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Why Don't They Just Quit? Perfect Paperback – January 1, 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Joe's book helps us to understand the addiction and recovery process. He combines a lifetime of personal and professional experience dealing with this issue in a practical and highly personal overview. The book is excellent. I wish I had read it a year ago.--Sheriff Joe Pelle, Boulder County, Colorado

As a recovering person myself, I found this book to be full of facts that will be useful in sharing with visitors having questions at our weekly meetings. I especially appreciate that Joe included the spiritual part of recovery, which may keep some in recovery focused on helping others. Most importantly, the underlying message that I read was anyone can recover, bringing hope to those seeking direction.--Vicki Beatty, Celebrate Recovery Leader/Covenant Chapel, Leawood, Kansas

This book will be valued by many, many people. A very meaningful gift of God's grace to families who need sanity in the middle of their runaway insanity. --Mike Richards Jr., Director of Recovery Ministries/International Bible Society, Houston, Texas

Your story has encouraged me and helped me to deal with my son's addictions and has given me great peace as a parent. I no longer feel alone with a terrible cloud of guilt, my son's choices have been his own, and I as a parent have done all I can. I will continue to love him and encourage him and, as far as possible allow him to make his mistakes knowing that it is okay to do so. Your book exposed my own trigger points and how I can handle them better. I can put away the guilt and the shame, pick up my own pieces and move forward, helping him to do the same. --Kathy Cowley, Parent, Longmont, Colorado

. . . stayed up late last night reading various parts of it; inspiring! This book is for people like me; someone with chemically addicted people in their life. If you, or someone you know and love, are living in the tornado of addiction, finding it spinning you around with your loved one, then this book can be one of the most clear/helpful guides in understanding how to navigate through the confusion, drama and pain that is associated with addiction in a family. Passionate, humble, full of wisdom . . . a must read for the addicted and those who care about them. --Donna Schwartz, MFT, CAC III Valley Hope Treatment Services in Colorado, former Family Program Therapist of Parker Valley Hope Treatment Center

Many of you reading this book are facing the battle of your life. Alcohol and drugs consumed my daughter's life. I can't put into words the anguish of attending my daughter's funeral. I wish I would have had this book long ago. Maybe Mia would still be here. I didn't know how to help her.

Why Don't They Just Quit?
is full of answers I could have used.
--Pam M. (Mia's Mom), Niwot, Colorado

This book is a must read not only for families of addicts and alcoholics looking for answers, but for anyone who has been intrigued by irrational compulsions and wondered how recovery takes place. I consider Why Don't They Just Quit? to be one of the top five recovery books for families and I anticipate it being widely used by treatment programs throughout the country. --Nicholas Taylor, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist, National Expert on the Treatment of Methamphetamine Addiction

About the Author

Joe Herzanek, a man who battled his own demons of addiction over thirty years ago, says, I know people can change. If I can do it, anyone can! Joe's own life struggles and practical advice offer hope and solutions to those living amidst the turmoil of someone's alcohol and drug abuse. Chaplain Joe Herzanek is the president and founder of Changing Lives Foundation. As an addiction counselor in Colorado he spent sixteen years working in the criminal justice system as the Chaplain at the Boulder County Jail. Joe is the former host of Recovery Television, speaker, producer of several DVDs and author of the award-winning book Why Don't They Just Quit? His passion is for helping men and women struggling with addiction, as well as their family members and friends. Chaplain Joe Herzanek and his wife Judy have three children, Jami, Jake, and Jessica, and enjoy the beautiful Colorado outdoors with their two Cairn Terriers, Lewis and Clark.

Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Changing Lives Foundation; Second Edition edition (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0578041197
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578041193
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Perfect Paperback
In the past, the advice given to drug addicts and alcoholics was to simply exercise their will power to give up their affliction. Advances in medical science have shown that this advice was naive and ineffectual for most alcoholics and the vast majority of addicts. Whether dealing with legal substances such as alcohol and tobacco, or illegal substances such as heroin and cocaine, or misused substances such as prescription drugs, simple will power proved insufficient to wean the substance abuser from their addiction. "Why Don't They Just Quit?: What families and friends need to know about addiction and recovery" by Joe Herzanek (himself a recovering addict and the founder of the Changing Lives Foundation) is a 300-page compendium of practical information and sound advice for the families and friends of substance abusers and explains why their friend or family member need not 'hit bottom' before being able to successfully deal with their addiction. "Why Don't They Just Quit?" also cogently addresses a variety of germane subjects including how and when helping is not helpful; that quitting is not the same as recovering; dealing with relapses; obtaining financial discounts on treatment options; the role of faith and hope as part of the recovery process; effective intervention strategies; and an impressive variety of other commonly posed questions. Thoroughly 'reader friendly', "Why Don't They Just Quit?" is essential reading for anyone having to deal with a family member or a friend who is a substance abuser, and a very strongly recommended addition to community library Self-Help reference collections.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
As the author myself of 3 books on drugs and addiction I'm quite familiar with the lives of addicts and their loved ones. This book by Joe Herzanek is one of the very best by far on this subject. The book is easy to read, divided into sections so you can look for whatever topic you're most interested in and go straight to it. But you won't stop at one section or two or three; you will be compelled to read the book in its entirety.

Written by a recovering addict, the book is insightful, informative and truthful. There are so many standout sentences and phrases that it's hard to select just a few but the following really grabbed me. The book tells that addiction is primary, progressive, chronic, and fatal. It is the "chronic" part that I wish every addicted person could come to understand. "This means that the disease will always be with the addicted person. There is no cure for addiction. With the right treatment, it will go into remission, and it will stay in remission as long as the person doesn't start using again ... it's not gone; it's just not active."

Another critical part of the book that Joe exposes is the myth of "having to hit bottom." I've always felt that nobody should wait until they hit bottom, because all too often that's way too late. As Joe says, we need to "raise the bottom," by encouraging people to seek help earlier rather than later.

I am on the Parent Advisory Board of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America and this is where I learned about the adolescent brain which is indeed "a work in progress." Joe astutely describes how, if children begin using drugs early, for instance age 13, "the brain will learn to expect these substances as part of its development.
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Format: Perfect Paperback
If someone you care about is suffering from addiction and you don't know what to do, this is the book for you. Clear, reasonable advice from someone who has "been there, done that." You won't find any Hollywood stories here, just straight suggestions and and a ton of real life experience that works. Buy this book for someone you know who needs help, and buy it for their family members. The advice you'll get here is the truth, and the truth will heal you and set you free. Highly recommended!!
Michael Z The Wisdom of the Rooms
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Just Love Her: A Mother's Journey of Healing Through Her Daughter's Drug AddictionJoe Herzanek's book, "Why Don't They JUST QUIT" is an eye opener about addiction from a man who has been held by the chains of addiction, first hand. He has been to places and talks about it openly in his discussions about how addiction affected his relationships with his family, friends and community at large. He also talks frankly about how he had to learn to humble himself to re-build those relationships that were destroyed during his active years in addiction. He gives the read HOPE that it is possible to create a better life and ultimately healthy relationships with those in his life. He explores how addiction begins as a lonely, vulnerable illness which turns into a life of manipulation and lies and how he chose to look at himself in the mirror and rise above his shame and guilt and turn it into a service to others. Why Don't They JUST QUIT is also an excellent resource book for those wanting to know a little or a lot about addiction, it is up to the reader. It is written in a way that the lay person can begin the journey of compassion towards the addict in their lives and to themselves and how they relate to that person. Joe, thank you for exposing the truth about addiction and how it impacts each and every person. You are a gift to those who take the time to read through the pages of your book.
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