festival. A four-time Emmy Award winner, Froemke won a 2001 Grammy for her work as director and producer of Recording the Producers: A Musical Romp with Mel Brooks. Before starting her own company in 2003, Froemke was the principal filmmaker at Maysles Films, Inc.

Susan Cheever
is the bestselling author of twelve books, including five novels, the memoirs Note Found in a Bottle and Home Before Dark, My Name is Bill, a biography of Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and most recently, American Bloomsbury. She is a director of the Corporation of Yaddo, a member of the Authors Guild Council, and teaches in the Bennington College MFA program and at the New School.

Sheila Nevins
, president of HBO Documentary Films, is responsible for overseeing the development and production of all documentaries and family programming for HBO, Cinemax, and their multiplex channels. During her tenure at HBO, she has received seventeen Primetime Emmy Awards, twenty-four News and Documentary Emmys, and twenty-five Peabody Awards. Nevins has also been honored with a Personal Peabody in 2001 and an Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 for her contributions to the art of the documentary.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (March 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594867151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594867156
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding my son's addiction April 10, 2007
Format:Hardcover
I have asked my son a thousand times----"why can't you just stop?" His "I don't know" would leave me feeling even more bewildered, hopeless, and sad. This book gets to the heart of the matter ----- the difference in brain chemistry ----- which precedes that first drink, hit,or fix and the alteration of brain chemistry-----which follows. My son just entered rehab today and for the first time in a long time I feel a sense of empowerment and HOPE !!! Thank you HBO for delving into this societal problem which is destroying many of our best and brightest.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read April 16, 2007
Format:Hardcover
This is a MUST read for those suffering with addiction. I have read countless books on the subject. This is the only book that I have read that gave me clear cut understanding of addiction. It is very hard to find out where to go for help and this book lays out all of the options and gives the good and bad of each. Before we had insurance, I didn't know there was help out there. This book leads you to places that will help. It will give you a clear starting point. No more calling around and practically begging for information. Its really sad our medical system is like this. This book will surely help. Thank you so much.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to a complex problem. January 18, 2013
By davec
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a physician who has provided medical care to many addicts over the years. I'm also the parent of an addict. Even for someone with medical training, this is one of the hardest illnesses to understand, because it is so damned complex: it is multidimensional in its causation, has both biologic and behavioral components, and leads to complications that are not just medical, but legal, social, and even moral. Of all the questions raised by addiction, perhaps the hardest for people to understand is the one expressed by the subtitle of this book: why can't they just stop? This book approaches this central question about as well as anything else out there. Since most readers are likely to be family or friends of addicts, I would caution you that, although the book goes through the groundwork nicely, you'll ultimately have to find your own workable answer to that central question, ie, as it applies to YOUR addict (and your own role in his/her illness).

The book covers the necessary subtopics well, eg, the various "drugs-of-choice," treatment modalities, and demographics, although I thought the paragraphs devoted to childhood addiction were stronger than those dealing with the young adult addict.

One criticism: This book isn't well suited for e-readers (like Kindle). It has a montage-like format with lots of graphics, sidebars, and quotes. The reading sequence gets lost on a Kindle. Other reviewers have noted the same problem. While I will recommend this book to anyone trying to get a handle on why a loved one is addicted, I would suggest they buy it in hard copy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Why Can't They Just Stop" April 27, 2010
Format:Hardcover
This is one of the best books I have read on the subject of Addiction and alcoholism. It not only is informative for the addict/alcoholic themselves, but it is for everyone who is or has been affected by addiction of some sort. It is also for professionals alike. It gives great insite to the idea that addiction "is" a brain disease. I find in my recovery that there are so many people, friends, family, active & recoverying addicts that can't even begin to understand what addiction really is. That its not we're just a bunch of low life losers who choose this life stlye or death from it. It is a real ptoblem for America and the more people that get involved and educate themselves maybe just maybe there may be more help for those who are so sick that they can't help themselves and if they choose to get help. God willing it will be the "right" help. Not just throw someone into a 28 or 30 day treatment program and then throw them back into the reality they came from and except forever abstinence. It's an issue that needs to be addressed to Medical Ptofessionals, educational institutes that offer classes to get certified or a degree to treat these poor unfourtunates, General MD's should have at the very the very least a crash course in addiction. I went to see what a thought was an MD for my dual-addiction of depression/opiate addict and they teach you in recovery to be brutely honest, because they say you are only as sick as your secrets. When I first sat down with her (she was a 1st yr resident). I told her I was chemically dependent, her response to me was, "what's that"? I could go on and on about how ignorant our society is to the disease of Addiction, but really? Would it do any good? Read the book-it's great!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good information May 6, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very good information given in a simple way. Important for anybody who needs to know facts about this disease.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars understanding the diesase September 21, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wow, this book is so jam packed with information on just about every addiction out there. It touches every addiction from many different angles. It is good to know that Science is progressing in finding ways to help the addicts to recover better. I learned so much about alcoholism and how it really affects the brain. It explains everything so good that anyone can understand "Why they can't just quit". I recommend this book to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the book version of the HBO film documentary same title. Both are excellent. The book and DVD interweaves dialogue with some of the nations top experts in addiction medicine along with heartfelt personal stories of addiction and treatment. I went through rehab twice before my recovery and I wish this type of material was presented in the curriculum. I would highly recommend this book, and the DVD,to all counselors, therapists, rehab centers, doctors, nurses, and others in the field of addiction treatment, and to families and friends of addicts, as well as those struggling with addiction themselves. This book will cut through all of the misconceptions and stigma of the disease. Educational in all aspects of the science of addiction and real eye opener accounts of the personal tragedies and triumphs of those suffering with addiction.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally the truth about addiction
A must read for both family and people suffering from addiction.
Published 12 days ago by JustGeri
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Well written and easy to read. Explanations easy to follow.
Published 1 month ago by miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book on baffling topic
Tremendous book with life saving info
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth England
3.0 out of 5 stars Disjointed
There's a lot of good information in this book; however, it's repeated ("Addiction is a brain disease") so many time one begins to wonder if the multiple authors really... Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Becker
5.0 out of 5 stars CADC Book Requirement
Good book for the course CADC classes. This book give a great overview on additions from the addict point of view.
Published 9 months ago by Reynolds Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars Very insightful.
A wonderful insight into the world of addiction. It deals with all kinds of addictions, explained in very easy to understand terms and quite thoroughly. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Trudie W. Yaeger
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Information
I had to purchase this for the Addiction and Dependency class I was taking for college. It was very insightful and a quick read!
Published 14 months ago by D Kelley
5.0 out of 5 stars Addiction: Why Can't They Just Stop (book)
If only every child could read and know the studies in the chapter by Nora Volkow on the changes that the different drugs actually do to the brain, we may be able to use this... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Glenda H Mockros
4.0 out of 5 stars I got book and satisfied.
The timing seemed too long when I placed the order but arrived sooner than I started looking for the package.
The book was in good shape. Thanks!
Published 20 months ago by Dianna Ridge
5.0 out of 5 stars To educate myself
To know better what my 22 year old grandson is suffering through. No fault of his, the damn drug dealers. We need to crack down on them.
Published 20 months ago by ORELINE SWEENEY
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