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Hidden Epidemic Paperback – October 1, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0978726355 ISBN-10: 0978726359

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O's Little Book of Happiness
"O's Little Book of Happiness"
A collection of thoughtful and affecting writing on happiness-the first in a series of inspirational books from O. Magazine. Learn more | More in Self-Help

Product Details

  • Paperback: 147 pages
  • Publisher: Tiger Iron Press (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978726359
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978726355
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,793,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Craig Rikard has chronicled the effects of parental addiction on children in this moving and informative book.
Cindy Jarrard
This book has served to help me understand what a child and even adult child goes through when dealing with a parent battling drug addiction.
Rebecca Rikard
Dr. Rickard provides insight into the emotional drama and devastation inflicted upon families by substance abuse.
bspivey82

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Steve Miller on November 27, 2010
Over 25 percent of American children live with at least one parent who's abusing drugs. Since that's tantamount to an epidemic, Dr. Craig Rikard titles his memoir of growing up with a mom addicted to Valium: Hidden Epidemic: Mama, Why Don't You Remember our Names Anymore?

Often, agencies and counselors have tried to help people with their addictions, while giving little help to the children of addicts. While this book explores the downward cycle faced by Rikard's mom, it's told through the eyes of the child who's growing up in this toxic environment. With well-written (often beautifully written), clear prose, Rikard recounts his painful childhood with enough vivid detail to make the reader feel like he's been invited to live with this dysfunctional family for a time. While it's a painful visit, it's so illuminative that it's hard to put down. And, amazingly, while Rikard could have easily lived the rest of his life in anger, lashing out at the world, he instead finds hope, light, and redemption in his story.

Having people close to me who have dealt with long-term addictions, I found myself captivated with the story. So much was unexpected. I could have guessed that family members would struggle with enabling this out-of-control addict. Also, I could have guessed that the children would have lost many childhood experiences and childhood freedoms. What I couldn't have guessed was how his mom's addiction led her to treat one child as a favorite who could do no wrong and another as an unwanted, unloved, and even despised child.

For me, the tragic beauty of this book lies in its ability to help me feel like I'm living in this family and experiencing their pain. I felt the children's lonely struggle to comprehend what was happening.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Jarrard on November 10, 2010
Craig Rikard has chronicled the effects of parental addiction on children in this moving and informative book. As a mental health provider, I found this book to be unique in that it is presented from the perspective of an adult child growing up with an addicted mother and an enabling father. The consequences of addiction on family life and the healthy development of children are profiled in an emotional, yet factual way. Dr. Rikard is an eloquent writer and has penned a book appropriate for the lay person and the professional alike. A must read for anyone interested in addiction or working in the field of mental health, particularly with children or adolescents.

Cindy Jarrard, RN, MSN
Georgia
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Russell on June 26, 2011
The judge for the memoir category tagged this Memoir as one with a strong voice. Another commentator on this book said that he might not have bought this book but it is very well written and drew him in when I asked him to read it. Rikard is courageous. When he accepted the Georgia Author of the Year Award (GAYA) at Kennesaw State University Center he did so on his sister's behalf. His sister committed suicide early in her life because she had not been able to cope with the addiction of her mother. Rikard accepted the prestigious award on Jenny's behalf saying, "Today I feel the period has been removed, and a comma stands in its place. Jenny's life and death speak powerfully to others in Hidden Epidemic, allowing them to identify with her pain, and hopefully seek the help that is now available."

Read this book if you have or had any hidden addictions in your family. See other winners of the Georgia Author of the Year at [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Rikard on November 19, 2010
After reading this book, I have to wonder how many children do suffer in silence as parents or caregivers live life for the next feeling of euphoria. I have personally seen the struggles that a child must suffer with a parent addicted to mood altering medications. This book has served to help me understand what a child and even adult child goes through when dealing with a parent battling drug addiction. Hidden Epidemic should be read by all, because it serves to give a voice to children suffering in silence.
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I just finished "Hidden Epidemic", and read it cover to cover in an afternoon. It is a tragic, touching, insightful look at 2 childrens lives, told by the son of an addict. We tend to think of addicts as living on the street, dirty, alone. . but the truth is we live, work, worship with addicts every day. Most are functioning addicts and put on a very "normal family" appearance to the casual observer. Yet, the horror and truth is that the children live a lie and are in constant fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. The addict themself is in denial and sucks everyone into their addiction by manipulation, tyranny, whatever it takes to get their next fix and maintain the look of normalcy. They have no sense of normalcy, and in Craigs home, his mother divided the children, choosing to love and adore him; while cruelly treating his younger sister. You ache and cry for Jenny, and I was left wondering who she might have been and become given the love she deserved. Craig channeled his feelings into ministry and as a result has such a compassionate spirit and heart because he knows what suffering is, both psychological as well as physical. This book affirms that we don't know what goes on behind closed doors; and to be kinder than necessary, as we don't know what others are dealing with. And unlike days past where families tended their own and looked the other way, to be our brother's keeper, to offer help or question when things don't look quite right. This book will speak to any person raised in a dysfunctional home, and should help teachers and mental health professionals be more aware of what may be happening in a childs life. The child is not going to come out and tell you in most cases. And regardless of the abuse and cruelty, a child still loves their parent, it is all they have. . .
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