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Almost Addicted: Is My (or My Loved One's) Drug Use a Problem? (The Almost Effect) Paperback – October 3, 2012
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About the Author
J. Wesley Boyd, MD, PhD, is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He also has staff duties at Boston Children’s Hospital and teaches and gives lectures at Cambridge Health Alliance and other institutions. Boyd has written articles for the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Time.com.Eric Metcalf, MPH, is an Indianapolis-based medical writer, editor, and health educator. He has authored or contributed to dozens of books on health and fitness, including the best-selling Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies line and other popular book franchises. He has also contributed to several magazines, including Prevention and Better Homes and Gardens, and health websites, such as Health.com. He has a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a master’s in public health.
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© 2012 written by Jackie Paulson
Title Almost Addicted
Author Wesley Boyd & Eric Metcalf
Genre Medical, Self Help
Year Published 2012/Hazelden
Foreword "I once overheard a mother counseling her grown daughter to avoid dating a man she thought had a drinking problem. The daughter said, "Mom, he's not an
Alcoholic!" The mother quickly responded, "Well, maybe not, but he almost is."
What is the book about? "Almost addicted" is one of a series of books by faculty members from Harvard Medical School and other experts. The books describe in simple language how to recognize and what to do about some of the most common behavioral and emotional problems that fall within the range between normal and full blow pathology. What is pathology? It is the pathology is the precise study and diagnosis of disease.
Why read this book? It will help a person recognize and address real issues now so
that changes can be made before it's too late. You will be able to alleviate pain and
suffering now and prevent more serious problems later. Readers can find help in the
self assessments and the advice offered which in turn will open doors for healthcare professionals to intervene more effectively. This book is intended to help people who are not substance dependent but who nonetheless show what doctors call "maladaptive use," which is drug use that causes harm. Although alcohol is commonly used and abused in the depressant area and addictive this book covers drugs other than alcohol.
This is a guidebook for sorting through the many questions and issues that arise from the drug use whether it be a you, a close friend, relative or family member. It will tell you if you have crossed a line to where some drug use is crossing over to "almost addicted." You will be able to determine the clarity of drug use and decide to find intervention. Finally it will tell you of those who do decided that their drug use has crossed into the almost addicted and how to proceed and the resources that are
available. If you think someone you know or love might be almost addicted then this book will determine whether a problem is really starting before it's too late. It will give solutions and answers to questions you need to know now. This book will show you how people become almost addicted and then describe how they think, feel and behave when they're almost addicted. You will also learn numerous methods of initiating a change for the better.
Why not make a positive step in the right direction today? If you do, please contact the authors and share your success story!
Introduction Are you a person who thinks that smoking marijuana and thinks your life
is better than if you did not have your daily dose of it? Do you claim that it is a natural substance not a drug? Do you point out the fact that marijuana has been legalized in some states? These sentences point to the fact that you either are addicted or almost addicted. Drinkers have their own lines of defense. They will tell themselves and others that they don't have a problem. I is so true that most would think picturing someone whose life is visible unstable are the true addicts when it's quite the contrary.
All of these are examples of undeniably drug dependent and the stories keep compiling daily. "Even if you don't have a full blown addiction and you haven't' had major difficulties in your life because of substance abuse, your drug of choice can negatively impact your life and those around you. Why do you choose the drug of your choice? I it to obtain a buzz? Is it to relax? Is it to just feel good? Maybe it is all of the above!
My notes from the Introduction What types of drugs are common knowledge? There
are three categories: stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens. They each bring
something different for the user. An example of illegal drug is the use of heroin and
prescription medications which are not illegal. Either way they are used for purposes that cause harm to the user. What is a Stimulant? These drugs speed people "up" and make you feel "happy" or "on cloud nine." Did you know they increase your heart rate and blood pressure and can cause anxiety and panic attacks. Cocaine is one drug that is a stimulant and illegal.
List of Stimulants that are Amphetamine-based include Adderall, Vyvanse, and
Dexedrine. Methylphenidate-based drugs include; Ritalin, Concerta, Focalin and
Metadate. These types of drugs are commonly used today to treat attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder, they are given by doctors and can make a person feel moody
and feel elation. Creating a euphoric feeling is the basis of this type of drug use.
Crystal meth (methamphetamine) is a very addictive form of amphetamine. The hard
part is when a user wants to stop taking these types of drugs feel will feel extremely lethargic and depressed and lack the motivation to do much of anything.
Depressants are used to feel calmer, zone out or relax. They decrease blood pressure and reduce overall tension in the body. For example painkillers and benzodiazepines are commonly abused today. Painkillers are similar to heroin and are commonly used today. They include Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Percocet to relieve pain. Another
common category of antidepressants is benzodiazepines or benzos. They are a short term anxiety relieving drug. Those included in this category are Valium, Klonopin, Ativan and Xanax.
Hallucinogens are drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), mushrooms,
mescaline, and Salvia. It gives the person hallucinations, visions ad dreams. Most
people think it helps them think better and make better decisions when in fact that is a false assumption.
Marijuana is really in a class by itself and the most commonly used drug besides the
form of alcohol. Marijuana is used for medical reasons and do have a proper place. It will help a person increase their appetite, reduce pain, rid nausea, decrease intraocular (inside the eyes) pressure if a person has glaucoma, and reduce symptoms of some neurological disorders.
PART ONE: A Problem Emerges from the Shadows leads into the book and valuable
stories to help you along your journey.
I enjoyed reading this educational book as I am not an addict. I am in the Security field and being addicted is not an option. I am proud to say I have never done drugs unless surgery was the only option. This book is educational and inspirational and has helped me deal with a family member and their addiction. Thank you for letting me have a free copy for my honest review.
© 2012 (OCT) Jackie Paulson
Do you wonder if you just use drugs or, rather, that you abuse drugs? Has someone close to you made a comment about you use of alcohol, cocaine, painkillers, or marijuana (or commented more than once)? This book's purpose is to help you determine whether or not you're progressing towards full-blow addiction or not. And it provides suggestions for how to turn things around before things get really ugly.
Now, if you're asking these questions on behalf of someone else--wondering about your spouse or sibling's drug use--this book will also help answer those questions as well. It will help you sort out the difference between a potential problem and less worrisome occasional drug use.
The book should answer the following questions--and more:
Why stop using drugs if I'm not actually an addict?
Why do I feel like my spouse has a drug problem, but I can't exactly pinpoint it?
What are some signs that a person is using drugs?
Am I medicating my anxiety with marijuana?
How do I stop my drug use from slowly turning into full-blown addiction?
The key substances referred to in the book are:
(If you've seen the movie "Flight," you've learned, as I did, how cocaine can be used not just for getting high, but as a wicked means for un-doing the effects of alcohol consumed the night before.)
A few of the behavioral indicators of drug use covered in the book are:
Deterioration of appearance
Repeated absences from important activities
Continual seeking of special accommodations
Deterioration of quality of performance at work or school
Change in friends
Part 1 "A Problem Emerges from the Shadows" discusses why almost-addiction is a concern and why we should care about a pre-addiction even if it's not yet full-blown--think of it as preventative care. The authors very clearly differentiate between what a real, full-blown addict acts like and what someone who may be almost-addict acts like, making it easier to identify where on the spectrum of addiction one may presently fall. It also discusses why disengaging from being almost-addicted to substances is a good idea. For example, the authors pose the following questions to readers with regard to what could be gained from stopping now:
Would you have more money to spend on necessities or luxuries?
Would you do better at work?
Would you have more time to devote to hobbies?
Would any anxiety and depression you experience improve?
Part 1 includes additional questions for self-reflection, about the role of one's drug use:
Is your drug use a source of tension or arguments with your wife, husband, or partner?
Does drug use eat into the time that you could otherwise be spending with your children?
Do you use drugs as a way to avoid family responsibilities?
Part 2 "The Roots of Almost Addiction" delves into the impact of the past on one's present life and the correlation between mental health issues and drug use/abuse. The authors smartly point out that often times certain medical conditions may also be in play - and discuss how to navigate that double-sided coin. Those who suffer from types of depression, ADD/ADHD, trauma, as well as other challenges to the mind are more likely to struggle at some point with substance use/abuse.
Part 3 "Catching and Confronting Almost Addiction in Others" explains the warning signs for spotting drug use/abuse, as well as how to handle your response to the discovery of the other person's drug use. It discusses the importance of protecting one's self emotionally, financially and physically from the drug user, such as disengaging from taking part in the cover-up, denial, and recommends focusing on your own health and well-being, including enlisting the support of others.
Part 4 "Solutions for Your Almost Addiction" offers some smart tips for creating a life that's full, rather than full of holes, in the absence of drugs. One chapter in particular, Time for A Change: Helping Yourself, is so very practical that it really could be the topic for a very useful follow-up book on how to recreate a life after stopping drugs. It explains how switching-up your daily routines can support your avoidance of drugs, as well as how to come up with a list of your "triggers," so that you can proactively avoid being triggered. Essentially, having a plan for how you'll engage your mind, body and spirit in the absence of drug use means you'll...have a plan! No plan = misery. Does this mean new friends? You bet. At the end of the day, will you care about having ditched those people? Not one bit.
I have just one criticism of Almost Addicted. I wish that the section on Solutions for Your Almost Addiction had been emphasized and placed before the section Catching and Confronting Almost Addiction in Others. The book's order of chapters subtly suggests that focusing on others' addictions should come before focusing on one's own, and I feel the reverse is true. It's most productive to focus first on one's own potential addictions.
Full disclosure: the publisher sent me an advance copy of Almost Addicted. I would recommend it to people who are seriously questioning their use of mood-altering substances, as well as to get insight from the medical profession into friends/family who may potentially be addicted.
I'd love to see this Almost Effect series cover sugar addiction, debt addiction, shopping addiction, and sex addiction in subsequent books in the series. This series of now three books is off to a truly promising start.