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No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Paperback – April 25, 2006


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No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction + Love First: A Family's Guide to Intervention + It Takes A Family: A Cooperative Approach to Lasting Sobriety
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553383604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553383607
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Addiction counselors have typically assumed several things: recovery can occur only when the addict decides he or she needs help; this happens only when the addict hits "rock bottom"; until then, the addict's loved ones should detach emotionally. But Jay, an intervention specialist and author of Love First, believes that untreated addiction is unacceptable because it wrecks families and destroys lives. She outlines a plan to help families get assistance for their addicted loved one without waiting for "rock bottom." Intriguingly, Jay also casts the battle against addiction as a kind of spiritual war: she redefines detachment as "a spiritual quality that makes action possible," and describes such action as an act of faith. A fascinating section entitled "What We Know Now," details current genetic and neuroscientific research into people's varying susceptibilities to addiction. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

DEBRA JAY is the co-author of the Hazelden Guidebooks, Love First: A New Approach to Intervention, and Aging and Addiction. A graduate of the Hazelden Addiction Professional Training Program, she currently provides private intervention consultation to families throughout the United States and Canada. Debra appears regularly on Oprah, has been featured in Prevention Magazine and More Magazine, and is a national speaker and workshop leader. She resides in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, with her husband, Jeff Jay, where she writes a regular advice column for The Grosse Pointe News.

Customer Reviews

Well written book.
Lorraine Labana
Furthermore, it offers direction and hope rather than the advice to detach while the addiction takes your loved one down and you with him or her.
A. Hansbarger
If one of your family members is an alcoholic or a drug addict, you should read this book.
Rob

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A. Hansbarger on November 8, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book I've found on the topic of addiction. I liked it so much, I've bought multiple copies and handed them out to people in need. It is full of compassion and remarkably free of blame for both the person with the addiction and the family members who suffer the effects. Furthermore, it offers direction and hope rather than the advice to detach while the addiction takes your loved one down and you with him or her.

This book is well-written (clear and concise) and easy to read (which is a good thing if you're in the chaos of an active addiction), but it is also thorough and profound. I especially like that Jay takes a detailed, but not overly-complicated look at the brain processes that lead to addiction, manipulation, hypervigilance, and other ill effects.

The last portion gives information about putting together an intervention (and why talking to the addict on your own is likely to be met with frustration). Confronting an active addiction requires a group effort and careful planning. Debra and Jeff Jay's book "Love First" goes into greater detail about how to do an intervention. Both books are excellent, but I recommend this book over "Love First" as a starting point.

Addiction is a medical issue, not a moral issue. It is a brain disease that causes immoral actions. Your loved one cannot pull themselves up by their bootstraps because, if they are addicted, they lack bootstraps! Even if your loved one is taking illegal drugs, it is likely they began taking drugs (illegal or legal) at a young age, before the decision-making area of their brain was fully developed.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Rob on July 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Debra Jay has been on Oprah more than a few times. She's the blond lady with the glasses who is always so direct with addicts and their families. Her new book is a revelation. Basically, her idea is that there should be zero tolerance for untreated addiction in the family. After all, why should the alcoholic have the right to "hit bottom" in their own sweet time, when the family is suffering?

She brings up an interesting analogy. Twenty-five years ago, drunk driving was tolerated. Bartenders even gave people to-go cups! Then, two women who had children killed by drunk drivers, started MADD and everything changed. Now, even the beer companies say "friends don't let friends drive drunk."

Debra Jay is proposing that the same thing should happen with alcoholism and drug addiction. Treatment works (it worked in my family) and so we should have zero tolerance for untreated addiction.

She makes some good points about how an alcoholic is like a magician who uses misdirection to fool everyone. If you've ever tried to talk to an addict, you know how they blame everything and everybody but themselves. She shows how to take action to stop that kind of thing, and how to start organizing an intervention.

If one of your family members is an alcoholic or a drug addict, you should read this book. It is amazing.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By geewhybooklover on June 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Borrowed this book from the library and after reading two chapters had to buy it! Sat with my highlighter and immersed myself in this book. I really liked the short chapters and the way Debra Jay makes this information so personal. There is so much information for everyone who has ever had someone in their life with an addiction. The information about how we are also immersed in this disease is invaluable. If you've never come to terms with addiction being a disease, read this book. If you want your lives to change, there's lot of information in this easy to read book.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. E. Saxe on December 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book based on the reviews and the description on the website. I have to say I am somewhat disappointed. She initially talks about how the idea of detachment, loved one's detaching themselves from the addict and living their own lives, is incredibly difficult if not impossible to achieve. I am in total agreement with her there. However, she then kept referring to this idea and after a while I got the feeling she was trying to prove something, but I'm not sure to whom. As a reader I felt that I had purchased her book, I was willing to be open to her ideas, so why beat the same drum over and over again? Was she writing for the wider audience of, perhaps, other addiction specialists out there? Anyway, it went on for too long.

The other criticism I have is that her discussion of an intervention supposes that we all have large families and a wide network of friends to draw from in staging one. I find this view a bit limited and naive. From my own experience, I can say that my husband comes from a family of substance abusers(not ideal candidates for an intervention)and that his network of friends includes, guess who?, a wide network of users. So, the book did not give me the answers I was looking for. I will have to search elsewhere. She alludes to working with a professional if you can't build up a large team, but I think she could have put a little more into this alternative.

That said, I do think this book is worth reading. Her descriptions of interventions are good and offer hope to those of us struggling against the disease of alcoholism/addiction.

Keep strength.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Debra Jay is the author of No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, published by Bantam in 2006. She has also co-authored the bestseller, Love First: A Family's Guide to Intervention, and Aging and Addiction: Helping Older Adults Overcome Alcohol or Medication Dependence.

Ms. Jay regularly appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show for 3 seasons as an addictions expert. She has most recently been seen on The Dr. Oz Show. She is a nationally renowned public speaker and has been writing a newspaper column on alcohol and drugs since 1996.

She is in private practice, providing intervention training and consultation services to families throughout the United States and globally. She previously worked as an addiction clinician for the Hazelden Foundation.
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No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction
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