It may be time for a closer look at some of our assumptions about addiction. Between the predominance of 12-step programs and incorrect information issued by the press, thousands of people are getting misinformation instead of the help they need. Lance Dodes, in his book The Heart of Addiction
, reexamines common myths and provides a world of new recommendations aimed at helping anyone with an addiction, be it to gambling, alcohol, or prescription medications. Rather than focusing on the specific object of addiction, he chooses instead to look at the common desires and emotions present in anyone with addiction issues.
Through years of private practice and work in substance-abuse clinics, Dodes has noticed a pattern behind addiction--a pattern of anger, helplessness, and shame, coupled with a desire for immediate escape from these feelings. In presenting multiple composite cases, he shows us repeatedly that addiction is more than an uncontrollable desire for the substances; it is a behavior pattern with deeply emotional roots. Included are detailed explanations of differences between physical tolerance, abuse, and addiction, as well as an unusual questionnaire that focuses on the underlying reasons for drinking, rather than the more traditional one that covers specific amounts, methods, and results of imbibing. Separate chapters discuss particular issues of teens and couples, and special recommendations for seeking treatment are also included. --Jill Lightner
From Library Journal
In a study based on 25 years of professional practice, clinical psychiatrist Dodes (Harvard Medical Sch.) shares his refreshingly new insights into treating addictive behaviors. Rebuffing shallow explanations of these problems (such as categorizing addictions as diseases), Dodes instead explains the emotional underpinnings of addictive behaviors, revealing that they are preceded by feelings of helplessness or powerlessness. Working with addictive behaviors is one of the most difficult challenges faced in the helping professions, and, as the author frankly states, efforts are further hindered by the classic myths of addictions, including the notion that people are addicted to the things that are addictive and that "addicts" should always be treated by someone who also has the addiction. Filled with realistic case examples, this new approach challenges the prevalent thinking in professional practice while explaining why people feel an impulse to engage in unproductive addictive behavior and what they can do about it. Highly recommended for counselors, psychiatrists, and university libraries supporting helping profession curriculums. Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.